Captain Moonlight's Notebook: UN Ambassador to Tunbridge Wells

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The Independent Online
IT IS refreshing to meet a pro-European who finds Maastricht irrelevant. Jean Michel Jarre, the electronic music man from France who put the sound of railway trains, rushing water and computers into his compositions, is to tour 25 European cities with one of his laser, light and music spectaculars from July until the autumn. Before the tour, however, Unesco, the United Nations cultural organisation, will name him an ambassador for their Year of Tolerance in 1995, and no doubt he will be heading then for Belfast and other places intolerant (Tunbridge Wells, perhaps?) with his synthesisers.

I met Jarre, 44, at the Odeon cinema in Leicester Square last week, where he was posing for photographers before a model set of the make-believe city he will cart around Europe for his concerts. When you get used to his aphorisms - 'music is an adventure through time' is a favourite - you discover he talks a lot of sense.

We Europeans, he says, don't need lessons from Brussels bureaucrats on how to be European. We have known this for centuries. Europe's strength is its diversity. For one thing, our culinary tastes are quite different (this, you will agree, is a very tolerant thing for a Frenchman to say). Shakespeare,

Mozart, Picasso are common to us all and have nothing whatsover to do with Maastricht. And so he goes on. 'The Japanese make the best synthesisers - they are our Stradiavaris - but only Europeans can give the instrument soul.'

When he told me he would have 50- odd roadies from Spain, Britain, France, Germany and Italy on his tour I asked what language they would use. 'Broken European,' Jarre replied.

(Photograph omitted)