Electro music pioneer braves winds for Dead Sea show
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Electro music pioneer braves winds for Dead Sea show

Jean-Michel Jarre’s performance begins two-and-a-half hours late due to bad weather

Electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre performs during concert to publicize the plight of the shrinking Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth, at the foot of the ancient clifftop fortress of Masada in Israel on April 6, 2017. (AFP/Menahem Kahana)
Electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre performs during concert to publicize the plight of the shrinking Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth, at the foot of the ancient clifftop fortress of Masada in Israel on April 6, 2017. (AFP/Menahem Kahana)

Electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre braved heavy winds that led to a late start for his concert at the Dead Sea aimed at drawing attention to environmental issues.

The concert that began late Thursday and stretched into Friday saw Jarre and others perform in front of the ancient Masada fortress next to the Dead Sea.

Weather conditions led to a start that was some two and a half hours late. The 68-year-old Jarre arrived and greeted the crowd by saying “Shalom, Israel” and spoke of the need to draw attention to the shrinking Dead Sea.

He played a range of music from throughout his career for the several thousand in attendance, including parts of his best-known album “Oxygene.”

Electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre performs during concert to publicise the plight of the shrinking Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth at the foot of the ancient clifftop fortress of Massada in Israel, late April 6, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / MENAHEM KAHANA)
Electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre performs during concert to publicise the plight of the shrinking Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth at the foot of the ancient clifftop fortress of Masada in Israel, late April 6, 2017. (AFP/Menahem Kahana)

The concert also included some of the extravagant elements Jarre’s shows are known for, with lasers, smoke and giant screens.

Jarre himself wore glasses fitted with a camera.

Jarre first shot to fame in the 1970s in his native France and became an influential figure in electronic music.

He told AFP in an interview this week that he hoped the concert would contribute to “the resistance against all the Trumps of the world” — referring to what he sees as US President Donald Trump’s anti-environmental stance.

The venue at the foot of the ancient fortress is one of the most stunning sites in the region and the location of a seminal event in Jewish history.

Electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre performs during concert to publicise the plight of the shrinking Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth at the foot of the ancient clifftop fortress of Massada in Israel, late April 6, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / MENAHEM KAHANA)
Electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre performs during concert to publicise the plight of the shrinking Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth at the foot of the ancient clifftop fortress of Masada in Israel, late April 6, 2017. (AFP/Menahem Kahana)

Biblical King Herod built the Masada fortress in the first century BC on a rocky outcrop 430 meters (1,290 feet) above the Dead Sea.

In 73 AD, Roman troops besieged 960 Jewish Zealots there after they rebelled against the Roman rule of then Palestine, according to a historian of the period, Flavius Joseph.

Instead of allowing themselves to fall captive, they committed collective suicide.

A huge crowd attends a concert by electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre aimed to publicise the plight of the shrinking Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth, at the foot of the ancient clifftop fortress of Massada in Israel late April 6, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / MENAHEM KAHANA)
A huge crowd attends a concert by electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre aimed to publicise the plight of the shrinking Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth, at the foot of the ancient clifftop fortress of Masada in Israel late April 6, 2017. (AFP/Menahem Kahana)

Jarre is a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which in 2002 designated Masada a world heritage site.

The Dead Sea is the lowest and saltiest body of water in the world and is receding by roughly a meter (three feet) per year.

Experts have warned it is on course to dry out by 2050.

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