The Water for Life concert in Morocco

The choice of the Moroccan Sahara was a natural one. Apart from the fact that I have a strong attachment to the country, its welcoming people and its rich culture, HRH King Mohammed VI shares my preoccupation regarding the global problem of scarcity of soft water and advancing desertification. 

My role as UNESCO Ambassador is to highlight, when possible, key world programmes and attract the media and general publics’ attention to certain global issues tackled by the UN. 2005-2015 is a dedicated Water for Life Decade; where better to raise the alarm than in the heart of the desert… 

I think music and artistic creations can certainly help raise public consciousness because they attract audience and media attention, giving artists a platform to voice their opinions. Musicians and artists can therefore have a political role given their exposure. 

Things have evolved so quickly in the last century on our planet; we went from one billion people to six billion people in such a short space of time. Everything went so fast that we must now urgently take a little time to assess and to be conscious of the problems caused by our evolution and progress. I believe for a lot of issues that are at our reach as citizens, that instead of waiting in the sidelines for governments or others to take care of us and our future generations, we should take action ourselves as responsible occupants of this beautiful planet that we will hand-down to our children. 

Concerning this crucial issue of scarcity of soft-water, we can, each of us play a huge active role immediately to contribute to bettering the catastrophic situation; saving water on a personal level is quite simple actually. It only requires a different way of thinking and adopting new good habits day-to-day; by rationing the resources that we take for granted - only because we have never been informed of the damage we are creating by waste - collectively, we can really make a difference. 

We are all dependent on water to survive – a child dies every two minutes in the world from lack of clean drinking water … while wars are waged in the name of petrol. 

This concert was called “Water for Life” and it was part of a very important programme spanning over a decade and driven by the United Nations. The problem of scarcity of soft water is probably the number one problem on Earth today and the Kingdom of Morocco has been very active on this crucial issue. The problem of desertification is intimately linked to this situation and also requires urgent action. 

My interest here in the cultural context of Morocco is the same as whenever I have the opportunity to work in different countries, to merge the local traditional music with my electronic music. The result, I think, reflects the spirit of Morocco today: anchored in its rich cultural heritage while open to welcoming influences and harmonising with other cultures. I, for my part, have always been an amateur when it comes to the musical abundance of Morocco and this concert was a possibility for me to make an innovative musical and video creation.

Jean Michel Jarre

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