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Producteur et auteur d'un DVD sur Jean Jacques

My name is Mal Meehan and I am an independent film maker and interactive multimedia specialist. My studio (mee3d) is located on the West Coast of Ireland in a beautiful town called Galway, the musical hub of Ireland. My studio comprises a mixture of video edit suites, special effects and 3d workstations and vintage analogue synthesizers.

For many of my early years (I am now 39) I played in various jazz/pop/rock bands in London UK, where I grew up, until settling into a career in film and video. At the very early age of 7 (1975) my older and very musically influential brother Richard (1964-2001), past on his aging record deck to me and let me graciously listen to some of his more 'beaten' up records. The very first sounds I heard that stood out and made me go crazy were the sounds of the moog synthesizer, musicians such as Rick Wakeman, Don Airey and Jon Lord played such great solos and as a kid I couldn't work out how the pitch would bend and the sound would change because it didn't do that on my 1930's vintage mechanical reed organ!

Not having money to buy my own vinyl I would take myself down to the local public library and browse through the many BBC Radiophonic Workshop samplers and sound FX library records until one day I came across an album that would change my life... "Spotlight on the Moog, Kaleidoscopic Vibrations".. I don't think I ever returned it... just imagine the late return fee on that after 32 years! (naughty).

I listened intently to the works of JJP, Gershon Kingsley, Dick Hyman and W Carlos until my teens, when I couldn't get enough moog sounds and had to branch off into the works of Tangerine Dream, Kraftwork and dare I say it Jean-Michel Jarre (sorry JJ). As my keyboard skills developed I would search out other pioneering synthesists such as George Duke, Herbie & Chick and the late, great Joe Zawinul and my vintage synth collection grew to match my need to sound like these people (I ended up have a collection of over 100 vintage analogue synths).

During the 90's my career in video took off and I found little spare time to compose or perform, in 1992 I spent a year in Sevilla at the Expo92 and ended up selling all of my synths... some I even had to give away as no one wanted them then!  Basically in 10 years I did not play at all and in 2000 I heard that Bob Moog was reinventing his company and there would be a new minimoog for the new Millennium, and I just had to have one. That kicked off my re-interest in the moog sound and again I started to listen to all the sounds that I had grown up with... and to my delight I discovered that Jean-Jacques Perrey was still alive(!) and even recording great new music. That was that, I had to find a way to meet JJ.

In the fall of 2003 I was approached by Turnkey Music Store in London to film Bob Moog on his trip to the UK in May 2004 as part of the MoogFest Tour. I travelled up to Edinburgh and was overwhelmed because when I got to the event I discovered that in fact JJ was also giving a lecture at the same event!  I sat at the front and filmed Bob do his thing as instructed and then I put my camera down as I didn't want to miss Jean-Jacques lecture (looking through the viewfinder of the camera you often don't get the full experience). I remember I had Laryngitis and I couldn't talk but luck would have it (unknown to me), I sat next to Patricia, JJ's daughter and she was having trouble with her video camera battery, so I picked up my camera and filmed the rest of the lecture for her... rather badly I might add as I couldn't stop laughing and most of the time I had tears in my eyes!

Here I was, in a situation that I had been dreaming about for so long but I couldn't talk and the lines to meet JJ after the gig were a mile long and I had to get back to the hotel to catch the early flight out and quite frankly I was a little star struck (and I have met many Hollywood stars working in the film industry!). So in the end I exchanged contact details with Patricia and returned to my hotel; job done. After the shoot I was lucky enough to spend 3 more days with Bob Moog and it occurred to me that with all this footage I should do something with it so I approached Patricia with the idea of creating an interview and a few months later Jean-Jacques was sitting in my studio in London, surrounded by camera equipment and  operators... and plenty of diet Coke!

Since then I have kept in contact with the Leroy family and have travelled throughout Europe to see JJ and the mightily impressive Dana perform to the wonderment of young audiences. It's quite amazing to see how JJ's music, 40 years on, still gets the crowds going and how the new sounds created by him partnering with Dana Countryman, David Chazam and Luke Vibert hold such great value and bring an extra freshness to a somewhat jaded industry, and all this creative energy from someone 79 years young!

I have to say my favourite Moog track isn't a JJP number, sorry JJ but Gershon gets that with "Hey, Hey" which always sounded like it should have been an epic Progressive Rock song (being into Prog myself) and in fact if you listen to the latest Rick Wakeman "Out There" album you can hear it on one of the tracks! But I absolutely love the "Circus of Life" album and recently when I married in 2006 we played "La Fenambule" as our wedding song (JJ, you have the video on that disk I gave you in Norway, did you ever watch it?).

This is very good timing, after 3 years I am about to release the JJP "Life, Laughter & Loops" DVD (www.jjpdvd.com)... sorry for the delay but such a lot has happened in the last 3 years, including 2 new albums and all those concerts!!!  So JJ, god bless you and thank you for playing a small part in my music upbringing, and now you are playing a part in my kids Jack and Noah's musical studies, they love to "dance crazy" to your tunes as I did 32 years ago!

Jenn and I wish you many, many, many more years of creativity and are looking forward to seeing you in the UK... and Japan... and the States... and on the moon

We love you, Happy Birthday!

Mal & Jenn