It is a seemingly unlikely career change, bored Moscovite Edward Snowden has agreed to provide vocals for a track on Jean Michel Jarre's forthcoming album.
"I've always appreciated electronic music. The melodies that I remember with most fondness are actually from video games where they generate 8-bit music, and those kinds of chiptunes have really made a resurgence in modern musical culture today," the NSA whistleblower told Rolling Stone.
"And I think people like Jean Michel are the ones who really popularized that and made that possible for us to appreciate it as more than just sounds, as more than just background, but as actual culture."
Snowden will be one of the vocalists on Jarre's Electronica 2: The Heart of Noise album, out next month, appearing on a song called Exit. Other collaborators on the EDM tracks include The Orb, Primal Scream, and Gary Numan.
"I wrote a speedy techno track evoking the constant and hectic production of data and the obsessive quest for more information. I then linked the music with this mad hunt and chase in order to get hold of people like Edward Snowden," Jarre said.
The eccentric Frenchman added: "One of the recurrent themes of Electronica 1 & 2 is the ambiguous relationship we have with technology. On one side we have the world in our pocket and on the other side, the world is spying on us constantly."
Jarre said he was inspired to contact Snowden about the job by the memory of his mother France Pejot, an important member of the French Resistance during World War II. He described Snowden as a "modern hero."
Snowden isn't singing on the album. Instead Jarre recorded the track in his Paris studio and then flew to Moscow to overdub Snowden's voice on Exit.
"Saying that you don't care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don't care about freedom of speech because you have nothing to say," Snowden intones on Exit.
"It's a deeply antisocial principle because rights are not just individual, they're collective. What may not have value to you today may have value to an entire population. If you don't stand up for it, then who will?"
It doesn't sound like the kind of music that will have the punters throwing shapes in the house of dance to, nor become elevator music at NSA headquarters, but it's nice that Snowden's finding ways to keep busy. ®