Didier Marouani

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Synthesizer-playing composer Didier Marouani is the founding member of the French synth-pop band Space. He was classically trained as a pianist at the Paris Conservatoire, but recorded his first album…
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Synthesizer-playing composer Didier Marouani is the founding member of the French synth-pop band Space. He was classically trained as a pianist at the Paris Conservatoire, but recorded his first album as a singer in 1975. Space was formed by Marouani in 1977, after he decided to focus more on composition. The group's biggest international success came later that year with the singles "Magic Fly," which hit the U.K.'s Top Ten and, to a lesser extent, "Carry on Turn Me On," both of which appeared on charts in a number of countries. Space toured and recorded for the next few years and continued to make well-received records, although no singles duplicated the success of "Magic Fly." After several albums, a rift occurred in the band; 1980's Deeper Zone, recorded under the name of Space, was actually an album by band members Roland Romanelli and Jannick Top, who took over and kept the band name, but went relatively unnoticed. This was the last album by Space, but the project continued with Marouani, who had written Space's music (under the alias Ecama) anyway. And so Marouani continued to record and perform -- as Didier Marouani & Space, then as Didier Marouani & Paris-France-Transit (PFT) -- to much success. In the Summer of 1983, he toured the U.S.S.R., drawing huge crowds in cities including Kiev and Moscow. Four years later, Marouani recorded his opera for choirs and synthesizers, Space Opera. The recording session was an international effort, bringing together choirs from the U.S. (Harvard University Choir) and U.S.S.R. (Red Army Choir). Apparently, a copy of Space Opera was put in the MIR space station. In other space-related activities, Marouani performed in Cayenne (capitol of French Guiana) at the 1990 celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Ariane rocket launch. He returned to Russia for another successful tour the following year and again during the early '90s for a historic performance in Red Square that included an extensive laser light show. The late '90s brought a reissue of the Space albums and the Best Of by Virgin France.