Yann Tiersen


Yann Tiersen is an artist and composer born in Brest, Brittany, in 1970. A multi-instrumentalist, he played piano and violin since he was a child, during his adolescence he drew closer to the punk subculture. The classical education and the nonconformist influences made possible the comparison between himself and Chopin, Erik Satie, Philip Glass, and Michael Nyman.

His debut albumLe Valse de Monstres (1995) is a collection of new songs and songs produced to accompany cinematic projects, among others Freaks by the iconic Tod Browning and The Damask Drum by poet and screenwriter Yukio Mishima.

A year later, Tiersen released Rues des cascades, an album composed of short tracks recorded with the aid of conventional instruments, but also unconventional ones, like a toy piano that he also brought on stage, bestowing his performances a theatrical touch that earns the artist an invite to the historic Avignon Festival. The song that gives the name to the album, “Rue des Cascades”, was chosen to be part of the soundtrack to the renowned film from 1998, The Dreamlife of Angels, by Érick Zonca, winner of the Palme d’Or.

The 1998’s album Le Phare represented his first success with the public and the critics. The album was composed and recorded during a two-month isolation period on the island of Ushant and its first single was “Monochrome”, which saw the participation of French pop star Dominique A, became one of the most famous and listened to song of that year in France.

In 2000 Yann was contacted by director Jean-Pierre Jeunet who invited him to curate the soundtrack of Amelié. This project turned out to be one of Tiersen’s greatest successes as it topped the French charts and won the César Award for Best Music Written for a Film. Amelié was followed by the score for Good Bye, Lenin!, a tragicomic film from 2003 directed by Wolfgang Becker, which won the German Film Award for Best Score.

Tiersen spent the rest of the 2000s alternating between soundtracks and pop music, while also collaborating with renowned artists of the caliber of Stuart Staple from Tindersticks, Jane Birkin, and Christophe Miossec.

The decade between 2010 and 2020 was very productive for the pianist who published Dust Lane (2010), an album of delicate sounds enriched by electro-acoustic arrangements, to which, to complete the themes and sounds already explored in 2010, followed Skyline (2011). In 2014 the French artist released Infinity, which presented strong post-rock influences. These influences were abandoned for Eusa (2016), a record arranged entirely on the piano, inspired once again by the island of Ushant. The celebration of the magical area continued with All in 2019, which was recorded at the Eskal, a studio, property of the artist, built inside an abandoned discotheque. Also, in 2019, Tiersen celebrated his career with Portrait, a collection of his songs reinterpreted with the help, among others, of Blonde Redhead, Gruff Rhys, and Stephen O’Malley.






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