Artist: Yann Tiersen Bio

11 Feb 2006, 21:06  75,486,912  1,369,039

Yann Tiersen

Yann Tiersen (born June 23, 1970 in Brest, Brittany, France) has been honing his musical aesthetic since he could stand on two legs. He started learning piano at the age of four, taking up violin at the age of six and receiving classical training at musical academies in Rennes, Nantes and Boulogne. Then, at the age of 13, he chose to alter his destiny, breaking his violin into pieces, buying a guitar and forming a rock band.

Yann Tiersen has collaborated with vocal artists like Claire Pichet ("Le phare" and "Rue des cascades"), Elizabeth Fraser ("Les retrouvailles") and Shannon Wright ("Yann Tiersen and Shannon Wright"). Other musicians he has worked with include The Divine Comedy, Noir Désir, Dominique A., Francoiz Breut, Les Têtes Raides, The Married Monk and Sage Francis

Tiersen got a musical education from the city of Rennes' annual Transmusicales festival, seeing acts like Nirvana, Einstürzende Neubaten, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, The Cramps, Television and Suicide. When his band broke up a few years later, instead of hunting for some new musicians, he bought a cheap mixing desk, an eight-track reel, and started recording music solo with a synth, sampler and drum machine, poring over the grooves of old records on the hunt for loops and orchestral strings to plunder.

As it turned out, though, the key to his new approach lay in his own past. "One day I thought, instead of spending days on research and listening to tons of records to find the nearest sound of what I have in mind, why don't I fix this fucking violin and use it?" Through the summer of 1993, Tiersen stayed in his apartment, recording music alone with guitar, violin and accordion, guided not by the classical canon, but by intuition and his vision of "a musical anarchy".

By the end of the summer of 1993, Tiersen had recorded over 40 tracks, which would form the bulk of his first two albums. 1995's La Valse Des Monstres, inspired by Tod Browning's Freaks and Yukio Mishima's The Damask Drum was the second album to be released on Nancy-based label Ici, d'ailleurs. It would be followed six months later by Rue Des Cascades, a collection of short pieces recorded with toy piano, harpsichord, violin, accordion and mandolin. Six years later, the record would find a much larger audience when several tracks, along with a couple of Tiersen originals, would be used on the soundtrack to Jean-Pierre Jeunet's film Amelie (2001).

Tiersen's commercial breakthrough would come earlier, though, and off his own back. 1998's Le Phare (The Light House) was recorded in self-imposed seclusion on the isle of Ouessant, where Tiersen spent two months living in a rented house. At night, he watched the Creach'h, the most powerful lighthouse in Europe, as it illuminated the surrounding scenery. "I was amazed how the rays of lights from the lighthouse revealed some hidden details of the land, how we can rediscover something we have everyday, just in front of us, by a light pointing on it," says Tiersen.

Le Phare went on to sell over 160,000 copies, confirming Tiersen's status as one of the most pioneering and original artists of his generation and commencing a run of successful albums like 2001's L'Absente (featuring orchestral group Synaxis, Lisa Germano and the Divine Comedy's Neil Hannon) and 2005's Les Retrouvailles (with guests Stuart Staples of Tindersticks, Jane Birkin and Elizabeth Fraser of Cocteau Twins). In this period, Tiersen also took his music out around the world, playing shows with a full orchestra and an amplified string quartet – a set-up captured on 2002's electrifying live album C'etait ici. And following the box-office success of Amelie, Tiersen's skills as a soundtracker were much in demand, leading to scores for the likes of Wolfgang Becker's tragicomedy Good Bye Lenin! (2003) and Tabarly (2008), a documentary about the French sailor Éric Tabarly, who ate his final meal on Ouessant Island before he meeting a watery end in the Irish sea.

Discography:
La valse des monstres (1995)
Rue des cascades (1996)
Le phare (1998)
Tout est calme (1999)
Black session (1999, radio concert)
L'absente (2001)
Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain (2001, Soundtrack)
C'était ici (2002, Live and Best Of)
Good Bye Lenin! (2003, Soundtrack)
Yann Tiersen and Shannon Wright (2004)
Les Retrouvailles (2005)
On Tour (2006, Live)
Tabarly (2008)
Dust Lane (2010)


Top Track "Yann Tiersen"

Sur le fil - Yann Tiersen

Sur le fil

323,721
1,907,384
La Valse d'Amélie - Yann Tiersen

La Valse d'Amélie

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2,385,939
Le Moulin - Yann Tiersen

Le Moulin

310,341
1,806,843
La Dispute - Yann Tiersen

La Dispute

308,536
1,687,602
A quai - Yann Tiersen

A quai

285,278
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Pas si simple - Yann Tiersen

Pas si simple

282,868
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J'y suis jamais allé - Yann Tiersen

J'y suis jamais allé

277,453
1,670,991
La Noyée - Yann Tiersen

La Noyée

274,925
1,750,377
La Valse des vieux os - Yann Tiersen

La Valse des vieux os

262,751
1,315,162
Le Banquet - Yann Tiersen

Le Banquet

261,014
1,405,650
La Valse des monstres - Yann Tiersen

La Valse des monstres

242,152
1,446,874
L'Autre Valse d'Amélie - Yann Tiersen

L'Autre Valse d'Amélie

214,228
1,100,265
Guilty - Yann Tiersen

Guilty

178,092
968,430
La Redécouverte - Yann Tiersen

La Redécouverte

175,621
816,754
Soir de fête - Yann Tiersen

Soir de fête

158,444
713,395
Mother's Journey - Yann Tiersen

Mother's Journey

110,628
567,535
La Noyee - Yann Tiersen

La Noyee

108,105
727,290
Summer 78 - Yann Tiersen

Summer 78

106,853
652,602
J'y suis jamais alle - Yann Tiersen

J'y suis jamais alle

102,642
675,597
Les Jours tristes - Yann Tiersen

Les Jours tristes

96,663
586,923
L'Autre Valse D'Amelie - Yann Tiersen

L'Autre Valse D'Amelie

92,244
540,579
Watching Lara - Yann Tiersen

Watching Lara

89,739
466,027
Summer 78 (instrumental) - Yann Tiersen

Summer 78 (instrumental)

89,241
464,714
I Saw Daddy Today - Yann Tiersen

I Saw Daddy Today

84,840
387,455
Soir De Fete - Yann Tiersen

Soir De Fete

84,019
421,684
Lara's Castle - Yann Tiersen

Lara's Castle

83,437
380,539
First Rendez-Vous - Yann Tiersen

First Rendez-Vous

80,560
394,682
Monochrome - Yann Tiersen

Monochrome

80,016
553,213
Father And Mother - Yann Tiersen

Father And Mother

79,623
345,894
Dishes - Yann Tiersen

Dishes

79,372
365,151
Good Bye Lenin - Yann Tiersen

Good Bye Lenin

78,721
364,429
Childhood (2) - Yann Tiersen

Childhood (2)

78,501
355,167
Naval - Yann Tiersen

Naval

75,735
333,333
La Redecouverte - Yann Tiersen

La Redecouverte

74,928
393,779
L'absente - Yann Tiersen

L'absente

69,560
336,940
Father Is Late - Yann Tiersen

Father Is Late

69,269
293,310
Mother Will Die - Yann Tiersen

Mother Will Die

68,369
290,983
Le Quartier - Yann Tiersen

Le Quartier

67,947
385,081
Letters - Yann Tiersen

Letters

67,652
291,384
La Crise - Yann Tiersen

La Crise

67,448
399,942
Les deux pianos - Yann Tiersen

Les deux pianos

66,889
289,482
Mouvement Introductif - Yann Tiersen

Mouvement Introductif

66,645
505,489
The Decant Session - Yann Tiersen

The Decant Session

64,469
279,184