Yann Tiersen

born on 23/6/1970 in Brest, Bretagne, France

Yann Tiersen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Yann Tiersen

Yann Tiersen (born 23 June 1970) is a musician from France.[1][2] His musical career is split between studio albums, collaborations and film soundtracks with a distinctive sound that is always involved. It can be recognized by its use of a large variety of instruments; primarily the guitar, synthesizer or violin together with instruments like the melodica, xylophone, toy piano, harpsichord, accordion and typewriter. Tiersen is often mistaken as a composer of soundtracks, himself saying "I'm not a composer and I really don't have a classical background,"[3] but his real focus is on touring and studio albums which just happen to often be suitable for film. His most famous soundtrack for the film Amélie was primarily made up of tracks taken from his first studio albums.[4]


Tiersen was born in Brittany, France, in 1970 and received classical training at several musical academies, including those in Rennes, Nantes, and Boulogne.[5] In the early 1980s as a teenager he was influenced by the post-punk culture of bands like The Stooges and Joy Division.[6] He has Belgian and Norwegian origins.[7]

Before releasing scores under his own name, Tiersen recorded background music for a number of plays and short films, such as La Vie Rêvée des Anges (1998, Erick Zonca), Alice et Martin (1998, André Téchiné), Qui Plume la Lune? (Christine Carrière, 1999).

He rose to domestic fame upon the release of his third album, Le Phare, but remained relatively unknown outside France until the release of his score for the film Amélie in 2001, which was a mixture of both new and previously released material.

Tiersen favors the piano, accordion, and violin, but is also known for his experimentation and use of obscure and found instruments like the ondes martenot and the typewriter.

Yann Tiersen's list of collaborators continues to grow album after album (see discography below for details). While composing his fifth album, L'absente, Tiersen lent his musical talent to Françoiz Breut and Les Têtes Raides for their own albums. His 2005 album, Les Retrouvailles, featured vocals from Stuart Staples of Tindersticks, Jane Birkin, and Elizabeth Fraser, formerly of Cocteau Twins. Tiersen also played piano on Staples' solo album, Lucky Dog Recordings 03-04. In 2004 he also released a collaborative CD with American singer-songwriter Shannon Wright.

His live performances vary greatly. Sometimes he is accompanied by an orchestra and many guest collaborators, like Dominique A. Other times, he offers the more frequent minimalistic sessions, usually accompanied only by a drummer/bassist and a guitarist, with Tiersen switching seamlessly between piano, accordion, and violin for his lighter songs, and electric guitar for his louder pieces (where his Avant-Garde Music meet some rock sonorities). Lately, however, he has almost banished piano, accordion and violin and focused more on his electric guitar instead, as visible in his 2009-2010 Live Tours.[8]

Yann Tiersen was married to Belgian actress Natacha Régnier, but they have since been divorced. They have a daughter, Lise born in 2002.

Dust Lane 2010

October 2010 saw the release of Tiersens sixth studio album titled Dust Lane.[9] The album was two years in the making and was largely recorded in Ushant, France.[9] Further parts were recorded in the Philippines. The album is preoccupied with mortality; during the recording sessions Tiersen lost his mother and a close friend.[9] The recordings started out as simple song based tracks with Tiersen playing acoustic guitar, mandolin and bouzouki.[9] New layers were added to the recordings creating a more complex sound. Then an array of vintage synthesisers and electric guitars were added to create further textures.[9] The album was released by Mute Records in Europe and Anti- Records in the US. The record was promoted in a tour beginning in October 2010, starting in New York.[10] Tiersen has been chosen by Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel to perform at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival that he will curate in March 2012 in Minehead, England.[11]


Studio albums

  • La Valse des Monstres (1995)
  • Rue des Cascades (1996)
    • featured performer: Claire Pichet.
  • Le Phare (1998)
  • L'Absente (2001)
    • featured performers: orchestral group Synaxis, Lisa Germano, Sacha Toorop, Dominique A, Neil Hannon, Natacha Régnier, Têtes Raides
  • Les Retrouvailles (2005)
    • featured performers: Stuart Staples of Tindersticks, Jane Birkin, Elizabeth Fraser of Cocteau Twins, Christophe Miossec, Dominique A.
  • Dust Lane (2010)
  • Skyline (2011)


  • Amélie Original Soundtrack (2001)
  • Good Bye Lenin! Original Soundtrack (2003)
    • featured performer: Claire Pichet.
  • Tabarly (2008)

Live albums

  • Black Session: Yann Tiersen (1999)
    • Black Session radio performance
    • featured performers: Neil Hannon (of The Divine Comedy), Bertrand Cantat (of Noir Désir), Françoiz Breut, The Married Monk, Têtes Raides and a string quartet.
  • Cétait ici (2002)
    • live compilation album
    • featured performers: 35-member orchestral group Synaxis, conducted by Guillaume Bourgogne. Claire Pichet, Christine Ott, Christian Quermalet, Marc Sens, Nicholas Stevens, Jean-François Assy, Renaud Lhoest, Oliver Tilkin, Ronan le bars, Têtes Raides, Dominique A, Lisa Germano.
  • On Tour (2006)
    • featured performers: Elizabeth Fraser of Cocteau Twins, Diam's, Katel, DD la Fleur

Singles and EPs

  • 3 titres inédits au profit de la FIDH (part of the On Aime, On Aide collection, composed to raise funds for the FIDH, sold exclusively at Fnac) (2003)
  • PALESTINE (vinyl EP) (2010)


  • Bästard (EP) (1999)
    • collaboration with Bästard
  • Tout est Calme (1999)
    • collaboration with The Married Monk
    • other featured performers: the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Lisa Germano, Neil Hannon (of The Divine Comedy), Dominique A, Françoiz Breut, Têtes Raides, Sacha Toorop (of Zop Hopop), the actress Natacha Regnier, Christian Quermalet (of The Married Monk), Marc Sens (a Serge Tessot-Gay collaborator), Christine Ott and a string quartet.
  • Yann Tiersen & Shannon Wright (2004)
    • collaboration with Shannon Wright.
  • This Immortal Coil - The Dark Age of Love (2010)
    • a tribute album to Coil
    • other members: Yaël Naim, Bonnie Prince Billy, Matt Elliott, DAAU, Chapelier Fou, Sylvain Chauveau, Christine Ott, Oktopus, Nightwood, David Donatien, and Nicolas Jorio.


  • One Trip, One Noise (by Noir Désir) (1997)
    • "A ton étoile" (arrangements, strings, vibraphone, bell, mandolin, electric guitar and bass)
  • Vingt à Trente Mille Jours (by Françoiz Breut) (2000)
    • "Porsmouth" (vibraphone), "Vingt à trente mille jours" (vibraphone), "L'heure bleue" (violin), "Le verre pilé" (vibraphone); arrangements
  • Gratte-poil (by Têtes Raides) (2001)
    • "Cabaret des nues" (violin)
  • The Married Monk (by The Married Monk) (2001)
    • "Roma Amor" (strings, vibraphone), "Holidays" (strings) and "Cyro's Request" (vibraphone)
  • Les oiseaux de passage (tribute to Georges Brassens)
    • cover of "Le parapluie" with Natacha Régnier
  • Absent Friends (by The Divine Comedy) (2004)
    • "Sticks & Stones" (accordion); "Anthem for Bored Youth" (accordion), a track appearing only on the French limited edition
  • The Endless Rise of the Sun (by Smooth) (2006)
    • "The Endless Rise of the Sun" (keyboards)
  • Raides à la ville (by Katel) (2006)
    • "La Vielle" (violin)
  • 13m² (by David Delabrosse) (2006)
    • production and arrangements
  • Solitude Nomade (by Christine Ott) (2009)
    • "Pensées sauvages" (violin)
  • Finistérien (by Miossec) (2009)
    • music and arrangements
  • Li(f)e (by Sage Francis) (2010)
    • production and arrangements on "The Best Of Times"


  • La Traversée (2005) (by Aurélie du Boys, about the recording and composition of Les Retrouvailles in Ouessant)
  • On Tour (2006) (by Aurélie du Boys, about the tour)


External links

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See also: Tiersen
This page was last modified 11.02.2012 15:13:57

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