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Yann Tiersen

With his whimsical, melancholy music, Yann Tiersen has become a sought-after composer, not only for his soundtrack work, but in his own right. Borrowing from French folk music, chanson, musette waltz, and street music, as well as rock, avant-garde, and classical and minimalist influences, Tiersen's deceptively simple style has been likened to Chopin, Erik Satie, Philip Glass, and Michael Nyman. The Paris-based composer became popular outside his native country for his score to Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Amélie, but like most seemingly overnight successes, he had been working for years before the film's success brought him international acclaim. Born in Brest in Brittany on June 23, 1970, Tiersen was raised in Rennes and made a name for himself as one of the star pupils at his local conservatory (despite middling academic grades). Tiersen studied violin and piano from the ages of six to 14, and eventually trained to be a conductor. However, Tiersen rebelled against his classical training and, inspired by the likes of Joy Division and the Stooges, played guitar with several local post-punk-influenced bands during his later teenage years.

At the same time, Tiersen was also composing soundtracks for short films and accompaniment for plays. Several of these pieces ended up on his first album, Valse des Monstres, in 1995 and introduced his delicate but deeply emotional style; they also featured intricate arrangements incorporating instruments as varied as toy piano, banjo, harpsichord, melodica, and carillon, as well as piano and guitar. Tiersen played all of these instruments both in the studio and in concert, which gave his early one-man shows a theatrical appeal and earned him a spot performing in 1996's Avignon Festival. However, Valse des Monstres and its follow-up, 1996's Rue des Cascades, were largely ignored by the public and by critics. His third album, 1998's Phare, met a different fate; its single, "Monochrome," which was sung by French pop star Dominique A., was a radio hit and propelled the album, and Tiersen, to mainstream success in France.

As Tiersen's acclaim grew, so did the scope of his records. That year's Black Sessions -- a live album of a radio performance -- featured collaborations with Dominique A. and the Divine Comedy's Neil Hannon, as well bands like Les Têtes Raides and the Married Monk, who also appeared on 1999's more rock-oriented album Tout Est Calme. Soon after, Tiersen was preparing his next album when he was contacted by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, who wanted Tiersen to score his next movie, Amélie. Jeunet had heard Tiersen's music while driving and had been so taken with it that he bought all of Tiersen's albums. Previously, the composer had contributed music to films such as Alice et Martin and La Vie Rêvée des Anges, but this was his most prominent film work yet. His Amélie score featured new and old compositions, and the film's success spun off to Tiersen's music; the soundtrack sold over 200,000 copies in his homeland.

His next proper album, 2001's Absente, featured collaborations with Lisa Germano, as well as longtime contributors Hannon and Dominique A., and also benefited from Amélie's success, selling 100,000 copies in France. Throughout 2001 and 2002, Tiersen embarked on his most ambitious tours of France and the U.K. to date; this tour was chronicled in 2003's live album C'Était Ici. Later that year, Tiersen's score for Good Bye Lenin! arrived. Tiersen spent the rest of the 2000s alternating between film and pop music, issuing the score to Les Retrouvailles and the collaboration Yann Tiersen & Shannon Wright in 2005. He also toured frequently, releasing a live album in 2006 and the Tabarly score in 2008. Dust Lane, an album focusing on mortality, arrived in 2010. Tiersen began a world tour in New York to support the album, and took a brief respite before jumping back into the studio.

The single "Monuments" was released in July of 2011 as an enticement for his next full-length album, Skyline, which was released in Europe on October 17, 2011 and in the United States a week later. The touring cycle continued, Tiersen taking the album on the road for a year and a half before beginning recording once again. His eighth album, 8 (Infinity), was scheduled for a May 2014 release on Mute, and was preceded by the single "A Midsummer Evening," a nugget of complex yet tuneful chamber pop that recalled the Polyphonic Spree. ~ Heather Phares, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: A Midsummer Evening (Single)

Comments

Report as inappropriate
mary7661
This sounds eerily similar to the music in BBC Little Dorrit
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I agree with Amelie lovers ;-) 14 years...time flies!
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Yes, Amelie soundtrack is needed to perfect this playlist.
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Amelie, please
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lokillian
He is wonderful!
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I want the Amelie soundtrack please.
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Ohhhh Amelie where are thou
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Love his work
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alyssax204
Amelie!
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because of the beauty of this music for Good Bye Lenin! - I looked up the movie and watched it. That is powerful. Beautiful.
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I guess I'm not the only one on the Yann Tiersen station looking for Amelie!
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jsote003
Where is the Amelie soundtrack!! ! ? ? ? ?
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One more vote for Amelie, make that how ever many votes it takes to get it.
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artist_of_de p r i v a t i o n
I need Amelie!!!
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PLEASEEE PUT AMELIE ON HERE!!!!!
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Amelie C'est la Vie...
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I assume there's something preventing you from getting the Amelie soundtrack - someone out there refusing to give you the rights - so I won't hold it against you, Pandora. But just throwing it out there - it would be really great to hear it here some day!
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rbarwani9198 8
AMELIEEEE
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fluteforever 1
Good Bye Lenin, Flim Score reminds me of something from not so long ago
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earth to pandora. If you are too lazy to listen to the people screaming in your face, everyone wants the Amelie soundtrack.
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jnbowers3
Amelie soundtrack!!
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tstaber28
Pandora needs to add his album Le Phare to the list! Its an absolutely fantastic album!
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jirvine89
Ameilie s'il vous plait!
Report as inappropriate
stewinsalot
Alright! We're up to two albums! Now if we could get Les Retrovailles , that would be awesome :):)
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smile883
PLEASE put Amelie in here!!!!!!!!
Report as inappropriate
Amelie would be good
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mrkfest
I can't believe Pandora doesn't have Dust Lane on here. That album is incredible.
Report as inappropriate
I am baffled as to why such an amazing artist doesn't have more albums here. Get with the program, pandora! The Amelie soundtrack would be great, of course, but what about the Le Phare album, too? Please please please?
Report as inappropriate
He may be the best modern/exper i m e n t a l / c l a s s i c a l musician. I suggest others try to listen to the albums Le Phare, Rue des Cascades, and Le Valse des Monstres
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teika7
Hellooooo! Are you listening??? ? ? Many of us want to listen to the wonderful soundtrack of Amelie. What's taking so long?
Report as inappropriate
Ameli woul be truely wonderful to hear, or its like.
Report as inappropriate
Please add Amelie soundtrack. I got Pandora just to listen to his work. Comptine D'un Autre Ete is one of his greatest works. Sur le fil, La Chute, L'absente, La Plage, First Rendez-Vous. . . Please have more of a selection.
Report as inappropriate
Yes, was also looking for Amelie sounds track.
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sean.marrett
Amelie! Please
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notfamousyet
Yes, I agree. There definitely needs to be more of his music here!
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tom.parys
Please add the Amelie soundtrack!
That is his life's best work right there!
I'd love to find some similar to that style.
Report as inappropriate
Please add more such as Rue de Cascades
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Please add more of his music and not just the soundtracks.
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Need to add Amelie soundtrack! mmmm....love .
Report as inappropriate
pluckbush
PLEASE get more of his music!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Creating a station from this just plays a bunch of Soundtracks etc.
Report as inappropriate
guh. he's finally on here, but not the songs i want to listen to... >_>
Report as inappropriate
alxnovak
HOLY S**T THEY FINALLY DID IT THEY LISTENED TO MY SUGGESTION AND ADDED HIM; THANK YOU GOD!!!

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