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“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, and which 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 that 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. iersen spent the rest of the 2000s alternating between film and pop music, issuing the score to Les Retrouvailles and the collaboration Yann Tiersen and 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.” – Heather Phares, AllMusicGuide

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