French musician and composer Yann Tiersen presents a remastered edition of his second album 1996's Rue Des Cascades. With his whimsical, melancholy music, 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. Tiersen became popular outside his native country for his score to Jean-Pierre Jeunet's 2001 film Amélie.
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. Tiersen studied violin and piano from the ages of six to fourteen, 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, La Valse des Monstres in 1995 and introduced his delicate but deeply emotional style, and intricate arrangements incorporating instruments as varied as toy piano, banjo, harpsichord, melodica, and carillon, as well as piano and guitar. If La Valse des Monstres and its follow-up, 1996's Rue Des Cascades, were slow burners, Tiersen's third album, 1998's La 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.