Yann Tiersen has sold hundreds of thousands of records world wide and even more soundtracks. Since 2009 he has primarily focused on playing live, with 270 shows spread over three world tours, which touched every continent. Now Tiersen is releasing four beautifully remastered editions of his first four albums on vinyl including: La Valse Des Monstres / The Waltz of the Monsters (1995), Rue Des Cascades / Cascade Street (1996), Le Phare / The Lighthouse (1998) and Tout Est Calme / Everything's Calm (1999).
Available for the first time in English, when Tiersen's albums were originally released they were predominantly sold in France. Since Yann has subsequently become known all over the world he has painstakingly translated the titles into English - doing it himself to ensure the original meanings and sentiment are intact. Where occasionally the song lyrics are in French, or there is just no other way to say it, the title remains in French.
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.
Tiersen became popular outside his native country for his score to Jean-Pierre Jeunet's film Amélie, but he was no over night success. He had been working for years before the film's success brought him international acclaim. Born in Brest, Brittany in 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 6 to 14, and eventually trained to be a conductor. However, he 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.
If Valse des Monstres and its follow-up, 1996's Rue Des Cascades, were slow burners Tiersen’s third album, 1998's Le 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 performances- 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 his more rock-oriented fourth album Tout Est Calme in 1999.
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. His Amelie score featured new and old compositions, and the film's success spun off to Tiersen's music.
1. Introductory Movement
2. The Waltz of the Monsters
4. Quimper 94
6. Summer Nursery Rhyme No. 17
7. Cléo on the Trapeze
8. The Waltz of the Monsters
10. Summer Nursery Rhyme No. 17
11. Introductory Movement
12. The Street
15. The Joke
16. The Countdown
17. Introductory Movement