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Music / Yann Tiersen

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Usually spotted with a striped shirt and a slightly dreamy look in his face.

Yann Tiersen (born June 23, 1970) is a musician from Brittany (North-Western France).

He is best known for his surreal instrumentation and melancholic solo piano pieces. A compilation of his tunes became iconic as the soundtrack for the Jean-Pierre Jeunet romantic comedy Amélie. The accordion and toy piano driven arrangements fell straight into a cliché of Paris, much to the displeasure of Tiersen, who says he "hates Paris" and doesn't want to be considered a soundtrack composer.

Among critics, he is well respected for his ability to combine Minimal Music with French Folk Music and his instrumental skills.


  • La valse des monstres (1995)
  • Rue des cascades (1996)
  • Le phare (1998)
  • (Tout est calme) (1999)
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  • L'absente (2001)
  • Amélie (2001)
  • C'était ici (2002)
  • Good Bye, Lenin!! (2003)
  • Les retrouvailles (2005)
  • Tabarly (2008)
  • Dust Lane (2010)
  • Skyline (2011)
  • (2014)

Yann Tiersen plays these tropes:

  • Cult Soundtrack: The whole reason of his fame is the Amélie soundtrack which sold incredibly well and is considered one of the best soundtracks of all time by music critics and the public alike.
  • Darker and Edgier: Since Dust Lane with tracks such as Fuck Me.
  • Epic Rocking: The live track Février from C'était ici marks his first step into post rock... well and into songs longer than 12 minutes.
  • I Am the Band: On many releases he playes the vast majority of instruments, notably Violin, Viola, Cello, Piano, Toy Piano, Glockenspiel, Accordion, Piano, Guitar...
  • Intentionally Awkward Title: Fuck Me from Dust Lane.
  • Last Note Nightmare: Le Jour D'avant of L'absente starts off as a pretty minimalist accordion ballad, becomes a full-brass fanfare, shifts mood and tempo a few times just too end in a sudden atonal tone cluster.
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  • Genre Shift: His albums since Dust Lane are strikingly influenced from Post-Rock.
  • Signature Style: A powerfully accentuated 3/4 or 6/8 signature, accordions and catchy melodies with lots of counterpoints over repetitive chord progressions.
  • Special Guest: He's not as good as a vocalist so he often invites singers to help him out. Among these are names like Elizabeth Fraser, Neil Hannon, Lisa Germano and Dominique A.
  • Rhythm Typewriter: One of the most well-known performers on this instrument.

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