Tiersen was born in Brittany, France, in 1970 and received classical training at several musical academies, including those in Rennes,Nantes, and Boulogne. In the early 1980s as a teenager he was influenced by the post-punk culture of bands like The Stooges and Joy Division. He has Belgian and Norwegian origins.
Before releasing scores under his own name, Tiersen recorded background music for a number of plays and short films, such as La Vie Rêvée des Anges (1998, Erick Zonca), Alice et Martin (1998, André Téchiné), Qui Plume la Lune? (Christine Carrière, 1999).
He rose to domestic fame upon the release of his third album, Le Phare, but remained relatively unknown outside France until the release of his score for Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain in 2001, which was a mixture of both new and previously released material.
Yann Tiersen's list of collaborators continues to grow album after album (see discography below for details). While composing his fifth album,L'absente, Tiersen lent his musical talent to Françoiz Breut and Les Têtes Raides for their own albums. His 2005 album, Les Retrouvailles, featured vocals from Stuart Staples of Tindersticks, Jane Birkin, and Elizabeth Fraser, formerly of Cocteau Twins. Tiersen also played piano on Staples' solo album, Lucky Dog Recordings 03-04. In 2004 he also released a collaborative CD with American singer-songwriter Shannon Wright.
His live performances vary greatly. Sometimes he is accompanied by an orchestra and many guest collaborators, like Dominique A. Other times, he offers the more frequent minimalistic sessions, usually accompanied only by a drummer/bassist and a guitarist, with Tiersen switching seamlessly between piano, accordion, and violin for his lighter songs, and electric guitar for his louder pieces (where his Avant-Garde Music meet some rock sonorities).Lately, however, he has almost banished piano, accordion and violin and focused more on his electric guitar instead, as visible in his 2009-2010 Live Tours.
- La Valse des Monstres (1995)
- Rue des Cascades (1996)
- featured performer: Claire Pichet.
- Le Phare (1998)
- L'Absente (2001)
- Les Retrouvailles (2005)
- Dust Lane (2010)
Amélie Original Soundtrack (2001)
- Black Session: Yann Tiersen (1999)
- C’était ici (2002)
- On Tour (2006)
Singles and EPs
- Tout est Calme (1999)
- collaboration with The Married Monk
- other featured performers: the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Lisa Germano, Neil Hannon (of The Divine Comedy), Dominique A, Françoiz Breut, Têtes Raides, Sacha Toorop (ofZop Hopop), the actress Natacha Regnier, Christian Quermalet (of The Married Monk), Marc Sens (a Serge Tessot-Gay collaborator), Christine Ott and a string quartet.
- 3 titres inédits au profit de la FIDH (part of the On Aime, On Aide collection, composed to raise funds for the FIDH, sold exclusively at Fnac) (2003)
- PALESTINE (vinyl EP) (2010)
- Bästard (EP) (1999)
- collaboration with Bästard
- Yann Tiersen & Shannon Wright (2004)
- collaboration with Shannon Wright.
- This Immortal Coil (2010)
- One Trip, One Noise (by Noir Désir) (1997)
- "A ton étoile" (arrangements, strings, vibraphone, bell, mandolin, electric guitar and bass)
- Vingt à Trente Mille Jours (by Françoiz Breut) (2000)
- "Porsmouth" (vibraphone), "Vingt à trente mille jours" (vibraphone), "L'heure bleue" (violin), "Le verre pilé" (vibraphone); arrangements
- Gratte-poil (by Têtes Raides) (2001)
- "Cabaret des nues" (violin)
- The Married Monk (by The Married Monk) (2001)
- "Roma Amor" (strings, vibraphone), "Holidays" (strings) and "Cyro's Request" (vibraphone)
- Les oiseaux de passage (tribute to Georges Brassens)
- cover of "Le parapluie" with Natacha Régnier
- Absent Friends (by The Divine Comedy) (2004)
- "Sticks & Stones" (accordion); "Anthem for Bored Youth" (accordion), a track appearing only on the French limited edition
- The Endless Rise of the Sun (by Smooth) (2006)
- "The Endless Rise of the Sun" (keyboards)
- Raides à la ville (by Katel) (2006)
- "La Vielle" (violin)
- 13m² (by David Delabrosse) (2006)
- production and arrangements
- Solitude Nomade (by Christine Ott) (2009)
- "Pensées sauvages" (violin)
- Finistérien (by Miossec) (2009)
- music and arrangements
- Li(f)e (by Sage Francis) (2010)
- production and arrangements on "The Best Of Times"
- La Traversée (2005) (by Aurélie du Boys, about the recording and composition of Les Retrouvailles in Ouessant)
- On Tour (2006) (by Aurélie du Boys, about the tour)
- ^ Article in CafeBabel (Deutsch)
- ^ Yann Tiersen interview
- ^ Artist biography at Everything2.com
- ^ Michael Hubbard (24 February 2002). "Composer Tiersen serenades Amelie". BBC News. Retrieved 2009-06-05.
- ^ Interview (en Français)
- ^ 
- ^ a b c d e “Mute Records – Yann Tiersen Biography”. Retrieved 20 November 2010.
- ^ "Yann Tiersen – Official Site". Retrieved 20 November 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Yann Tiersen|
- Yann Tiersen's official homepage
- Yann Tiersen at the Internet Movie Database
- Yann Tiersen Sheet Music Archive compiled by Vladimir Yatsina
- Concert photos by Laurent Orseau (Black Session)
- Concert photos by Laurent Orseau (La Route du Rock 1998)
- Music Video for La Noyée from the Amelie soundtrack
- Music Video for Comptine d'un autre été: l'après midi from the Amelie soundtrack
- Article on Yann Tiersen at Everything2.com
- Article on Yann Tiersen and piano at Scribd
- Yann Tiersen in Lebanon Event Review
Yann Tiersen announce Tour Dates - MusicRemedy
Amelie composer coming to Starlite - Edmonton Journal
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