The highly personal music of Yann Tiersen

Favoring his own intuition over influence from external, contemporary trends, acoustic sounds over the currently prevailing synthesized, computer-generated sounds, and his own ideas as opposed to collective efforts for creative direction, the young French composer Yann Tiersen has being crafting a highly personal musical world in recent years. Yet despite his individualist approach, Tiersen, who will perform at the capital’s National Opera House on Saturday, has not remained a detached artist. After attracting a growing following at home on the strength of four studio albums, as well as music for theater and film, Tiersen is now beginning to enjoy wider exposure, both at home and abroad, as the composer of the soundtrack to Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amelie Poulain, the delightful latest offering by film director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, renowned for 1991’s Delicatessen. Currently attracting large audiences here, Jeunet’s latest film, about an enchanting young girl who brings happiness to the lives of others but is reluctant to do likewise for herself, has already attracted over 5 million viewers in France. As the composer of the film’s soundtrack, Tiersen, a classically trained musician on violin and piano, exhibits affinity for screen action. A multi-instrumentalist who, besides piano and violin, also plays various other instruments, including accordion, oud, mandolin, and guitar, Tiersen had claimed, in a recent interview, that his attraction to many instruments developed for practical purposes. The composer has found it difficult to find other musicians with enough interest in his music, he has said. For Saturday’s concert, Tiersen, who will play an assortment of instruments, will be backed by a string quartet as well as a selection of musicians that have collaborated with him in more recent times. The evening’s repertoire will include material from Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amelie Poulain and Tiersen’s other releases.

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