The latest episode of In Conversation centers around a conversation about the life and career of composer Yann Tiersen.
Tiersen, one of the most celebrated composers of the last three decades, has been writing and recording elegantly assembled songs and albums since the early 1990s.
When journeying through his catalog in chronological order, a clear evolution from organic and acoustic instruments like violin and piano to the more synth and sample-based songs reveals itself.
Tiersen’s latest album, 11 5 18 2 5 18, was released in June and is completely created from samples and electronic-based recording methods that Tiersen found fulfilling during the pandemic. Many of the samples are picked up directly from his 2021 album Kerber.
The 52-year-old composer is also known for the Amélie soundtrack, which features songs from his first two albums that were released years before the film’s premiere.
Tiersen, however, seeks to distance himself from the film.
“I’m not that,” Tiersen said, speaking about what he calls “the French cliché ,” which he’s been tied to since the film’s financial and critical success.
Looking at his collaborators, Tiersen’s DIY sensibility, which is arguably the opposite of the Amélie aesthetic, is evident.
He’s worked with Elizabeth Fraser, Cocteau Twins; Kazu Makino, Blonde Redhead; Stephen O’Malley, Sun O))); and his favorite band is Einstürzende Neubauten.
During the interview — which was recorded over Zoom while Tiersen was on tour in June — he talks about the evolution of his career, moving onto and recording from an island off the coast of France, writing songs infused with a dance quality and the pandemic.
Listeners who’d like to see Tiersen live can do so in September and October, when he plays in cities across Europe. Purchase tickets here.