November 9, 2022

Yann Tiersen

Celebrated Breton composer and multi-instrumentalist Yann Tiersen returns to Australia for the first time in more than five years, bringing an immersive electronic performance which reimagines his back catalogue into a wholly new body of work. Tiersen resamples, reprograms and resynthesises his recent works to create a dazzling audio-visual live experience, accompanied by the stunning visuals of UK artist Sam Wiehl. Tickets on sale now!

YANN TIERSEN AUSTRALIAN TOUR DATES:

  • TUE MAR 14: ADELAIDE FESTIVAL. Tickets on sale here.
  • THU MAR 16: QPAC, BRISBANE with special guest QUINQUIS. Tickets on sale here.
  • SAT MAR 18: CITY RECITAL HALL, SYDNEY with special guest QUINQUIS. Tickets on sale here.
  • TUE MAR 21: MELBOURNE RECITAL CENTRE with special guest QUINQUIS. Presale opens Thursday November 10, 11am (promocode: TIERSEN23PRE). presale link here. Tickets on sale Friday November 11, 11am, here.

Mistletone proudly presents celebrated Breton composer and multi-instrumentalist Yann Tiersen, returning to Australia for the first time in more than five years. Yann Tiersen brings an immersive electronic performance to this tour in support of his acclaimed new album, 11 5 18 2 5 18 (Mute, 2022) — which reimagines his back catalogue into a wholly new body of work.

Tiersen resamples, reprograms and resynthesises his recent works to create a dazzling audio-visual live experience, accompanied by the stunning visuals of UK artist Sam Wiehl. Experience the sonic evolution of Tiersen’s sound – a progression from his beloved early albums, well-known acoustic compositions and expansive Dust Lane (Mute, 2010) era – into the ecstatic electronic wizardry of his latest work. This multi-dimensional live show brings listeners into new sonic spaces and transforms Tiersen’s compositional genius to dizzying dancefloor heights.

  • ‘As always, it’s exquisitely wrought, but this time with salient nods to the dancefloor. How unexpected – and decidedly glorious’ – ELECTRIC SOUND

Opening Yann Tiersen’s headline shows will be Breton artist Émilie Tiersen aka QUINQUIS whose debut album for Mute, SEIM, came out earlier this year. Initially inspired by the birth of her child and a period of intense touring with Tiersen, SEIM consists of five new compositions and one unlikely cover, Berlin’s Giorgio Moroder-penned classic track, ‘Take My Breath Away’, which Émilie says was initially recorded “almost as a joke. I was lying on a hospital bed, in the Covid section. I had been evacuated from my island as I couldn’t breathe properly.  I spent a week in that hospital room, seeing only doctors. At some point, as my worried friends were trying to get some news from me, I just sent them ‘Take my breath away’ and swore ‘If I can recover from this, I’ll do a cover of that song’.”

QUINQUIS (credit – Richard Dumas):

Watch/share the video for ‘Tres’ by QUINQUIS here:

  • “Blustery landscapes transformed by slowly developing horizons into something Underworld might admire” – UNCUT

Tiersen comes to Australia in a new chapter in his work which began with Kerber (2021), his most overtly electronic material to date. True to Tiersen’s nuanced and subtle approach, this wasn’t a U-turn-like thumping piece of dance music, but instead a beautifully textured, highly immersive and thoughtfully constructed electronic world to step inside. 

Both an evolution of what has come before, as well as a new space to explore, the piano was Kerber’s source, but electronics are the environment that they exist within. Tiersen explains, “You may get this intuitive thinking of, ‘oh it’s piano stuff’, but actually it’s not. I worked on piano tracks to begin with but that’s not the core of it, they are not important. The context is the most important thing – the piano was a precursor to create something for the electronics to work around.” 

2022 saw the release of 11 5 18 2 5 18. This new, unexpected release from Yann Tiersen was born from experimentation in the studio, ahead of a performance at Berlin’s modular and synthesiser festival, Superbooth. With more time than usual to prepare for his live set, Tiersen found himself in his Eskal Studio on Ushant, completing the story he started with 2021’s Kerber – which presented a beautifully textured and highly immersive electronic world.

Using samples as his source, Tiersen has resampled, reprogrammed and recomposed audio to create entirely new tracks unrecognisable and decontextualised from their original versions. 

  • “Provoked by Superbooth… Tiersen here inventively cannibalises 2021’s Kerber. This, in other words, is a synth set” – CLASSIC POP

Breton-born artist Yann Tiersen has been involved in music for most of his life.

He started learning piano at the age of four, took up violin at the age of six and received classical training at musical academies in Rennes, Nantes and Boulogne. Then, at the age of 13, he chose to alter his destiny, breaking his violin into pieces, buying a guitar and forming a rock band.

Growing up in Rennes gave Tiersen the perfect musical education in the form of the city’s annual Transmusicales festival, seeing acts like Nirvana,Einstürzende NeubatenNick Cave and The Bad SeedsThe CrampsTelevision and Suicide. When his band broke up a few years later, instead of hunting for some new musicians, he bought a cheap mixing desk, an eight-track reel to reel, and started recording music solo with a synth, sampler and drum machine, poring over the grooves of old records on the hunt for loops and orchestral strings to plunder.

One day I thought, instead of spending days on research and listening to tons of records to find the nearest sound of what I have in mind, why don’t I fix this fucking violin and use it?” Through the summer of 1993, Tiersen stayed in his apartment, recording music alone with guitar, violin and accordion, guided not by the classical canon, but by intuition and his vision of “a musical anarchy”. 

By the end of the summer of 1993, Tiersen had recorded over 40 tracks, which would form the bulk of his first two albums. 1995’s La Valse Des Monstres, inspired by Tod Browning’s Freaks and Yukio Mishima’s The Damask Drum, was followed six months later by Rue Des Cascades, a collection of short pieces recorded with toy piano, harpsichord, violin, accordion and mandolin. Six years later, the record would find a much larger audience when several tracks, along with music from Le Phare, would be used on the soundtrack to Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s film Amelie (2001).

Tiersen’s commercial breakthrough would come earlier, though, and off his own back. 1998’s Le Phare (The Light House) was recorded in self-imposed seclusion on the isle of Ushant (located 30 kilometres off the west coast of Brittany in the Celtic Sea), where Tiersen spent two months living in a rented house. At night, he watched the Creach’h, the most powerful lighthouse in Europe, as it illuminated the surrounding scenery.

Le Phare went on to sell over 160,000 copies, confirming Tiersen’s status as one of the most pioneering and original artists of his generation and commencing a run of successful albums like 2001’s L’Absente (featuring orchestral group SynaxisLisa Germano and the Divine Comedy’s Neil Hannon) and 2005’s Les Retrouvailles (with guests Stuart Staples of Tindersticks, Jane Birkinand Elizabeth Fraser of Cocteau Twins). In this period, Tiersen also took his music out around the world, playing shows with a full orchestra and an amplified string quartet – a set-up captured on 2002’s electrifying live album C’etait ici. Tiersen then went on to create scores for the likes of Wolfgang Becker’s tragicomedy Good Bye Lenin! (2003) and Tabarly (2008), a documentary about the French sailor Éric Tabarly, who ate his final meal on Ushant before meeting a watery end in the Irish sea.

In 2010 he signed to Mute and released the first of a series of album with more of a band presentation. Dust Lane introduced synthesisers to his recordings, “I have always tried to incorporate vintage electronic sounds that I liked in my music but for the exception of the [early electronic keyboard] Ondes Martenot, it never happened until Dust Lane.” The Ken Thomas produced album Skyline (2011) followed, continuing his collaborative work with appearances from Ólavur JákupssonPeter Broderick and Efterklang, to name but a few and in 2014 he released Infinity (2014), an album that built upon toy piano recordings, electronically manipulated to provide a base for the rest of the instrumentation, “a constant back and forth from acoustic to electronic to electric to digital, back to analogue. Then all back the other way.” 

2016 saw Tiersen’s first solo piano release, EUSA, a move into more minimalist contemporary sounds showing the continuation of Tiersen’s diversity. The album gave a musical map of Ushant, the island he has called home for the past several years, with electronically manipulated original field recordings of the natural sounds on the island creating subtle drone that runs throughout. This was followed in 2019 by ALL, recorded at his newly built studio on Ushant, an album that further explores our connection with nature, place and his love of language.

In 2019, he revisited some of his catalogue with a collection of 25 newly recorded tracks from throughout his career. Portrait featured collaborations with John Grant, Gruff Rhys from Super Furry Animals, Stephen O’Malley from Sunn O))), and Blonde Redhead.

Portrait gave Tiersen a chance to open a new chapter in his work with Kerber (2021), his most overtly electronic material to date. True to Tiersen’s nuanced and subtle approach, this isn’t a U-turn-like thumping piece of dance music but instead a beautifully textured, highly immersive and thoughtfully constructed electronic world to step inside of. 

It is both an evolution of what has come before, as well as a new space to explore. On Kerber, the piano is the source, but electronics are the environment that they exist within. Tiersen explains, “You may get this intuitive thinking of, ‘oh it’s piano stuff’, but actually it’s not. I worked on piano tracks to begin with but that’s not the core of it, they are not important. The context is the most important thing – the piano was a precursor to create something for the electronics to work around.” 

2022 saw the release of 11 5 18 2 5 18. This new, unexpected release from Yann Tiersen was born from experimentation in the studio ahead of a performance at Berlin’s modular and synthesiser festival, Superbooth. With more time than usual to prepare for his live set, Tiersen found himself in his Eskal Studio on Ushant, completing the story he started with 2021’s Kerber – which presented a beautifully textured and highly immersive electronic world.

Using samples as his source, Tiersen has resampled, reprogrammed and recomposed audio to create entirely new tracks unrecognisable and decontextualised from their original versions. This multi-dimensional live show brings listeners into new sonic spaces and transforms Tiersen’s compositional genius to dizzying dancefloor heights. 
 
Please note this performance will feature strobe lighting and dynamic lighting and may not be safe for all viewers. 

  • “Attending to his synths and buttons like a fishing boat skipper, Yann negotiates the Roundhouse through a brewing storm” – BACKSEAT MAFIA

 



artwork by George Gillies

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