French composer and multi-instrumentalist Yann Tiersen is best known for his quirky score to Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s 2001 film Amélie. But that only scratches the surface of his enormously rich, magical musical output.
Tiersen creates fragile, evocative soundscapes of achingly beautiful melodies, immediately recognisible but impossible to categorise. He’s been compared with classical composers Chopin and Satie, or minimalists Philip Glass and Michael Nyman.
After touring the globe for nearly a decade in planes and buses, Tiersen is now slowly cycling around the world, stopping for performances both in traditional venues and in the wilderness. At the end of 2015 he made an expedition through the northernmost reaches of Norway, where he played at a special festival for the Sami people. His Edinburgh International Festival concerts marks the up coming release of his new album EUSA.
Although many of these compositions recall Michael Nyman’s glassy, metrical, repetitive minimalism, Tiersen negotiates each one like a romantic Chopin ballad, throwing in rubato and ekeing out the pathos. - ★★★★