Yann Tiersen: “I Try To Play What I Am Thinking”
COMPOSING MELODIES TO REPRESENT A STRONG CHARACTER LIKE AMÉLIE ISN’T EASY. YANN TIERSEN IS BEST KNOWN IN TURKEY FOR HIS MUSIC WHICH WAS USED IN THE FILM.
Yann Tiersen is currently promoting his seventh studio album, Skyline, after a seven-year hiatus since his previous album, Dust Lane. As you read this very special interview with him during your flight, we recommend that you also take a look at his tour dates.
They say there is a story behind every album. Is there a story that inspired you behind this album?
Yes, there is such a belief. But I don’t focus on any particular theme when I compose my songs. Sometimes one melody can provide the inspiration for another song. Compared with my previous album, Dark Lane, Skyline is a happier album and easier to understand. Certain thoughts can be left behind with time. According to some, Dust Lane was much darker and more pessimistic.
The album you composed for Amélie propelled you to international fame. If an Amélie 2 were being filmed today, would you be interested?
There was no such film when I was writing those songs. My thoughts as I was composing those songs were very different from the film. To be perfectly frank, if such an opportunity presented itself I would not want to get involved in that process again.
How do you want to be remembered? As a musician courted by the film industry for his music, or as a musician known primarily for his film music?
I would never underestimate the power of cinema in spreading music. But if I’m liked for the music I make, then that’s nice, too.
Yann Tiersen fans regard you as a composer of profound melancholy. Where does the deep sadness in your music come from?
I think the instruments I use create that atmosphere. I like to mask the sounds by bringing the piano and analog textures together in unexpected ways. Totally unexpected emotions can be evoked when the lyrics begin, when the scintillating violins and the percussion’s storm unite with the piano’s mournful melody and the songs begin to shift slowly away from the place where they were anchored, as if they are setting out on an unexpected but pleasant journey.
How do you see yourself in a time when dance music has become so pervasive that it’s even changed the chemistry of hip hop?
I try to play the things I am thinking. I have no idea what is going on. I am not trying to make music that will be liked and bought. Still, I think that I am going to make it feel a little lighter this time.
You’ve been in Istanbul before. If you had a chance to hear our music, what did you think of it?
It’s very different, that’s for sure. There are some very different genres. Even if one doesn’t understand the words, one can feel the warmth of the melodies.
Are we going to have a chance to see you again on your tour?
I was in England in October. I’d like to discover some new places for the winter. I would like to come back here again too.
THE SUCCESS OF TIERSEN, AND AMÉLIE
Yann Tiersen’s successful soundtrack for the film Amélie, directed by celebrated French filmmaker Jean-Pierre Jeunet, propelled him to international success. So much so that his name unarguably drew viewers to Good Bye, Lenin! for which he also composed the music.