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The music of multi-instrumentalist Yann Tiersen breaks the constraints of form, yet each track is built around poignant, emotional melodies. Tiersen quickly abandoned the academy training of his early childhood, smashing his violin and adopting the electric guitar instead. He began recording in the summer of 1993, and first found commercial success in his native France with 1998's Le Phare, recorded in two months on the island of Ouessant. Tiersen's overseas popularity took off with the release of director Jean-Pierre Juenet's 2001 film Amelie, for which he provided the film's score.
Tiersen's seventh studio album, Skyline, breaks with some of the most recognizable elements of his earlier works, yet still finds emotional resonance in unpredictable, unshackled sound. On today's episode of World Café, Tiersen describes the ways he links music to visual imagery, as well as the importance that such associations can have for listeners. He also discusses his French heritage and his exclusive use of English lyrics.