BRETON composer Yann Tiersen, the man behind the soundtrack for Amélie and Good Bye Lenin! and modern classical genius has announced he is to release a new album, Kerber, for Mute on August 27th, for which there’ll be a few lovely limited vinyl options (see below); and it comes with a first taster today, with a video for the track “Ker Al Loch” – watch that below.
The follow up to 2019’s Portrait, which presented as a collection of 25 newly recorded tracks from throughout his career), Kerber steps out in a more overtly electronic direction; textured, immersive and thoughtful.
For Kerber, Yann took the piano as his root sound source, but has wrapped that favoured instrument in subtle electronics – a gorgeous path also explored recently by Neil Cowley on his Hall Of Mirrors album, and Henrik Lindstrand on Nordhem, to a different blends of the former and the latter.
Yann 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.”
And “Ker Al Loch” (caution – there is some strobing in the video) morphs from a majestically plaintive piano essay into sterner movement which ever so gradually swathes in electronics; a high glimmer at first, a seasoning, building to a fuzzed, retro-futuristic cloak of bass and ringing tones as the song slows and almost buckles under itself.
Working in The Eskal, the studio he built on the island of Ushant, off the west coast of Brittany, where he lives, the album is named after a chapel in a small village on the island and each track is tied to a place mapping out the immediate landscape that surrounds Yann’s home.
The video was directed by Sam Wiehl, who’s previously worked with Mogwai and Forest Swords, and who explains: “Using the abstracted geographical imagery created by Katy Ann Gilmore [the artist behind the album’s artwork] as a starting point, and further referencing the coast line of Ushant and the natural world, we created imagery – ranging from fantastical re-imagines of landscape, seas and atmospheric conditions to the processes in micro biology and chemical reaction – to capture the beauty and scale of [the] composition.”
Kerber will be preceded by a book of sheet music on July 20th; published by Hal Leonard, the folio will feature all seven pieces presented for solo piano.
Kerber will be released by Mute on August 27th digitally, on CD, and on the following vinyl options: a deluxe limited clear vinyl edition with unique artwork in a PVC sleeve (1000 only); limited edition white vinyl with a poster, and trad black. You can pre-order your copy here.
A series of limited edition bundles (including t-shirt, tote bag, sheet music and poster) will also be available from Yann’s website.