Welcome to Bec’h De’i Welcome to Chateaulin at the Run ar Puñs! We’re with a gentleman. A gentleman from the music business. Yann Tiersen, it’s a pleasure and an honor to receive you in this program with your friend Emilie Quinquis Emilie is also a musician, under the name Tiny Feet. Yes, a lady! A young lady. Two musicians from Brittany. They’re famous all over the world. You probably know Yann Tiersen by the film “the fabulous destiny of Amélie Poulain”. The music was his own composition. He composed a lot of other music. He performs in the biggest theaters in the world. I’ve looked at your concert dates. Only in October! Concerts in Lisbon, the Philarmonie de Paris, in Leipzig, in Copenhagen, Hamburg, Uppsala, Sweden, in Amsterdam, Rome, in Zürich, Vienna. Only for the month of October! And in Chateaulin today at the Run ar Puñs, your place. You’re from here, you were born here, where you spent your childhood. I was born in Brest. I was in the Monts d’Arrée… in Plounéour-Ménez when I was young. Your mother was from here, not your father. My father was from Flanders, and his ancestors, from Norway. Scandinavia. You recently decided to learn Breton. I learned it in the newspaper “Bretons”. You announced… Why did you announce it? It is important… that I learn the language of my country. It is important. Music is for fun, it’s not serious. – Music is just a game? – Yes, it is. Breton is a serious thing. Learning a language… Why did you want to learn Breton? Was it ingrained in you? The story is not easy to tell. The root cause is an animal. What kind of animal? A puma! You met a mountain lion in Ploney-Menez? No! I was in California with Emilie. We rode our bikes from Oregon all the way to Southern California. In the middle of the woods, we came face to face with a mountain lion. You find yourself alone in the middle of the woods… with a mountain lion following you. Yes, he was following us. For how long? Half an hour or so. He was looking for food. He was hunting! He was a nice mountain lion. But he was a mountain lion. How did you feel? We were in the middle of the woods, like regular tourists. You felt like puma flesh. Exactly. Exactly. There was a sort of click afterwards. It became important to know where I was from. At least die in our language. Dying with a mountain lion, but in our language at least. The mountain lion struck a chord. Emilie, you’ve also decided to take up Breton afterwards. Are you a leonard? We were both born in Brest. I decided to learn Breton, for good a year ago. I’ve been thinking about it for a long time. My grandmother had Alzheimer’s. She started speaking Breton again. She’d forgotten the French we put in her head. I couldn’t talk to her before she died. I felt frustrated. I couldn’t say goodbye to her. So I wanted to learn the language. We had plans with Yann. Breton just came along. Is it the same for you, Yann? Did the Breton come easily? Easily, I wouldn’t say that. We worked hard for six months at Stumdi. Learning Breton is a real job. It was an easy choice. You play all over the world. Yann is always on the move. You speak good English. Your website is only in English. No words in French. You write and sing in English. You meet people from all over the world. Yet you wanted to learn Breton. What does Breton bring you? A lot! The meaning of place names. The link with the land. The Breton’s link with the land is strong. I don’t know what to say. Are you looking at Brittany through new glasses in the last six months? With glasses! What you didn’t see before. I’m near-sighted. Myopic without the Breton. I’m already nearsighted and even more so without the Breton. What did the Breton bring you, Emilie? We played abroad. It didn’t make much sense. to say I’m not French without being able to say it in Breton. It was high time that I learn Breton. Yann, you say: I’m not French, I’m Breton. I’m just saying that, but it’s true. It’s obvious. People’s mentality is different in France and Brittany. The language shows the character of the people. To learn the language is to understand this character. And understanding who we are. You say that by dint of travelling, to play all over the world, you asked yourself, who am I? What is my difference in character? The adventure with the mountain lion, that was it. Who am I? What am I doing on my bike in California? It’s a question that comes up when you travel. Who am I? You’re far away, you must know where you’re from. We’re no different. I work with Scotsmen, people from the Faroe Islands… From London too. This is something else. Big cities… We can talk about anything. We’re close. In terms of mentality. Learning Breton creates a bond with them. Sounds weird. We speak English together with a friend from the Faroe Islands But our history is a little bit the same. They’ve relearned their language. Who are you really? We will know more on Emilie Quinquis and Yann Tiersen tonight, on your Brittany, on your music. You are first of all musicians. We’re going to listen to Yann Tiersen, a tune from the “Infinity” album. You made an hour-long video clip of it. It’s filmed in a lighthouse in Ushant. How beautiful! I’m all moved. It’s like a dream. A bit mystical even. I don’t know, it’s… It’s at the Museum of Lighthouses and Beacons. The whole point was to put the music on the internet. I figured, I’m gonna go listen to the record with people. What inspires you in general? What are your influences? Amélie Poulain’s movie made you famous. A very popular movie. It’s about Paris. With music composed in Ushant. It wasn’t composed for the film in the first place. On the one hand there’s this, on the other hand you play in classical venues. That’s a first. What music influences you? What do you like to listen to? I’m a child of the eighties. – Electronic music? – Electronic music? Yes! Punk too. In today’s music? Electronic music. You compose a lot in Ushant. Why is that? I don’t know, it’s… The island inspires me. How did you get in touch with Ushant? My father died when I was young. I have a lot of memories about Ushant. We lived in Brest. I feel very close to Ushant. You bought a house in Ushant. You spend a lot of time there. You compose there. You have a real studio in Ouessant. What do you like there? It’s very easy to work there. I feel close to the land. I have real friends there. You lived in Paris for a long time too. You couldn’t compose in Paris. No, I couldn’t compose in Paris. Do you know why I couldn’t? I need to be outside. Somewhere open. I don’t like cities at all. Someplace open. A man and an island. Yann Tiersen is from Ushantine. Corinne ar Mero and Gaëlle Bleunven went to see him on the other side of Fromveur. This is Penn ar Roc’h, one of my favorite places. There used to be a dump here. There was no one here. The contrast is great. It smelled bad. Now it’s a little paradise. A lot of ideas come to me here. I did a piece for piano for Ushant. Its name: “Penn ar Roc’h”. I recorded the sound of the sea outside with a wire, just like that. All over the place. I’ve got them from ten places in Ushant. These ten piano pieces, this is the first volume some kind of musical map of Ushant. It’s the same melody as the piano. A sort of transformation of the sounds of Ushant. It’s a multi-part synth. You can link them together. This part is in Breton. A friend of mine made it. The name of this distortion is “strakal brulu”… That’s great. The name here is “touell skouarn”. This friend of mine sold synth parts at “Mode Dispatch.” When I told my friends that I was going to do the Stumdi training, my foreign friends were very interested. That’s great! In France, it was different. It was more like, “This is fun.” Six months is a long time! We are at L’Escale. Once the nightclub of Ouessant. We had the right to build a studio there… and a concert venue. A place for exchanges on Breton music. To make Brittany travel, to make Breton music known. As much as American music for example. In my opinion, to understand the island of Ouessant you have to understand the language first. When I started learning Breton… the place suddenly became clearer. Little by little I discovered The meaning of place names. Language is also a way of expressing oneself, it’s the same in French or English. The people of Ushant speak Breton. even when they don’t talk about it. The French here is very Breton. That’s true, it is. We’re in Chateaulin at the Run ar Puñs. A special program dedicated to Yann Tiersen and Emilie Quinquis. You compose in English. And now also in Breton. You’ve never written in French? I once wrote in French. But I wasn’t good. What wasn’t good? I like French all the same. There’s a special accent in French. At the end of the word, at the beginning? It’s not clear. Does the music in Breton fit better with what you’re doing? Yes! Emilie, you didn’t sing in Breton… before your training at Stumdi. You sing in Breton now. What did you find in that language? Like Yann, I never wanted to write in French. When I released my first record everyone asked me: Why are you singing in English? And I said: Because I don’t speak Breton yet. I won’t be asked that question again. Breton gives a kind of flow. Like the flow of music. For me, French doesn’t give that. You only learned Breton six months ago. Well, congratulations, sir. You started music when you were young. To the “Vieilles Charrues”, to the “Transmusicales”. That’s where it all started for you. Yeah, thanks to the Young Plows and the Transmusicales. In 2012. Your music is different from Yann’s. Exactly. Exactly. We’ll see about that right away. You can go on stage. In the beginning, Emilie’s music didn’t really appeal to France. It was easier elsewhere. Why was that? I don’t know, it’s… For me, there’s the world and there’s France. What’s different? France is different. In what way? In a kind of pride. It’s difficult to make new music in France. Why is it easier in other countries? In France, concertgoers spend their time thinking what they’re gonna say about it after the show. What did you like or dislike? Oh, that’s right. – Is that French? – Yes, it’s French. Are we listening elsewhere? They put philosophy in it… Abroad, it’s easier. Yes, elsewhere you dance to the music. In Brittany it’s the same. Music is something simple. Music is made for dancing, to dream. To dream, for fun, to dance… We’re listening to Emilie Quinquis and Tiny Feet. On the stage of the Run ar Puñs in Chateaulin. Emilie Quinquis, Tiny Feet, on the Run ar Puñs stage in Chateaulin, for the Bec’h de’i show! A music different from Yann’s. Yes, simpler. It’s less technical. Emilie, you dragged Yann to Stumdi, but he dragged you to Ushant. You took the trouble to compose in Ushant. You find ideas there. You told Corinne ar Mero and Gaëlle Bleunven. It’s so quiet here that things just happen by themselves. Love helps me, too. I came to Ushant for love. Three years ago. I used to have an apartment in Rennes, then to Brest during training at Stumdi. My business followed me. They’re here now. I need all my equipment at every concert. A little too much sometimes. I recorded most of my next record. With this computer and this microphone. While looking out at the sea. I can see it a little bit from here. I live in Ushant. It gave me a serenity I didn’t have before. When I started music it was pretty violent. I couldn’t express myself any other way. Once here with Yann, everything has calmed down. Everything got colder. In a positive way. I used to get too involved. I didn’t distance myself from what I was doing. I didn’t know if it was right or wrong anymore. We’re in Kadoran, in the north of the island. The wildest place on the island. That’s why I love this place. It’s full of cliffs. It tells me where I’m from. I was born in Brest. I grew up in Kernilis, at the Folgoët. Most of my childhood I ran her over some cliffs. I was watching the sea from the cliffs. My brother and I were going to walk to Pointe St Mathieu. We played against the wind. We were leaning at the edge of the fall. I often looked at the sea and Ushant. For me it was the beginning of a journey, a dream. All these elements were found when I got here. Besides, my parents were married by the priest of Ushant. The Breton came to me from my grandmother, by my mother. Ugly came to me from my grandfather. by my father. All of his elements ended up here. I especially like it here. It’s really shaped me. Once this harmony was created, I had to express it. Music was the ideal way. The smile of Emilie Quinquis in Ouessant. Everything was done naturally in Ouessant, for you. Love, music, family, your mother, your father, your grandfather, your grandmother. – Life is amazing sometimes. – Yes, it can. You say you prefer to compose quietly in Ushant. Yet what you compose is modern, it’s pretty violent, pretty dark. It’s more urban than ugly, isn’t it? Like Yann I’ve been catalogued on images of Paris at night. I only lived in Rennes. In Rennes or Finistère. I never went past the Gravelle tollgate. I don’t know why I have this image. Some people put my music on images of Buenos Aires. You came naturally to play together? You have two very different worlds. They’re not so different. Yes, they are. Tell us what you think, Emilie? I trained myself in music. I can’t express everything I want to. in my music. Yann has an innate way to rapidly transmit from his brain to his fingers. We don’t work the same way. So I have to break new ground, but in my own way. Why did you want to play with Emilie? Love is a good reason. But apart from that? I like Emilie’s music, of course. Sometimes it’s easier to exchange ideas when we’re a couple. Well, not always. When one doesn’t go well, you find yourself playing music. Yeah, maybe we do. I’m not at all sure. We won’t go any further on the subject. I don’t have enough distance to say. Let’s listen to Yann and Emilie together. The name of the song: “Tuchenn Mikael”. That was beautiful! It was a pleasure listening to you together. Your music has changed recently. Did the Breton have something to do with it? Yes, I’m really starting to sing. I’m not afraid anymore. For my first record, I was a little ashamed. I wasn’t comfortable singing. During my training in Breton singing has become a daily fixture. I needed respect. Singing is important in my family. We learned these songs during the training. The attention paid to respecting these songs made me forget the shame. Forget the shame, thanks to the Breton. Your voice is good on your first record! How cute! Your voice is beautiful too. The Breton changed the way you work, the way you compose, in the choice of themes. It’s hard to say. My next record will be totally piano. Piano in Breton. Inspired by Breton, who knows! Nothing to do with music. I was surprised to see you on your bike. You’re a cycling fan. Since I was a child. To ride up and down the Monts d’Arrée. Cycling makes you feel free. Freer than playing the piano? When you’re a kid, the first time we ride a bike, the world is opening up to us. Another way to travel. Another rhythm. Another way to meet people. On a bike, you can get into an accident… Meeting a mountain lion for example. Or a truck. You have to be humble. The bike puts you in your place. As a human being. Yann Tiersen is no longer the star… who plays in Amsterdam, Vienna or Paris. But a man who sweats blood and water to keep his bike moving. This changes everything! We can talk to people. Last year, we took a bike tour of Norway. A woman had seen on Yann’s facebook that he was passing by her house. She put a sign on the road. Welcome to Yann Tiersen and his group for coffee. I don’t believe it. Normally we don’t stop at people’s houses. We did, by the looks of it. When you’re on your bike, you’re not alone. You’re being filmed. You’ve made a film out of it that we’ll be able to see soon. I suggest you see it. the trailer. See you soon. The music is by Yann Tiersen. You’re never quiet. You’re always being filmed. They’re friends. Did you bring any musical instruments? Did you bring a piano, a guitar? We had solar-powered batteries. We played in the wilderness. The idea was to play in the wilderness and invite people to the show. That was a first. Next summer, it’ll be from Scotland to Wales. Still in the wilderness. Or the pub. It’s better to be in Scotland! Any locals come to see you? In Norway, it was partly organized. Sami parties, for example. The Sami have their own culture. They have their own language. They are in the north of Norway. Also in Sweden, Finland, and a small part in Russia. We met some Sámi. At my side another cycling fan. André Ollivier, do you also have cameras and musical instruments with you? That happened once. My son Saig filmed me in Austria. One day. You received Yann Tiersen a few days ago. At your place or almost. My son Gwenole started his own brewery, to Plouider. His name: “Distribilh”. We speak Breton in general. I was raised Breton, so was Gwenole. There was always the same music. What do you put in the brewery? He only put Yann Tiersen on. During the day. I don’t work nights. Yann Tiersen’s coming to learn how to make beer. my son tells me. And learn Breton. The week went very well. They made beer during the day. I cooked in the evening. We’d get together around the table. Good food. Kig-ha-farz every day? All kinds of food. You were supposed to do an internship at Stumdi’s. Choosing a company or an association. Why a brewery? I’m a beer fan. A true Breton. I wanted to learn. To know how beer is made. How was your internship? In Breton and working. It was great with Andre’s meals! The course, the meals or the beer, which did he prefer? Speaking in Breton. Dédé showed me pictures of his bike trip. What did you think when you saw Yann Tiersen while you were listening to his music all the time? It’s no problem. Yann is simple. Back home, he wasn’t a great artist… but a very simple man. He wanted to learn Breton, make beer. He made a special beer for the end of July. You weren’t surprised to see him learn Breton. His parents didn’t speak Breton. Breton was absent from his family, from school. He suddenly decided to learn our language. It didn’t come all of a sudden. Emilie said something important. Even someone who didn’t learn Breton when she was young, just because you were born in a country where there’s a language, it counts. A language can’t be completely forgotten. Even years later. Even centuries later. There’s always something left. From father to son. That’s what I liked. People are coming back to Breton. They feel a lack. Emilie says she prefers to create in Breton than in French. Some people should ask themselves why. When you see their contempt for the Breton language… when it was their parents’ language. It’s an important thing to take away from this show. Well said! Yann is very well known. In many countries. He learned Breton. He speaks Breton. And says it everywhere. For young people, for those who are learning or know Breton, like you and me. It’s a strong symbol to see someone famous claim it. To see famous people learn Breton, it’s a strong symbol. Others may think, why not me? He did it in spite of his occupations. He took six months out of his time. Congratulations! Congratulations! That feels good. It gives hope for the future of the Breton. We must mention it. It’s no coincidence that this magazine talked about it. Others too. X-rays. Even on France Inter. You’ve become a symbol for the Breton. You are a person known and respected for your music. You make our language travel. You’re proud to know Breton. You’ve become a symbol, haven’t you? It’s better to ignore it sometimes. As I was saying, he’s a simple person, I’m not sure she likes it. It’s not his style. Do you know a little about Yann’s music? I discovered it at the brewery. What do you think of it? When he played the piano, I found myself elsewhere. Like when we ride a bike, sometimes we go to another world. We’re just about to leave again. To a world still unknown. Emilie with Tiny Feet will sing for us: The Walls of the Sea We’ll listen to Yann again. With a track “ar maen bihan”, in an unreleased clip. The clip was filmed in Norway. How was it filmed? During our trip, on a mountain. In a fjord. We were alone. With a piano, a synthesizer. And Lionel on the guitar. You filmed for the beauty of the place? It was done by feeling. After a difficult climb. You gave us a great gift. The clip hasn’t been released yet. Let’s watch “ar maen bihan”. The place is beautiful, the music too. You wrote in Breton, Emilie. before your training at Stumdi. How did you come up with the idea? Yann wanted Icelandic and Faroese on the CD. Why put Faroese and Icelandic, not Breton! I said I wanted Breton. We had to find someone to write with. I suggested my uncle. I went to see him. He refused. He helped me write the text. The text was translated in English, in Icelandic. The text is said in three languages. There are two songs: “ar maen bihan” and “Stein”. Laors Landat has been singing in Breton for a long time. What do you think of Yann and Emilie’s career path? I slept part of the way. It’s moving and interesting. I said it earlier. It’s good to hear you. You sang in Breton in Scandinavia, in front of a crowd of people. You’re saying we should publicize what’s being done here. Export Breton music. Yes, because it’s rich. I talked about American music, I was thinking traditional, country. Breton music, the Kan ha Diskan… It is of a great richness. She’s not very well known. There’s a lot to do. I don’t know why the Breton culture is not known. The shame of the Bretons too. Laors, you’ve just come back from a big trip to the United States. For what purpose? An organization of Breizh-Amerika Collective. A tour in 2016. Conferences were held in the morning. In the afternoon, for the feast of Brittany, shows. Traditional music in the evenings. Gavotte, dañs round for the Americans. First up north to Detroit. We got quite a reception. Especially in Louisiana. What kind of reception did you get? You introduced Brittany and Breton. How do they see us? Like some kind of Indian? In the north. we were a region of France. Brittany was presented to them like the west of France. A little weird at first. Then they discovered our dances, the history of our language. the history of Brittany. Charles Kergaravat explained it all very well. He explained a little bit about the specificity of Brittany. In Louisiana, it was different. They understand the minority fact. Relationships were easy there, like between friends or cousins. A French-speaking minority. How many French speakers in Louisiana? Around two hundred thousand. Like Breton. The situations are similar. I have a silly question. What does the Breton get out of this kind of touring? Why talk about the Breton language to Americans? To show them the cultural diversity in Europe. We also have prejudices about America. Indians, blacks, blues, country… Europe for them is Paris, France, the Eiffel Tower and I don’t know what else. They’re interested in the languages of Europe. They’re interested in Celtic music, it’s the music of Ireland or Scotland. They were amazed to see us. We do things in Breton. What’s Breton? On the old continent they speak a Celtic language. At our end of the world we save a language that gives us ideas and dreams, …a desire to dance, and wanting to be ourselves. What do you think Yann and Emilie? Laors went to the United States with other Bretons to talk about our little country. But a country all the same. It’s sad, actually, we need to talk about promoting the Breton language in America. The promotion is therefore not effective. If it worked… we wouldn’t talk about it. So somebody’s got to do it. It’s great what you did. I didn’t follow your trip. I’m finding out with you. Well, we gotta go. It’s good to talk about the Breton but we have to do something about it. Music is one hell of a tool to make the language travel. Yes, it certainly is. You also act when you sing in Breton in Norway or elsewhere. The future is this kind of action. It’s very rich. It’s the history of the world, all our languages and cultures. The future is decentralized, it’s local, and travel to trade. Like you said. it’s also a chance to connect. For example, we worked with a jazzman. For the anecdote, he worked with Beyonce. He loved the gavotte, the rhythm of the Breton dances. Beyonce could sing a gavotte tune. Maybe, thanks to Alex Asher. Connecting and showing that we can exchange with the whole world with and for the Breton. Personally, what did this trip bring you? A lot of things. I wasn’t born in Brittany, I’ve been there for seventeen years. I have roots everywhere, a bit like Yann. My family is from the north. Like when I arrived in Brittany, I found a family atmosphere. Especially in Louisiana. I met some great people… It was very easy to share our cultures. Everyone talked about their experiences. This trip was a real gift. Diwan allowed me to leave my schoolboys alone. for ten days. Travel allows you to take the time to talk to people and understand their experiences. What they have to put up with, their dreams. That’s the wealth of the world. It’s worth it… to travel and meet people. All the richness of our world. You sang in America, and here now. Laors Landat in Bec’h De’hi. The show’s coming to an end. You have plans for the future. The biggest one in Wesssant. At L’Escale. An old nightclub. What do you want to do with it? A studio to receive artists. To record, compose. Especially to make a youth centre. For the youth of the island. There will be a recording studio, a concert hall. Anything is possible. We’ll be able to record concerts there, rehearse and record, create workshops for children, for college. I’d like to make a tray for the College of the Ponant Islands. In two or three years. I hope so. Fascinating! You want to give something to the island that welcomed you. It’s more like a trade. Other projects, Emilie. With us, Klet Beyer and Kristen Falc’hon. Artists and musicians. They are part of Chapi Chapo. You have common projects. Klet and Kristen, tell us more. We were with Chapi Chapo. We were making instrumental music. Without a singer. I was singing a song on stage. Apparently people liked it. We wanted someone who sings and writes. To sing with us. We found Emilie. She agreed to collaborate with us. What do you think, Emilie? We haven’t started yet. Early next week. We’ll look for a common path. For me it’s a first, working with an existing group. I have to write what they want me to write. That would be great. I’ve met them all already. The goal is to make a CD, a concert? A gig at the Invisible Festival. In November in Brest. At La Carène. September 18th, I think. Soon! These two dates are sure. Then we’ll see. I think there’ll be other concerts. I’m waiting to see. I saw Emilie on stage at Vauban in 2012. I enjoyed it very much. What did you like? Her energy. The result was very good. I also follow the work of Chapi-Chapo. I really like playing with images. I’m more of a camera person. Chapi Chapo’s music is pictorial. I learned that the two had a project together. I thought: “So cool!” I asked permission to follow them by making myself very small. I want to see that. It’s creation, in Breton, with several people. Three important words for me. And also for them. I’d like to tell this story. Creation in Breton. We’ll do our best. The songs will be in English and Breton. I think there are three Brittany speakers. And one who would like to learn. He’s from Burgundy. We’ll collaborate in Breton. With the idea of writing. The interest of this project for me is the creation of today’s music in Breton or English. Singing in Breton is a way of showing that we can do something other than traditional Breton. You can write contemporary in Breton. Other groups do it. It’s important to show that we are living today. And then a tour of Europe. Anywhere. Chapi Chapo is in China right now. New Yann in September. A new Cd : “Eusa”. A trip to the island. A musical map of the island. The goal was to list places on the island. I made a piano piece for each place. With the sound of the wind and the sea. Emilie took pictures of the places. I recorded noises. And I made a piano piece for each one. I also use those noises on stage. I modified the sounds with my modular synthesizer. To make funny noises. You work meticulously on each sound. The CD comes out in September. You can already subscribe to it digitally. A CD and a vinyl. Of course you can. The sound is better on vinyl. I don’t really like the sound of the CD. Mp3 is good for travelling. You can subscribe to the vinyl. On the website Yann Tiersen.com. A piece of this record. Yann Tiersen.bzh To finish a piece of this record. Enez Nein One of the places in Ushant. Yann Tiersen, right away, time for him to get to the piano. Thank you to everyone who helped us make this show. Thanks to the Run ar Puñs in Chateaulin who hosted us. To finish “Enez Nein” by Yann Tiersen.