French musician Yann Tiersen, generally inclined toward the rich storytelling abilities of the piano, has released a new book of sheet music called EUSA. Each of the book’s ten pieces is based on a different location on Ushant (or Eusa, in Breton), an island off the coast of Brittany where Tiersen currently lives. “Ushant is more than just a home – it’s a part of me,” Tiersen explains in the press release. “The idea was to make a map of the island and, by extension, a map of who I am. To begin with I chose ten locations on the island and made a series of field recordings at each of them. The pieces of piano music I then went on to write are named after these locations, and the sheet music for each piece is accompanied by a GPS coordinate and a photograph of the site taken by Emilie Quinquis.”
Tiersen shared the track “Porz Goret” and an accompanying video to preface the release. The field recording is set in the bucolic Ushant moors, amidst which Tiersen is performing on a misplaced upright piano. The piece reflects the spirit of what is perhaps Tiersen’s best-known composition, “Comptine d`un autre ete – l`apres-midi”, the main theme from his score for the brilliant French film, Amelie. Tiersen shapes poignant characters with his lilting right-hand melodies while forging rich harmonic progressions with the left. As always, his music is devastatingly beautiful.