Cairns are small piles of stones found in the mountains. They serve as landmarks or paths to follow for those who venture there, and each passerby is expected to add his or her stone to the mound. This reflects what we wish to achieve: to bring about, through our concerts, the sensation of a listening path ; to create cohesion between utterly diverse types of music, reflecting the bond uniting all members of the ensemble ; to concieve musical programmes that are autonomous objects, artworks in themselves.
Founded in 1998, Ensemble Cairn strives to highlight and enhance the music of our time. Attentive to a precise rendering of both ensemble and chamber music, Ensemble Cairn enriches its repertoire by confronting it to other musical aesthetics (earlier classical music, jazz and improvised music, traditional music…) or art forms (circus, fine arts, dance, literature, video…).
Ensemble Cairn’s artistic collaborations comprise artists and composers from various horizons: composers such as Gérard Pesson, Philippe Leroux, Tristan Murail, the jazzmen Marc Ducret, John Hollenbeck, Jozef Dumoulin, the Fado singer Cristina Branco, the videographer Pierre Nouvel, the choreographers Alban Richard and Hervé Robbe, the circus artist Sylvain Julien, the painter Raphaël Thierry...
The ensemble regularly performs in France’s Scènes Nationales (Besançon, Arras-Douai, Orléans, Blois, Bourges, Quimper) and abroad. It has also been invited to numerous festivals in France and internationally : Festival Présences de Radio France, Festival Manifeste (Ircam), Festival d’Automne, Abbaye de Royaumont, Festival Musica, Ferienkurse (Germany), Tage fûr Neue Musik (Zurich), Villa Medici (Rome), Borealis (Norvège), Archipel (Genève), Festival Spring, Festival Sonik, Prague Quadrennial.
Comprising eleven musicians, Ensemble Cairn is directed by Jérôme Combier (artistic direction) and Guillaume Bourgogne (conductor). It is artist in residence at the Orleans Theatre (Scène nationale) and receives the support of the French Ministry of Culture and the Centre-Val de Loire Region.