Nomadic Night

Alexis Paul, Alessandro Sciarroni and folk choirs from the Caucasus to the Atlantic

Voci dal Mondo Reale #Paris

Location: Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, view access map
Prices and conditions

About the event

With: Chœur de l’Ensemble Dynamique (France), Cuncordu e Tenore de Orosei (Italy), Gorda & Nino Nakeuri (Georgia), Júlia Lerner (Hungary), Sopa de Pedra (Portugal), Tighri Uzar (Algeria)
Artistic direction: Alexis Paul and Alessandro Sciarroni
Choirmaster: Oussama Mhanna
A Nomadic Nights production by the Fondation Cartier

Un’esperienza estatica” (“An ecstatic experience”) – ArteTribune, November 22, 2022.

Created in November 2022 for the Mondo Reale exhibition at the Triennale Milano, the Voci dal Mondo Reale Nomadic Night is presented in an adapted version here at the Fondation Cartier, Paris. Under the artistic direction of musician and composer Alexis Paul and choreographer Alessandro Sciarroni, traditional folk choirs from the Caucasus mountains to the Atlantic Ocean will perform against the backdrop of the Ron Mueck exhibition, as well as in the Fondation’s garden, with a repertoire of songs exploring love, exile, nature, and resistance. This remarkable evening gives pride of place to the human voice as a unique and ancestral instrument.

In popular music, nothing is written down, everything is transmitted orally. To access this knowledge, one must meet those who are its witnesses and guardians.” – Alexis Paul.

Voci dal Mondo Reale (Voices from the Real World) was commissioned by the Nomadic Nights for the Fondation Cartier’s Mondo Reale exhibition, presented as part of the 23rd Triennale Milano International Exhibition. Created on November 11, 2022 in collaboration with musician and composer Alexis Paul and choreographer Alessandro Sciarroni, this performance successfully rose to the challenge of bringing together ten choirs (some one hundred singers) who did not know each other, from various countries and linguistic horizons, with the aim of creating a unique moment. Their involvement was overwhelming, and they met with an extremely warm reception from the Milanese public.

Even if these songs are several centuries old, they still speak to me. As if they had a secret to reveal to me about myself.” – Alessandro Sciarroni.

Faithful to their heritage or sometimes revisiting them, the guest choirs perform music about love, nature, exile, and resistance. These popular songs sung daily during secular or sacred rituals tell the story of the human condition. They also testify to another history of borders as some of these are not connected to a contemporary nation-state.

“Voci dal Mondo Reale are voices that we may have forgotten. I like the idea that if we want to understand the future, we need to listen to the past.” – Alexis Paul.

We are delighted to recreate this performance, in a version adapted for the Ron Mueck exhibition and the garden of the Fondation Cartier, featuring six choirs (over forty male and female singers) from the regions of Kakhetia and Mingrelia in Georgia, Transylvania, Sardinia, Kabylia in Algeria, the Azores, and the Île-de-France region. For the first time, under the direction of choirmaster Oussama Mhanna, the choirs will interpret a few songs from each other’s repertoire.


Alexis Paul is a French composer, musician and cultural player. His work is determined by a homogeneous form of poetic intentions. He focuses more particularly on music as a “tool” and his most recent projects revolve around using a street organ, through which he has collaborated in many countries with traditional musicians as well as all kinds of sound artists. His compositions and productions, between folk and contemporary music, lead him to perform in national museums, art foundations and contemporary music venues. In 2019 he created for a Nomadic Night at Fondation Cartier Paris, as part of the exhibition Metamorphosis. Art in Europe Now, a special version of the project Orgue-Paysage, by inviting traditional musicians.

Alessandro Sciarroni is an Italian artist active in the field of performing arts with several years of experience in visual arts and theater research. His works are featured in contemporary dance and theater festivals, museums and art galleries, as well as in unconventional spaces and involve professionals from different disciplines. In 2019 he was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement in Dance by the Venice Bienniale. He is associate artist at Triennale Milano Teatro and at CENTQUATRE-Paris. In 2019, he participated in a Nomadic Night at Fondation Cartier Paris, presenting Save the last dance for me. His choreography FOLK-S will you still love me tomorrow? was one of the twenty dances during the Nomadic Night by Boris Charmatz at Triennale Milano, in 2021.

Created in 1995, the vocal ensemble Cuncordu e Tenore de Orosei occupies a place of prominence in the interpretation of the vast panorama of traditional Sardinian music. Interpreters are traditional singers originating from Orosei. A cuncordu (“cum cordis”) – “cuncordos” in Sardinian – refers to concord, harmony, and faithfulness. The group’s repertoire encompasses both forms of Orosei’s vocal tradition. That of sacred “a cuncordu” singing – typical of religious confraternities (songs of the Passion of Christ) – and the secular and ancestral one linked to the countryside: “canto a tenore”. These singing traditions have been included in UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Ensemble Dynamique is a musical creation project created in 2020 by the young Lebanese conductor Oussama Mhanna with a group of international musicians, singers and composers, students or freshly graduated from the best music conservatories in Europe. It is based on an instrumental and vocal ensemble with variable geometry which constitutes a field of experimentation with the aim of raising public awareness of the aesthetics of contemporary music. The Chœur (choir) is the new creation of the Ensemble Dynamique, its purpose is to develop transdisciplinary projects in collaboration with artists from diverse, traditional or modern, backgrounds.

The Gorda ensemble was founded in 2016 in Tbilisi in Georgia. Their repertoire features folk songs from different parts of Georgia and includes traditional church chants and Georgian instrumental music. Their musical work aims to popularize traditional Georgian folk songs especially among the younger generation. The ensemble has recently released its first album which includes Georgian traditional folk songs from different parts of the country.

Nino Nakeuri was born in Georgia and brought up in a musical family. She took part in many international festivals in Georgia and abroad. In Georgia, she is known as one of the most famous Eastern Georgian folklore artist, and a rare woman Garmoni (accordion) performer.

Júlia Lerner is an Hungarian folk music student at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in Budapest. She is performing folk music in its original, pure form, making sure that the message and beauty of yesterday reaches the audience of today. Her folk songs continue the traditions of the past, but their message is timeless: the joy of living, the sadness of losses and the lessons learned. Trough the old style songs from the Hungarian language area, including Moldva and Transylvania, she sings about love, the connections between life and death, soldiery and belonging to a homeland, about the experience of being human

Sopa de Pedra is a woman musical research group. Through polyphonic arrangements of traditional Portuguese music, it explores the richness of the traditional legacy, referring it to the context of today’s world music. Like the folktale that gives them their name, Sopa de Pedra (“Stone Soup”) takes multiple forms. Their repertoire includes music of oral transmission, from Mirandese songs from Trás-os-Montes, Azores ballads, adufe (quadrangular membranophone tambourin), players’ songs from Beira Baixa to Cante Alentejano as well as the repertoire of Zeca Afonso, Amélia Muge and João Lóio. In 2017, Sopa de Pedra released its first album – ao longe já se ouvia (“listen from afar”) while their second one, Do Claro ao Breu, came out in 2022.

Tighri Uzar is a group of Algerian women from Yakouren who performs traditional Kabyle songs a cappella. Their work is part of a process of oral transmission and preservation of this ancient heritage. These songs express love, joy, and the status of women in a society marked by a patriarchal system. The ensemble has taken part in many cultural events related to Yennayer (the Berber new year celebrations), the Berber Spring and women’s rights.

Born in Lebanon, Oussama Mhanna is a choral and orchestral conductor based in Paris, France. A graduate of the École Normale de Musique de Paris and the Accademia Direttori di Coro di Palermo, he is often called upon to conduct either classical music or contemporary interdisciplinary artistic projects. He is the co-founder and musical director of Ensemble Dynamique, a Paris-based collective of international composers and musicians whose work focuses on the creation of contemporary music.

Practical information

Additional information

Estimated duration: 2h.
Doors open at 6:30pm. Spectators are free to arrive whenever they wish between 6:30pm and 8:30pm.
Free access to the Ron Mueck exhibition spaces and the garden where the performance takes place.

This event will be filmed by the Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain teams for distribution on our digital communication platforms and those of third parties authorized by us. The audience may appear in the produced content. If a person appears in the produced content and wishes to be removed, please contact the Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain at