Nomadic Night

Ictus & Guests

Strings and Organ (pieces by Jürg Frey and Ellen Arkbro)

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

About the event


String quartet: Ictus Ensemble

Organ: Hampus Lindwall

Composers and pieces:

- Jürg Frey (born in 1953), String Quartet N° 2 (2000), with amplified voices

- Ellen Arkbro (born in 1990), Chordalities (2019), for pipe organ

- Hampus Lindwall (born in 1976), Brace for Impact (2020), for organ and string quartet

The Ictus Ensemble – which voluntarily describes itself as a contemporary music band and undertakes impressive collaborations with diverse artists, from Georges Aperghis and Joris Lacoste to Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker – has dreamed up a unique program for this Nomadic Night: a string quartet, an organ, three pieces. Spectators are invited for a sound exploration in each individual piece and the interactions among them.

For this concert, Ictus is bringing together an amplified string quartet as well as Jean-Baptiste Monnot’s modular “Travel Organ” – a monster in a kit composed of 350 pipes, developed with the help of an aeronautic engineer. The event features three exceptional composers infrequently seen in Paris: Jürg Frey, Ellen Arkbro and Hampus Lindwall. The word “minimalism” is evoked here, “but returned to its original radicality, a legacy of the 1960s, detached from the temptations of wellness music,” in the words of Ictus.

On the program:

Jürg Frey’s String Quartet N°2 – explicitly influenced by John Cage – is one of the most impressive works in contemporary minimalism. The music is as simple as it is radical, both sensitive and contemplative, in which a certain quality of silence prevails. But “the serenity of a sumptuous harmonic discourse doesn’t keep the music from slowly splitting in two, as though it were invaded by its shadow,” Ictus explains. This quartet uses strange bow techniques, leading each chord to resemble a long breath that mingles with the murmuring voices of the singers, making for a clamorous silence.

The young composer Ellen Arkbro proposes sound experiences that linger in the memory. “It’s gaseous, wonderful music that lets your mind shape it as you please, like watching big clouds and discovering dinosaurs,” Pitchfork has said of her work. Combining classic modernism, studio electronic and experimental club music, in her work she looks to intervals in harmony and seeks out accuracy of intonation. As Ictus describes, “minimalism as practiced by Arkbro always evokes a certain psychoacoustics dimension: bare chords, distended in time, grainy in texture, lead to the emergence of a world of random micro-details and physical disturbances”. Her music sounds at once highly modern and archaic, slightly abrasive and completely trippy. Her piece Chordalities, centered around four long, sustained organ chords, plunges us into an extended musical tracking shot, attentive to a body of sound in perpetual evolution.

Brace for Impact by Hampus Lindwall – groundbreaking composer and virtuoso organist who regularly collaborates with artists such as Cory Arcangel and Mauro Lanza – combines string quartet and organ for one last musical round. In this new version of the piece inspired by 1990s heavy metal and techno cultures, the saturated electric guitars are replaced by strings. This last piece is a face-off between organ and strings, Brace for Impact!

Practical information


Regular admission
12€ (13€ onsite)
Reduced admission

Conditions of reduced admission.

Students, "carte Senior", "carte famille nombreuse", unemployed, Maison des Artistes.

8€ (9€ onsite)

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Additional information

Estimated duration: 50 minutes.

Doors open at 18h30 for the first concert at 19h, and at 20h30 for the second one at 21h.

Seated places, in respect of the current sanitary measures.

The Nomadic Nights events begin at the time indicated: latecomers will only be allowed entry if this does not disturb the performance.

The exhibition Damien Hirst. Cherry Blossoms is not open to the public during the Nomadic Nights events.

In compliance with the current sanitary measures, lockers cannot be used.


To protect your health and limit the potential transmission of the virus, we ask you to respect the following protective measures in our exhibition spaces.

A mask is obligatory for all those over the age of 6 in all spaces of the Fondation Cartier, including the garden. Please come equipped with your own mask.

Disinfect your hands on a regular basis. Hand sanitizers are available throughout our exhibition spaces. Toilets are available on the lower level if you wish to wash your hands.

Please respect the minimum distance of 1 meter with the other visitors.

Cough or sneeze into the crook of your arm or a tissue.

Use a tissue once and throw it away. Trashcans are available at the entrance to the Fondation Cartier, in the garden, and in the toilet on the lower level.