Photo: Mixt(e) magazine

Kyrie Kristmanson / Warhol Dervish Quartet

Modern Ruin


Ottawa-born singer and composer Kyrie Kristmanson discovered the Trobairitz (women troubadous) of the 12th and 13th centuries while studying at La Sorbonne. While traveling off the beaten path in France, she discovered the practically disintegrated ruins of Medieval forts where there these educated and sophisticated women would have written their mostly lost works. Works that constitute the first autonomous artistic output made by women in the West.

The songs on Modern Ruin emerged from artistic production residencies in the abbeys of Noirlac and Fontevraud, two locations heavily imbued with history and myth. The result is a unique musical creation thaht kaleidoscopically references Joni Mitchell, Dead Can Dance, the Kronos Quartet, Malicorne, and Cat Power. Modern Ruin reveals an unexpected continuity between the freedom of these few women in the Middle Ages and artists working now, evoking an almost supenatural connection between women of the 12th and 21st centuries. 

On stage, she will be accompanied by the Warhol Dervish Quartet (John Corban, Emily Redhead, Pemi Paull, Jean-Christophe Lizotte), an unorthodox Montreal-based chamber music collective bringing together some of the most interesting and creative musicians in Canada.


Created and performed by
  • Kyrie Kristmanson
Warhol Dervish Quartet : Violins: John Corban and Emily Redhead, Viola : Pemi Paull, Cello : Jean-Christophe Lizotte

Kyrie Kristmanson is a Canadian singer/songwriter, trumpet player, and guitarist working in the Neofolk genre from a young age. Her first album, Origin of Stars explored the vibrations of her Great North homeland’s hidden history. The Canadian-made debut was released globally through NØ FØRMAT! / Universal France in 2010, further confirming the warm reception her work had received locally.  The tour that followed earned her early international recognition, and gave her the opportunity to play in Europe, and particularly the south of France, where an ineterest in the histories imbued in old stone brought to visit the ruins of medieval castles. These crumbling castles, former fortresses of the Occitan nobility, led her to retrace the incomplete histories of the medieval Trobairises, the first women composers known to history. She then enrolled at La Sorbonne to study this musical heritage, and in 2013, defended her master’s thesis dedicated to the reconstruction of their lost songs. Kristmanson authored a song cycle inspired by the repertoire, released in her second opus, Modern Ruin. The new album was recorded with a string quartet using arrangements for strings and voice by Clément Ducol (see: Camille, Christophe, Vincent Delerm) at the Noirlac Abbey with the internationally acclaimed Voce Quartet. Her fantastical extrapolation of the remnants of Trobairises’ material was co-produced by Maxime le Guil (known for Morissey, CocoRosie, and Vincent Delerm) and released on label Naïve in 2015. Modern Ruin was met with universal acclaim as being the most “audacious and unusual contribution to the independent music scene of the year.”

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«Kyrie's direct yet otherworldly style seems like folk music from some isolated mountain or urban canyon. It will take you places you've never been»



« Kyrie Kristmanson construit pièce par pièce une œuvre transcendant le temps et l’espace. Par sa démarche artistique aussi envoûtante qu’elle s’avère à contre-courant, l’Ottavienne de souche rend hommage à ces femmes éprises de liberté, brûlantes de désirs, pionnières de la chanson, les trobaïritz ayant été, aux XIIe et XIIIe siècles les premières auteures-compositrices [...] Kyrie Kristmanson propose un fascinant univers musical érigé autour de sa voix habitée par des accents intemporels, dont elle joue habilement tel un instrument à part entière. »



«Ce disque hors du temps, enregistré sous les voûtes gothiques de l’abbaye de Noirlac, dans le Berry, séduit par son atmosphère magique et l’envoûtement de la voix de Kyrie Kristmanson.»



«De ces odes à l’amour profane, Kyrie Kristmanson perpétue l’esprit, audacieux et lyrique. Convoquant le fantôme d’Aliénor d’Aquitaine, protectrice des trobaïritz (troubador au féminin), elle y ajoute une pointe de féerie : sa présence gracile, sa fraîcheur enchante.»

– Anne Berthod, TÉLÉRAMA