Since 2007, Sixtrum has ceaselessly explored the universe of contemporary percussion. Through dozens of collaborations with Canadian and international composers and ensembles, hundreds of concerts for audiences of all ages on local, national and international stages, thousands of hours of rehearsal playing millions of notes, the ensemble has established a signature in Montreal and abroad. This signature reflects the ensemble’s area of expertise– contemporary percussion – and their creative approach to performing music in concert. Together, the multi-talented percussionists of Sixtrum , João Catalão, Julien Grégoire, Philip Hornsey, Kristie Ibrahim, Fabrice Marandola and Olivier Tremblay-Noël, endeavour to renew their artistic universe through constant interaction with other musical genres and other forms of expression on stage.
Interpreters of existing repertoire, as well as composers and creators of original new works, Sixtrum has commissioned 30 Canadian premieres, and presented 40 World premieres and 15 Canadian premieres. Sixtrum regularly performs the iconic works of John Cage or Iannis Xenakis, Mauricio Kagel or Steve Reich, yet often collaborates as co-creators on innovative projects and composes for their own productions (How Great Turtle Rebuilt the World, Ligeti de père en fils, 6D, or the more recent D’Aure et de pluie and a new show for young audiences, Archipel). Sixtrum frequently joins forces with director Michel G. Barrette, transforming concerts into seamless “spectacles” (Exotica, How Great Turtle Rebuilt the World, Histoire de Gestes, 6D – Six Dimensions of Percussion, Batèches, Rythmopolis).
Sixtrum regularly collaborates with orchestras and other Québec and international contemporary music ensembles, such as the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, I Musici, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, the Société de Musique Contemporaine du Québec, Sacré Tympan, Evergreen Club Contemporary Gamelan (Toronto), Percussions Claviers de Lyon (France) and Ju Percussion Group (Taiwan). The ensemble has also collaborated with dance and theatre companies O’Vertigo, Tableau d’hôte, and Black Theatre Workshop.
While exploring new possibilities within the universe of contemporary percussion, Sixtrum eagerly experiments with new technologies for original projects with other ensembles and organisations. The ensemble has presented many of these projects at festivals in Canada and abroad: Elektra, Mutek, Montreal Nouvelles Musiques, Printemps des Arts de Monte-Carlo (France), Jacob’s Pillow (USA). Sixtrum has also performed the opening night concert for the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in San Antonio (USA) in 2015, for an audience of 1500 percussionists from around the world.
Sixtrum has received numerous prestigious prizes and nominations, including a Coup de Coeur – Contemporary Music from the Académie Charles Cros in 2017 (CD De la percussion), a Prix Opus from the Conseil Quebecois de la musique for Creation of the Year (2014) for Le Rêve de Grégoire by P. Michaud (Chants Libres, SMCQ, Quasar, Bozzini, Sixtrum ), a Prix Arrimages Sixtrum from the Jeune chambre de commerce de Montréal (2011) for Lumières!, and two Montreal English Theatre Awards for ”Outstanding Contribution to Theatre’‘ and ”Outstanding PACT Production” for the creation and performance of the music for the theatre production Angélique in 2018 (Tableau d’hôte/Black Theatre Workshop). Most recently Sixtrum was awarded Prix Opus Concert of the Year – Modern and Contemporary Music for the Grand Concert du 30e anniversaire du NEM (2018-19), Prix Opus Musical Event of the Year for original production Rythmopolis (2018-19) and Prix Opus Creation of the Year for Les Espaces Physiques (2023).