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Trance-figured Night with Dal Niente and Murat Çolak

A collaboration between Ensemble Dal Niente and the Boston-based Turkish composer Murat Çolak on a new piece for ensemble and electronics

The Latest Update

Video Recording and Interview with Emma Hospelhorn

Posted on March 30, 2017 by Murat Çolak

Hello again,

I’m excited to share the video of the premiere performance of SWAN.

This is the final update to our collaborative project. Hope you’ve been enjoying what you saw/heard. 

If you wanna know more about SWAN and how it came to life you might be interested in reading the interview I made with Emma Hospelhorn of Dal Niente: 



More Updates ▼


Posted on March 21, 2017 by Murat Çolak

I and Ensemble Dal Niente are very excited to share the recording of the premiere performance of SWAN.

The premiere was part of Hard Music Hard Liquor curated by Ensemble Dal Niente. It was the closing event to the Chicago-based Frequency Series Festival.

Thanks again to the NewMusicUSA for the generous support. Further documentation is to come!



Posted on February 12, 2017 by Murat Çolak

Very excited for the premiere of SWAN next week at The Constellation!

Enjoy the trailer!

February 19th at the Constellation Chicago

Posted on January 14, 2017 by Murat Çolak

Many thanks, again, to Ensemble Dal Niente and New Music USA!

Looking forward to seeing you at the Constellation Chicago on February 19th!


Trance-figured Night is a project which involves the commissioning and performance of an ambitious new work for ensemble and electronics to be composed by the Boston-based Turkish composer Murat Çolak for the Chicago-based contemporary music collective Ensemble Dal Niente. The piece will receive its world premiere in Chicago on the February 2017 incarnation of its Hard Music, Hard Liquor series.

Why trance?

As passionate advocates for the most challenging music created in the 21st century, Ensemble Dal Niente presents and performs music in ways that redefine the listening experience and advance the art form. In Murat’s work, the listening experience takes the form of a trance-state reached via exposure to high-energy sounds and intense performance situations. Trance initiates performed listening. Concepts and sound-worlds Murat creates originate in the sacred chants of the İstanbul tilâvet tradition, repetitive drone music of Central Anatolia and underground electronic dance music of İstanbul’s (as well as Chicago’s) club scene. All these distinct musical cultures invite audiences to take part in a collective-trance-state either through performance in the form of singing, dancing or other types of performative listening.

Murat will be bringing these influences to bear in a 30-minute-long ‘trance piece’ for eight live performers involving amplified instruments, synthesizers, and fixed electronics to be realized by the noted performers of hard music, creating a night of sonic ecstasy.

Having worked for many years with American and European composers, Dal Niente now looks forward to extending its reach through collaborations with emerging artists of ever more diverse musical backgrounds and contributing to the evolution of concert music on a larger scale. After collaborating on performances and recording sessions of Murat’s earlier works, the Nientes and the composer now join forces to bring about this unique creation. With the realization of this project, the repertoire will gain an ecstatic piece that aims to widen the scope of the concert music experience. Moreover, American audiences will have the chance to get to know the work of a young, international artist.

The Hard Music, Hard Liquor 2017 program will also include an ensemble piece by Huck Hodge and virtuosic pieces from the 21st century repertoire.

The live performance will be documented with high quality audio and video recordings.

Project Media

Râh (2015)
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Features: Murat Çolak

Râh was commissioned by the Ensemble Vertixe Sonora for VertixeVigo Festival 2015 and is scored for baritone saxophone, percussion, prepared piano/analogue synthesizer, amplified button accordion/reverb unit, prepared cello and prepared bass.

Greatly influenced by the religious musics of his homeland and the industrial soundscapes of contemporary ambient music and techno, in Râh, Çolak combines the concepts and sounds of the ancient and the new, and invites the listeners to take part in an ecstatic sonic experience.

A Song Sung Together (2015)
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Features: Murat Çolak

A Song Sung Together was written for and premiered by the Parisian contemporary music collective Ensemble Multilatérale and is scored for flutes, tenor saxophone, prepared violin, prepared violoncello, sine tone generators (smart-phones), auxiliary percussion and butane lighters/candles.

The piece embodies a symbolic drinking ritual; a journey from consciousness to a collective ecstatic state. Souls elevate as bodies get intoxicated. Towards the end participants start singing an unworldly song in unison.

George Lewis – Assemblage by Ensemble Dal Niente
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Ensemble Dal Niente performs George Lewis’s Assemblage live at the Library of Congress on October 30, 2014. Video by Alejandro Acierto.

‘Both the title and the content of Assemblage refer to a type of visual artmaking that recombines and recontextualizes collections of natural and human-made objects. Artists such as Noah Purifoy, Betye Saar, John Outterbridge, and David Hammons, adopted and extended the assemblage process, recycling and reframing both the quotidian urban detritus of modern civilization.’

-George Lewis

Start and End Dates



Chicago, Illinois

4 updates
Last update on March 30, 2017

Project Created By

Boston, Massachusetts
Murat Colak (b.1984) is a Turkish composer of growing international recognition. He recently lives, composes and pursues his doctoral studies in Boston, United States. Murat creates pieces for live performers and electronics. His work focuses on developing a unique musical language whose formal aspects, sound-world and performance are informed/influenced by practices found in the indigenous…

In Collaboration With

Lead Artistic Coordinator - Cellist
Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois
Artistic Coordinator - Conductor
Chicago, Illinois


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