SoNA to perform experimental composition ‘Latency Canons’ Thursday to conclude season

Composer Ray Lustig / Courtesy

The final performance of SoNA’s reimagined season is set for this week.

The symphony is planning a multimedia production in collaboration with UA students and musicians from around the world to be streamed from their social media pages in a unique digital performance set to begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 27.

The show, called Latency Canons by composer Ray Lustig, was created to be performed digitally, using the latency inherent in digital communication platforms for musical effect.

“Ray Lustig’s Latency Canons is a breathtakingly beautiful, inventive symphonic work that creatively reimagines the concept of a musical canon,” Music Director Paul Haas said of the new show. “With the pandemic and our reliance on digital platforms, the meaning of the work has more impact than ever – it’s a perfect fit to end our Reimagined Season. Just as we’ve had to rethink how to present orchestral music, the piece artfully reframes the digital experience for an uncompromising orchestral experience.”

Lustig, a composer/performer based in New York, said his intent with the piece was to not only allow for the internet’s imperfections (i.e. delays), but to employ them to create a unique sound directly shaped by them.

“Latency Canons poses the question of how we make music together in our world, how that may be changing, and what this will mean for the musical experience,” Lustig said. “Our technology is drawing us closer and closer together in so many ways, and the attitude of the work is one of communion over distances. This is a different kind of music making that, along with its limitations, has the potential to bring people together.”

The show will be presented in collaboration with San Francisco-area musicians Friction Quartet, The Opus 76 Quartet from Kansas City, along with string quartets from Staffordshire, England and the University of Arkansas.

It’s the culmination of what has been an interesting year for the symphony, to say the least.

“This production is the latest example of SoNA’s ongoing commitment to bringing creative content to audiences during our Reimagined Season, in spite of the challenges of the moment,” Nicholson said. “This season, we’ve been able to seize upon some powerful opportunities to test out new ideas, reach new audiences, and rethink how we can serve our community. This digital release of Latency Canons is a perfect way to close an impactful, inventive season.”

The show will be streamed on SoNA’s Facebook page, YouTube channel, and their website at