“The greater the risk, of course, the greater the chance the experiment will fail. But computers, Internet connections and live musicians cooperated splendidly for the premiere of Raymond J. Lustig’s entrancing “Latency Canons” on Friday evening at Zankel Hall.”
“A surreally beautiful, contrapuntal soundscape unfolded against a video backdrop of live, blurry images of the musicians. Harmonies overlapped during the stately opening. A brass line underpinned the gentle cacophony of spiraling, ecstatic string fragments that ended the work on a rapturous note.”
“The most inspired experiment, in its marriage of concept and music, was Raymond J. Lustig’s Latency Canons, which took its musical problem from an unlikely source: The inherent glitchiness of Google Hangouts.”
“The overall result was arresting—who could have guessed that such a complex and striking piece of music might have come from such a simple idea? What’s more, the fact that this music was being created by musicians in different parts of the world, their collaboration only enhanced by the imperfections of technology, was genuinely moving. The canon effect worked perfectly, and other unexpected “problems,” like the occasional occurrence of static and feedback, added to the piece’s appeal. Perhaps the most affecting and fitting moment was when the Google Hangout asked us, about three quarters of the way through the performance, ‘Are you still there?’ We were indeed—rapturously.
“Lustig managed to balance chance and control, experimentation and execution. The music fulfilled the promise of his idea, producing a glitchy, gorgeous success.”
Rehearsals for my new trans-Atlantic work LATENCY CANONS are shaping up, with its premiere this Friday at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall. American Composers Orchestra and conductor George Manahan in various places in New York, conductor Dane Lam and the Gildas Quartet in Manchester, UK, all playing together in beautiful latency. It’s an experimental new work that makes use of basic web conferencing software (Google Hangouts) to make music together. It’s brilliant technology, but everyone who’s tried it for music knows there’s delays, freezes, instability, and a kind of weird sound. But in LATENCY CANONS, those “weaknesses” are what will make the piece interesting and beautiful.
Welcome to my new website. Here you can learn more about my music and upcoming performances. I’m currently at work on a new piece for American Composers Orchestra (LATENCY CANONS), for premiere at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall on April 5th. I’m also working on an exciting opera/musical drama based on the tragic life of a visionary nineteenth-century doctor (SEMMELWEIS), in development with American Opera Projects. I’m preparing the release of my first full-length CD (FIGMENTS for two guitars), with Duo Noire; working on a mystery project called RADIOBOUND (I can tell you no more than that it’s a collaboration with four gifted composer friends); scoring a short animated film by my brother John Lustig; and teaching new courses at Juilliard in composition and music theory.
I’m incredibly lucky to exist within a circle of amazingly talented and creative musicians and artists in New York and beyond, whose work I’m very enthusiastic about and inspired by, so you may also find some information here to point you in other beautiful and compelling directions.
I used to be a scientist (once a scientist, always a scientist, no?) and I continue to be inspired by the natural world, the healing arts, and the amazing people whose lives are there focused (including my surgeon wife, my many medical friends, my scientist comrades, the greats of history, etc.)