Title Philip Schuessler: Colonel Ketchum's Celluloid Delirium Spiral (2013)
Instrumentation Bass clarinet duo
Range Extended range instruments required.
Price $24
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About the Work

Program note courtesy of the composer:

The title of this work references the real Colonel James S. Ketchum, a colonel in the U.S. Army who advocated the use of and experimentation with psychochemicals during the Cold War in order to temporarily incapacitate the mind of the enemy. Colonel Ketchum headed up a research facility, Edgewood Arsenal in Chesapeake Bay, Virginia, in order to conduct secret clinical trials (codenamed Project Delirium) on healthy soldiers, and he documented his findings on film. The patient soldiers were given a number of drugs ranging from LSD to lethal nerve agents, and they were never told what drugs they were give or what effects these drugs would induce.

About the Composer

Philip Schuessler's music explores the intricacy of subtle timbres and delicate dynamics through extended acoustic and electro-acoustic resources. His diverse output spans a number of different approaches including techniques of spectralism, indeterminacy and graphic notation, new forms of notation, ephemeral sound fabrics, microtonality, popular and rock music, and electro-acoustic music.

Schuessler received his Bachelors Degree in composition at Birmingham-Southern College, his Masters Degree from the University of Miami, and his PhD from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. His teachers have included Charles Mason, Dorothy Hindman, Dennis Kam, Keith Kothman, Dan Weymouth, Sheila Silver, Perry Goldstein, and Daria Semegen.

He has had works performed by notable ensembles such as Yarn/Wire, Dither Guitar Quartet, Mantra Percussion Ensemble, IKTUS Percussion, Hypercube, Pesedjet, and the Gemini Duo; and his works have also been championed by such soloists as percussionist Daniel Kennedy, pianist Mabel Kwan, soprano Tony Arnold, violinist Graeme Jennings, and cellist Craig Hultgren. His music has has been performed at notable venues such as June in Buffalo, Birmingham City Stages Festival, Festival Miami, the Czech-American Summer Music Workshop, CCMIX in Paris, SEAMUS Conferences, ArtSounds in Kansas City, Artomatic in Arlington, Virginia, Electronic Music Midwest, New Music Forum in San Francisco, the School for Designing a Society in Urbana, Illinois, Electro-acoustic Juke Joint Festival, the Electro-acoustic Barn Dance Festival, the Spark Festival in Minneapolis, and most recently the New Music on the Bayou Festival in Monroe, Louisiana. He has also been a participant at the MusicX Festival, the Ernst Bloch Music Festival, the Elliott Carter/Oliver Knussen Chamber Music Intensive Workshop at Carnegie Hall, and the Oregon Bach Festival.

His music has been recognized internationally by Elektrophonie's NuitBleue Music Festival, the Futura Festival, and by the Bourges Residence. Recently, Schuessler was chosen by Eric Moore's Cello Loft Project for a new commissioned work for cello and percussion. Other awards include being a winner in the Duo Fujin Weekend Composition Competition, being a semi-finalist for the American Prize in Chamber Music, and being a recipient of a New Music USA Composer Assistant Grant.

Most recently, Schuessler was an artist in residence for the July 2015 session at Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts in Wyoming where he composed Lux Aeterna for mixed chorus and piano. Since 2010, Schuessler has taught music theory and composition at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana where he resides with his wife and composer Kari Besharse.

Catalog Info #ALEA1165
Score: 15 pages, spiral bound
Two copies provided, one for each performer