"Professor Bad Trip" is one of the most astonishing pieces I've ever listened to - live and recorded. Gut-wrenching is another good description. It was completed in 2000, 4 years before Romitelli died at the age of 41 after a long battle with cancer, and I imagine I can hear death lurking behind every note. The piece is dark, but exciting too. Very. It's what happens when you smash together psychedelia and spectralism. Romitelli used his highly refined skills as a composer to search out something distorted but also thrilling from the sound world of his highly electrified 10-piece ensemble of strings, winds, percussion, electric guitar and electric bass. It may be apocryphal, but I read about a performance in Los Angeles where electricity had to be diverted from the ventilation system for the performers - and I like this story. It makes sense. The piece seems to suck energy from everywhere, from the very bowels of the earth, chew it up, and spit it out, transformed into music that could have come from another planet. And "Professor Bad Trip" can withstand everything from the critical, sober illumination of analytical listening, to the late-night, full-volume, mind-bending sonic blast. It's a 45-minute trip well worth taking.