The Poison Pie Publishing House presents:

Hebeloma's Abyssal Aria
Hebeloma Crustuliniforme
with illustrations by Julia K. Keffer
(link to main page of score)


January 1, 2022
Long before Eurymedusa received acclaim or notoriety as a sybil, before even she was selected in the Athenian lottery to be offered as sacrifice to the Minotaur, she was a swimmer. As a young girl, she already possessed a natural affinity for the water and an unnatural, effortless buoyancy for one so slight of frame. In contrast to her aquatic skills, her peculiar regard for speaking the truth was not a trait with which she had been born. Rather, Eurymedusa acquired an exasperating habit of strictly telling the truth during her many months incarcerated in the darkness of the labyrinth.

written while listening to:  Sylvain Cathala, Alexandra Grimal & Stéphane Payen - Olympe Live In Montreuil (Connexe Records, CR-003, 2013, France, cd,

January 2, 2022
The fourteen youths who entered the mine did not meet the immediate, violent death by tooth and claw of the Minotaur, which they had feared. Once soldiers sealed the entrance, seven young men and seven maidens found themselves huddled in a crude cavern. They scattered in a panic, supposing that the chances of at least some of them surviving improved if they were separated, but heedless of the loneliness that they invited in doing so. They did not yet understand the patient cruelty of their monstrous warden. With arms outstretched, Eurymedusa, too, wandered, blindly stumbling through the maze of tunnels.

written while listening to:  Derek Bailey - Takes Fakes & Dead She Dances (Incus Records, CD 31, 1997, United Kingdom, cd,

January 3, 2022
A section of the abandoned mine had flooded, forming a subterranean lake. Eurymedusa encountered the still, black waters in a large cavern. Initially she told herself that she entered the lake as a refuge from the Minotaur, for if she could not outrun the beast through the tunnels, she might out-swim it. We accept this rationale for the pretense that it was. Eurymedusa was drawn to the water by her nature. She braved the chill of the water and discovered, hidden in the darkness on the far side, a stone shelf, a few inches above the water line, which was to serve as a remote but unyielding sanctuary.

written while listening to:  Hans Reichel - Bonobo (FMP, FMP 0280, 1976, Germany, lp,

January 4, 2022
Eurymedusa passed many long hours swimming in darkness through the cold waters. The Minotaur did not disturb her. From time to time, one of the other youths, also interred in the mine as a sacrificial victim, wandered onto the bank of the lake. If the visitor happened to hear a splash, they feared a second monster surfacing from the depths. They dared but quickly slake their thirst lest a serpent snatch them from the shore. If Eurymedusa was so inclined, she called out to them and the pair spoke while hidden from each other, their voices carrying across the water.

written while listening to:  Keiji Haino - Affection (PSF Records, PSFD-23, 1992, Japan, cd,

January 5, 2022
Arriving at the shore, Melanippe, who sought to map the labyrinth, attempted to persuade her friend to abandon the subterranean lake. To this invitation, Eurymedusa, the water-maiden, replied, "I have resolved never to leave these black waters. They are my refuge from the predation of the Minotaur."

Upon hearing such words, Menestheus, a gentle soul, joined her in the lake, though only briefly, for he could not long tolerate the chill that seeped into his bones. Through prolonged exposure, Eurymedusa's body had grown inured to the cold but such discipline did not alter the physical fact of the water's temperature.

written while listening to:  Evan Parker - Winns Winn (Byrd Out, BYR031, 2021, United Kingdom, lp,

January 6, 2022
Amphidocus, who sought to discover a purpose for himself by asking others about their own motivations, wandered by chance to the lake, where he spotted Eurymedusa. Only her pale face, draped by wet, black hair, was visible above the water. He asked, "Why do you stay in this cold, wretched place?"

In truth, Eurymedusa often reflected upon this question. She had privately embraced a goal of learning how to breathe underwater again, as she had when she still nestled within her mother's womb. While unprepared to share this ambition with Amphidocus, she refused to speak a lie. So in reply she simply disappeared beneath the surface.

written while listening to:  Steve Lacy - November (Intakt Records, Intakt CD 171, 2010, Switzerland, cd,

January 7, 2022
Thus, while confined to the subterranean lake, Eurymedusa developed a habit of answering queries with but a few words or gestures, which contained the truth without explicitly stating it. At the same time, she commenced an extensive exploration of the depths of the lake. Her investigation occurred strictly by feel, for there was insufficient light to visually inspect features underwater. Her fingers became familiar with each crook and facet in the stone lake bed. She seemed not at all deterred by the slick film of slime that covered portions of the rock.

written while listening to:  Roscoe Mitchell, Thomas Buckner & Gerald Oshita - Space, disc 1 (Mutable Music, 17501-2, 2010 (orig. 1981), United States, cdx2,

January 8, 2022
The duration of her dives gradually increased as she learned to hold her breath. She discovered an entire section of the labyrinth submerged beneath the lake. Its dark, water-filled passages called to her. At first, she merely poked her head into the mouth of each tunnel but with time her daring grew. She swam by feel in the black innards of the maze. Eurymedusa risked her life in this dangerous exploration but she deemed the peril worthwhile. After all, what kind of life was it to be trapped in a pond, living in constant fear of the Minotaur?

written while listening to:  Wadada Leo Smith - Procession of the Great Ancestry (Nessa Records, ncd-26, 2009 (rec. 1983), United States, cd,

January 9, 2022
Eurymedusa discovered isolated chambers, accessible solely by swimming through submerged tunnels. Although the security and seclusion of these caves appealed to her, she did not linger for fear of exhausting the limited air. Instead, she used such pockets of air as waystations, allowing her to exchange one lungful of breath for another as she ventured farther into treacherous depths. Her forays became impressive tests of her stamina because she swam quickly, to cover as much ground as possible with each breath, and surfaced only long enough to exhale and inhale.

written while listening to:  Ivo Perelman & Marilyn Crispell - Brass and Ivory Tales, disc 2 (Fundacja Słuchaj!, FSR 11|2021, 2021, Poland, cdx9,

January 10, 2022
The character, not only of Eurymedusa but of all the youths lost in the maze, developed under the influence of their shared condition. So it is with each of us to flourish when nurtured or to wither under neglect. As weeks turned into months, the urge to survive succumbed to a despair, which swelled and diminished in spasms. Here, we summarize with brevity the featureless passage of time that bore such great consequence on the identities of those who endured it. Eurymedusa sought to stave off madness through an exhaustion induced by swimming first in the lake then through flooded channels. We suppose that her success was, at best, imperfect.

written while listening to:  Muhal Richard Abrams - Spihumonesty (Black Saint, BSR 0032, 1980, Italy, lp,

January 11, 2022
With practice, Eurymedusa developed an internal chronometer, which alerted her when half the breath in her lungs was depleted. If she had not reached a new chamber by the time this alarm sounded, she turned and retraced the winding path to her starting point. She mentally noted such a passage as a dead end. On the next attempt, she would try another of the innumerable tunnels. She pushed herself to the limits of her endurance. Each time she surfaced, whether in advance or retreat, she gulped in air as if the cave was filled with vapors containing a life-giving elixir of the gods.

written while listening to:  Thumbscrew (Michael Formanek, Tomas Fujiwara & Mary Halvorson) - Never is Enough (Cuneiform Records, Rune 478, 2021, United States, lpx2,

January 12, 2022
While yet within the waters of dark tunnels, Eurymedusa occasionally detected the pale luminosity of phosphorescent fungus, which clung only to dry stone. At these times, rather than doubling back when her breath grew short, she swam forward to the promised cavern. On one excursion, drawn on by such light, she broke the surface in a cave where the air had soured. One poisonous gasp was all she drew before immediately spitting it out and submerging. Knowing that she could not survive the retreat, she blindly swam ahead, hoping to discover an adjacent cave with clean air.

written while listening to:  Masada - Beit (DIW, DIW-889, 1994, Japan, cd,

January 13, 2022
As Eurymedusa swam, without air in her lungs, forward into darkness, she knew that she would likely die. Even as she judged it a better death than wasting away in fear of the Minotaur, she struggled to live. She forced the muscles in her arms and legs to move until they could move no more. The biological impulse to inhale grew impossibly strong. She was reconciled to her death and she thought these caliginous tunnels a fitting tomb. She died. In the last act of her former life, her hand broke the surface of the water and she surged upward. Her rebirth began with a first gasping breath.

written while listening to:  Jim O'Rourke - Disengage, disc 1: Mere (Staaltape/Korm Plastics, S.T.CD 048/KP 4292, 1992, The Netherlands, cdx2,

January 14, 2022
The isolation of Eurymedusa was complete. Although she had managed to travel the passage once, she dared not try again. How she had survived the first attempt remained unclear to her. Cut off from the others, she could only go forward. She explored the cave in darkness, circumnavigating its perimeter by feel. She found herself in a small, rough chamber without exit, save the water-filled tunnel. Perhaps she had swum to the underworld and now occupied a crypt in Tartarus. Whether living or dead, she would not remain in this cell. She breathed deeply, composing herself as best she was able, before returning to the water.

written while listening to:  Ingrid Laubrock - Dreamt Twice, Twice Dreamt, disc 2 (Intakt Records, Intakt CD 355, 2020, Switzerland, cdx2,

January 15, 2022
From one cave to the next, Eurymedusa swam through darkness. With each departure, she had no certainty that any destination other than death awaited her. A narrow tunnel did not deter her. Rather than turning back, she wiggled through the gap. When a cave proved only an air-filled bulge in the ceiling of the tunnel, she could not emerge from the water. She drew new breath, collected her strength and continued on without delay. In this manner, Eurymedusa unknowingly left the domain of the Minotaur. If the beast had once reigned over this portion of the labyrinth, it had long since ceded the tunnels to the waters of the underworld.

written while listening to:  Lawrence "Butch" Morris - Testament: A Conduction Collection, disc 7: Conductions #31, 35 & 36 (New World Records/CounterCurrents, 80478-2, 1995, United States, cdx10+book,

January 16, 2022
Through a series of channels, Eurymedusa passed deeper into the unknown, while her sense of unreality grew commensurately. It seemed impossible that an unassuming teenage girl from Athens should find herself in this situation. At least as improbable was the equanimity with which Eurymedusa appeared to accept her misfortune. She continued to swim from one cave to the next, as if nothing more could be expected of her. We can only suppose that her composure was due to a complete surrender of control over her destiny. The gods had seen fit to subject her to a trial unlike any other; her fate was now their whim.

written while listening to:  Pauline Oliveros - Reverberations: Tape & Electronic Music 1961-1970, disc 11: Mewsack (Important Records, IMPREC352, 2012, United States, cdx12,

January 17, 2022
As she swam through darkness, Eurymedusa came upon a fork in the tunnel, with one branch ascending and the other descending. Such decisions had to be made instinctively for there was no time to consider the ramifications of her choice. She swam upward, hoping to find air. When she emerged into a cave and caught her breath, she lay supine on the cold stone, her feet dangling in the water. She had unwitting become an aquatic analogue of the fabled Libyan giant, Antaeus, though her strength arose from contact not with earth but water.

written while listening to:  Joëlle Léandre - At Souillac En Jazz (Ayler Records, AYLCD-169, 2021, France, cd,

January 18, 2022
So it was that Eurymedusa regretfully abandoned her favored element when she arrived in a cavern from a tunnel that terminated in a small pool. She wandered again, climbing much of the time, through stone passageways formed of natural crevices and fissures. Over no signs of stonework did her fingers slide. It seemed a geological pocket in the Earth, unaccustomed to the presence of humans. She did not intend to stay long. To her relief, but a few hours passed before her nose detected the moisture of another pool. A quick dive revealed a patchwork of channels leading from its depths.

written while listening to:  David Murray Big Band - Live at Sweet Basil Vol. 1 (Black Saint, BSR 0085, 1985, Italy, lp,

January 19, 2022
This new network of submerged tunnels appeared to be separate from those through which Eurymedusa had earlier traveled. Where the previous tunnels had been filled with fresh water, she now detected the presence of salt. Her imagination was captured by an irrepressible fantasy that she should swim through these channels all the way to the sea, thus effecting her escape from the labyrinth. She would be the first to elude the Minotaur! She did not regard these thoughts as a daydream because of the pervasive unreality of her circumstances in general.

written while listening to:  Ornette Coleman - The Shape of Jazz to Come (Atlantic, SD 1317, 1959, United States, lp,

January 20, 2022
The fact that the brackish water, in which Eurymedusa swam, was not potable instilled a sense of urgency. She continued to travel through submerged tunnels from one cave to the next but now she did not linger after she had recovered her breath. Sometimes, no more than her head emerged from the water. It seemed to her that the salt content in the water increased, marking her progress toward the sea. The first time she brushed against a barnacle, she cut her forearm. Thereafter, she was more careful as the surface of the submerged rock was soon covered with crustaceans.

written while listening to:  Anthony Braxton - New York, Fall 1974 (Arista, AL 4032, 1975, United States, lp,

January 21, 2022
Eurymedusa arrived at a cave in which the stone floor was a shifting mass of hundreds of green crabs, each about the size of her hand. "Karkinos!" she exclaimed, for they were the diminutive cousins of the great monster that Hera had placed in the skies as a constellation. The crabs paid Eurymedusa little mind but their number prevented her from leaving the water. Careful to avoid its pincers, she plucked one from its brethren. She pried it apart and tore the meat with her teeth from the shell. They seemed oblivious to the loss of one among them or the several more that soon met a similar fate.

written while listening to:  Günter Müller & Lê Quan Ninh - La Voyelle Liquide (Erstwhile Records, erstwhile 010, 2000, United States, cd,

January 22, 2022
Thus energized, Eurymedusa made her way to the sea. She tasted the familiar waters in which, as a youth, she had reveled with other Athenian girls. Gone was all doubt that she might inadvertently swim down a tunnel too long for her breath to hold. She was utterly convinced that she now operated under divine aegis. Her destiny would not be to drown in the black innards of the underworld. Still, the gods did not make her path easy. Her labor was great for, by this subterranean route, she covered the many miles that separated Knossos from the coast of Crete.

written while listening to:  Paul Panhuysen - Long String Installations, sides A & B (Edition Telemark, 785.04, 2018, Germany, lpx3,

January 23, 2022
Eurymedusa had supposed that she would swim directly into the sea but the tunnel ended in a cave cloaked in subterranean darkness. As soon as her head rose from the water, she heard faint echoes of the surf striking the shore. She obediently climbed toward this sound until the interior of the cave was illuminated by the unmistakable glow of dawn. She did not pause lest she lose her resolve and retreat into the shadows. Soon she stood on a rocky outcropping at the base of a cliff with the blinding orange sun in her eyes and the splash of the tide at her feet.

written while listening to:  Max Roach & Cecil Taylor - Historic Concerts, sides A & B (Soul Note, SN 1100/1101, 1984, Italy, lpx2,

January 24, 2022
With her return to the surface world, the sense of unreality did not diminish. She stood, enduring the morning light, though its harsh glare hurt her eyes, which had for so long discerned nuance in shades of darkness. She faced north, based on the position of the rising sun. The sea stretched endlessly to the horizon before her. Waves swelled and shifted on the surface as they had since the beginning of time, though Eurymedusa could not dispel the notion that, on this particular morning, the entire parade of magnificence was performed for her benefit.

written while listening to:  George Lewis - Solo Trombone Record (Sackville Recordings, 3012, 1977, Canada, lp,

January 25, 2022
The bluff descended to a beach, where fishermen gathered their nets and prepared to launch their boats. A son, helping his father, pointed to the solitary figure standing on rocks with her feet in the surf, but a hundred yards down the shore. A white gown clung to her slender figure, wet as if she had just climbed from the sea. Her black hair hung past her shoulders. The cool, pale skin of her neck and arms seemed impervious to the warmth of the morning sun. Upon her face, she bore an expression of supreme, imperturbable serenity.

written while listening to:  Irène Schweizer & Louis Moholo - untitled (Intakt Records, Intakt 006, 1987, Switzerland, cd,

January 26, 2022
To the old fisherman, the appearance of the mysterious woman staring out to sea was an omen, though of good or ill he could not be sure. Only the passing of the day would tell. To the younger man, Eurymedusa presented a vision of unsurpassed loveliness in which the majesty of the sky and sea was entwined with the passion that he projected onto her feminine form. Ignoring his father's words of caution, he briskly strode toward Eurymedusa. When he had closed half the distance and stood at the edge of the rocks, he hailed her.

written while listening to:  Magda Mayas, John Butcher & Tony Buck - glints (Ni-Vu-Ni-Connu, nvnc-lp028, 2022, Luxembourg, lp,

January 27, 2022
Eurymedusa observed the approach of the young fisherman. He was only a few years older than Amphidocus and the other youths with whom she had been imprisoned in the mine. He seemed to be shouting at her but the roar of the surf drowned out his words. After her lengthy journey through darkness, she longed for human contact. Yet, his appearance was startlingly abrupt and uncontrollable. She made no sign of acknowledgement or reply. The young man's actions were soon noticed by the other half dozen fishermen on the beach, whose attention turned to her.

written while listening to:  John Coltrane - Blue Train (Blue Note, BLP 1577, 1957, United States, lp,

January 28, 2022
That Eurymedusa could not predict the intentions of the fishermen disturbed her but little. The whole of her anxiety settled on the possibility that she might be recognized as one offered to the Minotaur, a tribute intended to spare the Cretan countryside from the predations of the monster. If word reached King Minos that a doomed member of his sacrificial oblation had escaped, he would surely send soldiers to seize her. More than anything else, she feared a return to the labyrinth. She grew sick with the thought of submerging herself within the cold, underground lake again.

written while listening to:  Fieldwork (Vijay Iyer, Elliot Humberto Kavee & Aaron Stewart) - Your Life Flashes (Pi Recordings, PI05, 2002, United States, cd,

January 29, 2022
The young fisherman began to clamber over the rocks. He was entranced by the woman whom he imagined a sea nymph, one of the daughters of Doris the Oceanid and Nereus, the old man of the sea. He ignored the calls of the men behind him to turn back. They feared not only for his life but also that he might upset her mother, for the Oceanids were responsible for granting fishermen the sea's bounty. Still, the man cried out, "O wondrous Nereid of the Dawn, I beg of you, share with me your name that I might proclaim your beauty!"

written while listening to:  Mephista (Sylvie Courvoisier, Susie Ibarra & Ikue Mori) - Entomological Reflections (Tzadik, TZ 7711, 2004, United States, cd,

January 30, 2022
These words pierced Eurymedusa's ears, but she was not moved to divulge her identity. It seemed monstrous to her that she should entirely ignore the plea of the first human being to greet her as she emerged from her long incarceration in the labyrinth. She turned her head to face the young fisherman, acknowledging his presence. Once her eyes settled on him, a madness overcame her vision for his figure intimated many things at once: a soldier, a suitor, a first love, a would-be rapist, a man-sized crab scuttling over rocks in the breaking surf.

written while listening to:  Colin Stetson - The First (Record Collection Music, RCM-18012-3, 2019, United States, lp,

January 31, 2022
She, who was not yet a sybil, responded for the first time with the expression, which would later become synonymous with the fortunes that she dispensed—a smile, meaningless and inscrutable. The young fisherman did not know what to make of her countenance but it gave him pause, for he sensed in it a warning. He came to a stop atop a boulder, where he silently observed what next transpired. The out-going tide beckoned to Eurymedusa. Rather than submit to the demands of men, our forlorn heroine threw herself into the sea.

written while listening to:  Thelonious Monk - The Complete Blue Note Recordings, disc 1 (Blue Note, CDP 7243 5 30363 2 6, 1994 (rec. 1947), United States, cdx4,

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