The Poison Pie Publishing House presents:

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


July 1, 2022
A few days passed, during which Eurymedusa settled into her new dwelling, before she observed humans traveling the valley road. First, a woodcutter led a mule pulling a two-wheeled cart, laden with firewood. Later, two merchants sat at the front of a four-wheeled wagon drawn by a brace of horses, its contents covered by a tarp. Alerted well in advance by the clatter of the wheels, Eurymedusa spied upon them from the darkness of the cave mouth. She would not remain permanently hidden but the precise mechanism by which she would announce her arrival had yet to occur to her.

written while listening to:  Alexandra Grimal, Lee Konitz, Gary Peacock & Paul Motian - Owls Talk (Hôte Marge, HÔTE MARGE 03, 2010, France, cd,

July 2, 2022
She crouched one morning at the stream, washing the sticky, purple stain of mulberries from her fingertips. A faint rustle of movement across the water prompted her to glance up, thinking to find a weasel or a beech marten weaving through the brush. Instead, her gaze met that of a lone hunter with iron-tipped spear in hand. He was already aware of her presence. Once it became clear that he had been detected, he neither sped up nor slackened his pace but continued in a straight line to steadily close the distance between them.

written while listening to:  Derek Bailey - Poetry & Playing (Paratactile, PLE 1116-2, 2003, United Kingdom, cd,

July 3, 2022
While the hunter yet remained at some distance, Eurymedusa attempted to discern his intentions. His simple clothes were worn, his face reddened from long years in the sun, his hair and beard unkempt. Dirt had collected on his sandals and clung in patches to his bare shins and calves. This was a man accustomed to solitary life in the wilds. He did not hail her from afar to waylay her unease. Rather, he approached with the same intent expression on his face as if he stalked a young, wild boar, sure to make a run for it.

written while listening to:  Hans Reichel - Lower Lurum (Rastascan Records, BRD 016, 1994, United States, cd,

July 4, 2022
He was a practiced hunter but she, for her part, was no novice in the role of prey, having survived a year in the labyrinth of King Minos. Eurymedusa sensed her danger. With concealment no longer an option, her alternatives were few. She decided against an attempt to reason with him as he appeared no more interested in negotiation than a lion or a wolf. As a result of their mutual reticence, no words were exchanged between huntsman and maiden. She rose to her feet and paused but that action, too, failed to forestall his approach.

written while listening to:  Keiji Haino - To Start With, Let's Remove The Color (PSF Records, PSFD-8014, 2002, Japan, cd,

July 5, 2022
The hunter was the same age as her father but there any similarity ended. A boorish character had driven him to find his place away from the company of men. His isolation had, in turn, encouraged his asocial habits to flourish. The hunting of animals, as an occupation, became second nature to him. His opportunities to know the carnal pleasures of a woman were few and far between. He had been barred from local state brothels based on his history of violent behavior therein. Through his gaze and his silence, he announced his cruel desire.

written while listening to:  Evan Parker - House Full of Floors (Tzadik, TZ 7632, 2009, United States, cd,

July 6, 2022
She ran while he was still a fair distance on the other side of the stream. The hunter quickened his pace as he watched her race up the slope of the mountain. He did not break into a full sprint, preferring to conserve his energy while his quarry exhausted herself. Long familiar with the territory, he anticipated that, trapped against the bluff overlooking the gulf, she would find no refuge. He knew also from past experience that, in any hunt, his advantage arose from not only strength but cunning too. He muttered to himself, "Run, little hare."

written while listening to:  Mal Waldron & Steve Lacy - Sempre Amore (Soul Note, SN 1170, 1987, Italy, lp,

July 7, 2022
Her initial impulse was to seek sanctuary in the water, as she had from the Minotaur, but she doubted her ability to elude her pursuer during the slow descent of the cliff. She fled instead to the cave. By the light that filtered down the tunnel, she entered the grotto, her bare feet splashing across the pool. She cowered on the stone shelf, her chest heaving from the effort expended in running here. Was this impending debasement what the Ocean Mother had envisioned for her reintroduction to the world of men?

written while listening to:  Roscoe Mitchell & the Montreal-Toronto Art Orchestra - Ride the Wind (Nessa Records, ncd-40, 2018, United States, cd,

July 8, 2022
Eurymedusa steeled herself. She had little regard for destiny, which had cast her into the labyrinth. This creature who pursued her was merely flesh, animated by instinct. She heard his patient footsteps as he entered the cave. He came to the split in the tunnel and paused. There, the steady rhythm of his breathing filtered to her ears. By scent, footprint or chance, she did not know, but he quickly identified the path of her flight. In a moment, he stood at the far side of the pool, while she remained upon the stone shelf. Each surveyed the other, this time in shadow.

written while listening to:  Wadada Leo Smith & Sabu Toyozumi - Burning Meditation (NoBusiness Records, NBLP120, 2018, Lithuania, cd,

July 9, 2022
Eurymedusa was suddenly overcome by a dramatic change in perspective. She perceived not a predator and his prey but a pilgrim come to the shrine of a sybil. Reclining upon her stone pedestal, she wielded all of the power, for it fell to her to reveal to this mortal man the unfolding of his future. Henceforward, this scene would be replayed in the grotto countless times. She was invested by the divine mandate of the Ocean Mother to correct the errors of the human world and this poor fellow was in dire need of much correction.

written while listening to:  Ivo Perelman & Angelica Sanchez - Brass and Ivory Tales, disc 8 (Fundacja Słuchaj!, FSR 11|2021, 2021, Poland, cdx9,

July 10, 2022
She rose to her feet and stood in the cool, shallow water. She slipped the gown off one shoulder then the other. Without a belt at the waist, once the garment left her shoulders, it fell loosely in a smooth motion to crumple at her feet. Nude, she took a step forward and presented herself to her would-be assailant. His eyes greedily devoured the curves of her young womanhood. His breathing quickened but he remained wary, managing, at least momentarily, to resist the animal urge to throw himself upon her.

written while listening to:  Muhal Richard Abrams - Levels And Degrees Of Light (Delmark Records, DS-413, 1968, United States, lp,

July 11, 2022
This unlikely pairing walked slowly to rendezvous midway in the pool. They stood a step apart, the huntsman a head taller than the sybil. She smelled on him the odor of many days spent in the wilderness and he smelled the salt of the sea on her skin and fruit on her breath. "Kneel," she whispered and he obeyed. She placed an open left hand on his right ear. Her right hand, balled in a fist, shifted to rest by his left ear. He leaned forward to press his face against her bosom, but her hand slid around to halt his motion.

written while listening to:  Mary Halvorson - Amaryllis (Nonesuch, 075597912708, 2022, United States, lp,

July 12, 2022
She clutched in her fist one of the two vials given her by the squid, who, thankfully, had guessed at her future need. Prior to the huntsman's entry, she had removed the cork and plugged it with her thumb, lest the fluid spill. She opened her fist now and allowed the liquid to run down his brow into one brown eye, along the ridge of his nose, some slipping into his mouth and the remainder trailing into his beard. Kneeling as they were in water, he paid it no mind and remained fixated on the spectacle of her untouched body.

written while listening to:  Masada - Het (DIW, DIW-925, 1997, Japan, cd,

July 13, 2022
In a matter of seconds, the sting in his eye, the burn in his nostrils and the bitter taste in his mouth caused him to bellow in startled pain and to lurch backward. Clutching his face, he slipped to lie splashing and writhing in the shallow water. A ferocious anger entered his tortured expression. However, his repeated attempts to rise so that he might wreak a brute vengeance upon this wretched girl for her wicked trickery failed in the face of the toxin's effects. He collapsed back into the water, to moan in agony.

written while listening to:  Jim O'Rourke - The Visitor (Drag City, DC375, 2009, United States, lp,

July 14, 2022
Eventually, he fell silent and still, coming to rest face down. Eurymedusa leaned over and turned his head sideways, so that he remained able to breathe. She needed him to live for she had but two chances to establish with the people of this region the terms by which she would be treated. With one ear submerged and one above the surface of the pool, the pilgrim now lay in the proper position to receive the message of the Ocean Mother's oracle, which was, naturally, best transmitted via both water and air.

written while listening to:  Myra Melford's Fire And Water Quintet - For The Love Of Fire And Water (RogueArt, ROG-0119, 2022, France, cd,

July 15, 2022
"Behold a daughter of the Ocean Mother," Eurymedusa intoned. The pilgrim's eyes were open. The eye above the waterline perceived her black hair, her white shoulders and pale, plum breasts, while the eye below observed, to his horror, a transformation that began with her toes and proceeded up her legs until reaching her hips, there was nothing but the sinuous, coiled arms of an octopus. Though his tormentor remained in one place in the pool, her many appendages continued to weave about each other, sending ripples across the water to break against his cheek.

written while listening to:  Ákos Rózmann - Mass / Mässa (1988-2004), disc 2 (Ideologic Organ, SOMA044, 2022, Austria, cdx7,

July 16, 2022
"I have been sent to set the world aright," roared the cecaelia in a voice harsh to the ears of men. "My gift to the people who dwell in these mountains and along this coast are my words that presage the future, lest the foolish and the errant bring doom not only upon themselves but also upon those with whom they dwell." This seemed an apt and sufficient explanation to Eurymedusa. She was properly satisfied that the pilgrim was transfixed by her declaration. Still, she deemed it necessary to speak further on matters beyond her purpose.

written while listening to:  Pauline Oliveros - Reverberations: Tape & Electronic Music 1961-1970, disc 6: Another Big Mother (Important Records, IMPREC352, 2012, United States, cdx12,

July 17, 2022
While the paralytic and hallucinatory effects of the toxin persisted, Eurymedusa impressed the fear of a god into the huntsman. Her expression turned fierce and her tone sinister. "I serve under the aegis of the Ocean Mother. None shall enter this shrine save to receive the wisdom of her guidance and do homage to her. Those who seek to defile her servant shall be cursed to madness, their mind veiled in a fog of perpetual gloom, which even the brilliance of the morning sun in a cloudless sky shall not disperse."

written while listening to:  Joëlle Léandre, Maggie Nicols & Irène Schweizer - A Woman's Work, disc 1: Les Diaboliques (Not Two Records, MW 950-2, 2016, Poland, cdx8,

July 18, 2022
Merciless in the delivery of her message, she knelt before the immobile man, so that her cecaelia form filled his vision. "Your life, viper, I spare, though much ill have you worked in your many years and little good from you do I perceive in what time remains. But I have need of a herald. You are to go to the nearby cities and towns and announce my arrival. Proclaim to those who suffer my offer of aid. Warn evil hearts of my power over all who enter my domain. Though you are bound to do my bidding, you shall never again enter this cave."

written while listening to:  David Murray Quartet - A Sanctuary Within (Black Saint, 120 145-1, 1992, Italy, cd,

July 19, 2022
She returned to her stone perch and fixed a baleful eye upon her hapless guest. Long did the huntsman wilt under the withering gaze of that immaculate maiden fused to monster until he sensed a return of command over his limbs. As soon as he was able, he pushed himself up then fled stumbling in terror from the grotto. Once outside, he discovered the day had been lost. By starlight he scrambled down the slope to the road to madly flee the valley where dwelt the obscene daughter of a goddess.

written while listening to:  Ornette Coleman - Who's Crazy? 2: La Clef des Champs 2 (Atmosphere Records/International Record Imports, IRI 5007, 1979 (rec. 1966), France, lp,

July 20, 2022
The huntsman traveled south. He first veered from the road to visit the village of his own people, whom the Greeks called Pelasgians, for they avoided contact with Argos to the north, preferring to speak their own tongue. While still in the fields, he barked fragments of an incoherent story. Ignoring familiar faces and their calming words, he continued babbling. A small crowd gathered around him at the edge of the village. He told them of a monster in a cave above the valley road. "A shape-shifter!" he howled. "Disguised as a maiden to lure men to her lair."

written while listening to:  Anthony Braxton - For Trio (Arista, AB 4181, 1978, United States, lp,

July 21, 2022
He continued south, passing along the road that skirted the marsh beside which sat the city of Lerna. The huntsman proceeded directly to the market, though he came empty-handed without furs or meat to trade. There he leapt from one stall to another, shouting at merchants, interrupting both bantering and bartering, as he sought to expel the sybil's curse by discharging the duty that she had laid upon him. "Along the valley road, a daughter of the Ocean Mother! Her gaze bores into men's hearts. She tears both past and future from any she meets."

written while listening to:  IMPAKT meets Lê Quan Ninh, Eve Risser & Evan Parker - Live @ Loft Köln (IMPAKT Records, no catalog #, 2016, Germany, digital files,

July 22, 2022
Traveling further south to Thyrea, he hurried past its fertile plains and made his way to a tavern, where he was known for drinking to excess. To the surprise of the proprietor and the patrons, he did not order mead. Rather, he seemed to have arrived already drunk, so loud his clamor, wild his gestures and bizarre the story he told. "A monster has claimed the mountain above the valley road to Argos! She sees with the eyes of an oracle and offers her vision to those who would honor creatures that lurk in the blackest depths of the sea."

written while listening to:  Tyshawn Sorey Trio - Mesmerism (no label, no catalog #, 2022, United States, lp,

July 23, 2022
He next entered the lobby of a Thyrean brothel, where waited idle prostitutes. He was banned from this establishment but, before the owner ordered him from the premises, the huntsman bellowed his warning, "A creature, lovely as the sea, has settled in a cave on the valley road past Lerna. Her barbed caress paralyzes men. She lays him out, a play-thing in her pool, so to torture his mind for her delight...only then revealing her hideous deformity!" More than one woman there felt a grim satisfaction that somewhere a woman had extracted a measure of vengeance against the brute.

written while listening to:  Cecil Taylor - The World of Cecil Taylor (Candid, 9006, 1961, United States, lp,

July 24, 2022
The huntsman proved to be a singularly effective herald; his reputation for a barbarous nature was well known in this part of the peninsula. Neither fear nor imagination were to be counted among his traits. That he should invent a detailed fantasy of either a horrid monster or a lissome sybil prowling the valley road seemed an unlikely prospect. Moreover, the authenticity of his terror was difficult to dispute. None attributed to him the guile or duplicity to feign such dread. His fear contagious, the huntsman left his audiences harboring an uneasy anxiety.

written while listening to:  Meltable Snaps It - Points Blank (No Man's Land, NML 8604, 1986, Germany, lp,

July 25, 2022
Long after most residents in the district of Cynuria had heard the rumor of a monster-oracle dwelling in the cave above the road between Argos and Lerna, the poor huntsman continued to tell his tale. Each day he woke, alone, disturbed and hungry. He attributed his pitiful state not to the cumulative consequences of his life to date but rather to the lingering curse of the cecaelia, which we suppose had, in truth, been dispelled when the last effects of the toxin had left his system. Here, we lose interest in him and allow his exit from our story.

written while listening to:  Matt Mitchell & Kate Gentile - Snark Horse, disc 1 (Pi Recordings, PI90, 2021, United States, cdx6,

July 26, 2022
Several prominent citizens approached the magistrate of Thyrea, urging him to send a troop of soldiers to investigate the huntsman's claims. The magistrate, a man whose lengthy tenure in the position was based in good part on prudence, demurred, "By all accounts, the creature, if it even exists, makes it lair north of Lerna. Let us allow our neighbors to tend to disturbances in their own back yard. Should their efforts prove in vain, they will at least serve as a warning of the danger before we risk spilling good Thyrean blood."

written while listening to:  Magda Mayas - Terrain (Gaffer Records, GR059, 2016, France, lp,

July 27, 2022
At dinner, the wife of the magistrate took the unusual step of joining her husband so as to mention the circulating rumor. Their son, a strapping lad of seventeen, keen of mind and destined to follow his father's footsteps in government, volunteered to accompany a team of scouts to discreetly ascertain the veracity of the claims. "No, Aesop," ordered his father, eager for a change in subject, "you already spend far too much time in Lerna." It was true that the boy traveled the few miles separating Thyrea and Lerna twice a month to attend lectures from a highly regarded philosopher of the town.

written while listening to:  John Coltrane - Sun Ship (Impulse!/ABC Records, AS-9211, 1971, United States, lp,

July 28, 2022
In Lerna, the proximity of the alleged monster might have prompted more serious concern, but the regular traffic to and from Argos along the road brought with it no further sightings. In none of the numerous caves on either side of the valley had a solitary, young woman or an unnatural beast been spotted. Their local philosopher of standing, a man by the name of Thucydides, publicly dismissed the ravings of an uneducated hunter, concerned as he was with the real demons that animated the minds of men.

written while listening to:  Rudresh Mahanthappa - Codebook (Pi Recordings, PI21, 2006, United States, cd,

July 29, 2022
Before long, reports circulated north to the mighty metropolis of Argos, where the matter was discussed as one might the chance of rain, with a mixture of skepticism and ambivalence. There already existed a consensus that the character of Lerneans was, in general, dubious. Why else would they have been cursed with the many-headed hydra that resided in the swamp at their doorstep? Some fair amount of gossip was spent guessing at what new depravity the residents of Lerna had wrought to compel the gods to send a second monster to plague them.

written while listening to:  Alex Zethson Ensemble - Some Of Them Were Never Unprepared (Relative Pitch Records, RPR1130, 2021, United States, cd,

July 30, 2022
Without further incidents, talk of the monster-oracle began to subside. Only a few especially garrulous tongues continued to wag on the subject, as they waited for some new crisis to arrive and occupy their imagination. Soon enough tensions would become inflamed between the towns and cities strung along the coast. All it took was a bad harvest, a particularly severe squall or a misunderstanding between intemperate soldiers to spark the kindling and put them at each other's throats. Predicting the hour of the next conflagration was an ever-present pastime.

written while listening to:  Colin Stetson - All This I Do For Glory (52Hz, 52HZ002LP, 2017, United States, lp,

July 31, 2022
In her cave, Eurymedusa waited patiently for the first of her supplicants to arrive. During the day, she moved outside cautiously, taking care to keep out of sight of travelers as she visited the stream for water and sustenance. Only the birds knew of her presence and soon they too began to ignore her, save for one moustached warbler, who, for reasons unknown to us, took a liking to her. A small and unassuming bird with tan chest and rufous rump, it perched at an angle midway up reeds on the bank and called its monosyllabic greeting whenever she visited.

written while listening to:  Thelonious Monk - The Complete Blue Note Recordings, disc 4 (Blue Note, CDP 7243 5 30363 2 6, 1994 (rec. 1958), United States, cdx4,

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