The Poison Pie Publishing House presents:

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


March 1, 2022
The trio descended into the Earth's dark womb. Their progress was slow owing to the old man's lame leg. He wore an ankle-length chiton of pale yellow linen embroidered with stars in dark green thread. The other man was similarly garbed though his tunic was cut shorter and dyed a regal purple. Eurymedusa had no more understanding of the potential significance of their robes than she did of their bizarre headpieces. Her ignorance on these fine points did not especially perplex her since, in her experience, so much of the world defied reason.

written while listening to:  Alexandra Grimal - Nāga, disc 2 (Ovni Records, OVN0002, 2019, France, cdx2,

March 2, 2022
Through narrow passages, they walked single file with Eurymedusa bringing up the rear. She found it unsatisfactory that, should she desire to gain their attention, she could not do so with a gesture but neither could she call out their names, since they had neglected introductions. She dared not simply address them as Octopus and Squid. She began to devise a pretense for conversation so that she might manage an exchange of names. Her plans were disrupted when Octopus looked over his shoulder, without breaking his stride, to ask in a brusque voice, "Why were you delayed?"

written while listening to:  Derek Bailey - Aida, sides A & B (Honest Jon's Records, HJRLP205, 2018 (orig. 1980), United Kingdom, lpx2,

March 3, 2022
We forgive Eurymedusa her short temper for she felt as if she had again ceded control over her fate. She was tempted to turn around and find her way alone back to the surface. To stave off this impulse, she replied in a sarcastic tone, "I am late because the Minotaur's maze was not as straight as I had hoped and the span of the Great Sea somewhat farther a swim than I had anticipated." She immediately regretted these hasty words; she had not intended to reveal that she had escaped from the labyrinth, lest she be sold back to King Minos for a sizeable ransom.

written while listening to:  Hans Reichel & Tom Cora - Angel Carver (FMP, FMP CD 15, 1989, Germany, cd,

March 4, 2022
At the tone of these words, or perhaps the depth of the silence that followed, the old man slowed his pace, allowing the spacing between the three of them to shrink. When the other two had caught up, he paused and held up the lantern. He desired to reassure their guest with the knowledge that she had not fallen in with unscrupulous bounty hunters. He gazed into Eurymedusa's eyes and perceived only the convoluted twisting of the labyrinth. What comfort could he offer to heal such a wound? At a loss, he said nothing and resumed their descent.

written while listening to:  Keiji Haino - Beginning and End, Interwoven (Streamline, 1002, 1994, Germany, cd,

March 5, 2022
They came upon the first of three gorges, which separated their destination from the surface world. The rock of the Earth, in which the tunnel was encased, had fractured along a seam and split. In all directions perpendicular to their path—to the right and left, above and below—emptiness extended into darkness. This first gap was only four feet wide. After giving Eurymedusa time to survey the obstacle, the old man retreated three paces and, with a running start, leapt the narrow chasm. Despite his bad leg, his landing was well controlled and he spilled not a drop of blue from the amphora.

written while listening to:  Evan Parker - Lines Burnt in Light (psi, psi 01.01, 2001, United Kingdom, cd,

March 6, 2022
Eurymedusa backed away from the seam. She could easily leap the distance but did not ignore the fact that any stumble would cast her into bottomless depths. Supposing that she wrestled with fear, her escorts waited for her to come to terms with the fissure. Little did they understand that this gap seemed as nothing to one who had swum through water-filled tunnels with no end in sight. Breathing deeply, Eurymedusa jogged forward and sprang into the air. She was suspended momentarily in perfect darkness. She landed gracefully, well clear of the edge, and received no applause whatsoever for her efforts.

written while listening to:  Steve Lacy - The Sun (Emanem, 5022, 2012 (rec. 1967, 1968 & 1973), United Kingdom, cd,

March 7, 2022
The trio descended deeper into the Earth. At one point, they were forced to clamber down a rock slide on all fours. No aspect of spelunking gave Eurymedusa any more pause than it did the two men. Hours passed before they arrived at the second gorge. Much like the first, this rift in the Earth appeared abruptly and split the path in twain. The soft blue light of the lantern barely penetrated the forty foot span and only just revealed a rough hole where the tunnel continued in the rock face on the far side of the rift.

written while listening to:  Roscoe Mitchell - Dots (Wide Hive Records, WH-0359, 2021, United States, lp,

March 8, 2022
Eurymedusa detected no means of crossing the chasm but her guides did not appear flustered. The old man illuminated a coiled length of hempen rope laid aside for this purpose. "Moros," he said to the younger man, "tie it about her waist and secure her between us." He had addressed his companion as if by name, but to Eurymedusa it seemed an unkind moniker. Regardless, as he approached her with rope in hand, she took a step back. "You shall do no such thing," she declared, though she did not know the trial yet to come. To be trussed by a man, even in earnestness, was not her destiny.

written while listening to:  Wadada Leo Smith's Great Lakes Quartet - The Chicago Symphonies, disc 2: Diamond Symphony (TUM Records, TUM BOX 004, 2021, Finland, cdx4,

March 9, 2022
"It will be counted against us," said Moros the Octopus, "if we lose you along the way." When Eurymedusa persisted in her refusal to be tethered to them, he re-coiled the rope. The unnamed Squid led her to a ledge, not a foot wide. With his back pressed to the stone wall and his face to the precipice, he inched sideways along the narrow shelf. Eurymedusa imitated his movements and Moros soon followed behind her. No wind blew through the chasm and darkness hid her doom should her balance falter. Apparently, she had little to fear save the betrayal of her nerves.

written while listening to:  Ivo Perelman & Aaron Parks - Brass and Ivory Tales, disc 4 (Fundacja Słuchaj!, FSR 11|2021, 2021, Poland, cdx9,

March 10, 2022
They sidled along the ledge at a slow pace. Hidden by darkness, the two walls drew closer together until the gap was half that at the tunnel. Here, the men had mounted a rope bridge consisting of three parallel lines, one to walk upon and two at shoulder height for support. The squid managed this acrobatic feat with his lame leg while clutching the amphora to his chest, leaving Eurymedusa the simple prospect of repeating his act with two strong legs and two empty hands. She nimbly crossed, pausing only once in the middle to experience fully her intimate proximity to oblivion.

written while listening to:  Muhal Richard Abrams - Mama and Daddy (Black Saint, BSR 0041, 1980, Italy, lp,

March 11, 2022
A similar ledge returned them to the mouth of the tunnel where they resumed their journey. The slope of the descent did not relent. Farther and farther into the Earth they traveled until Eurymedusa supposed that she was much deeper now than at any point in the labyrinth. The two men showed no signs of pausing, but marched determinedly through the darkness. She did not ask her guides where they were going for she had no choice, at this stage, but to follow them with or without an understanding of her destination.

written while listening to:  Weasel Walter, Mary Halvorson & Peter Evans - Electric Fruit (Thirsty Ear, THI 57196, 2011, United States, cd,

March 12, 2022
The trio next entered a yawning cavern from another time. Glittering crystals grew from the ground, walls and ceiling. Some fragile prisms were as small as needles while the geometry of others rose nearly as tall as Eurymedusa with outstretched arms. The liquid blue light was reflected in ten thousand facets. The squid wove a reverent path, slowing in the center to allow her to take in the rare sight. She thought of Porphyrion, whom she had left in the Minotaur's labyrinth; he had consecrated a cave not unlike this one as a temple to gods of the underworld. She issued a silent prayer for his safety.

written while listening to:  Masada - Dalet (DIW, DIW-923, 1995, Japan, cd,

March 13, 2022
There were numerous choices of egress from the crystal cavern but the squid led them unerringly along their route. Shortly thereafter, Eurymedusa detected a familiar rise in humidity. With a sense of anticipation, she awaited their arrival at what she fully expected to be an underground lake. Its placid surface did not, however, appear as she had imagined. Instead, they arrived at a third gorge, so immense that it seemed to extend endlessly into space. Neither leap nor rope bridge would avail them here. Side by side, the squid and the octopus contentedly breathed in the damp darkness.

written while listening to:  Jim O'Rourke - The Ground Below Above Our Heads (Entenpfuhl, EMM LP 03, 1991, Germany, lp,

March 14, 2022
"Where is the water?" she asked. In reply the two men led her to the edge, where they pointed out a staircase, which had been chiseled into the stone. The path was only slightly wider than the breadth of a man's shoulders. The squid led the way, hobbling down each step. She followed while Moros the Octopus trailed behind her. The stone was slick with moisture, making the footing treacherous. They slowly descended along countless stairs into the darkness. There were no cutbacks so Eurymedusa moved the same distance laterally as she did downward during her entry into the abyss.

written while listening to:  Ingrid Laubrock - Some Times (Candid, CCD 79774, 2001, United Kingdom, cd,

March 15, 2022
After what seemed a mile of stairs, they reached the bottom of the third gorge. The rock walls were not as vertical as they had appeared from above, for, by the light of the squid's lantern, she detected the rough face of the far side. She found herself in a long, jagged crevice, extending out of sight in both directions. In the center of the canyon floor stretched a river, its waters impenetrable, its current indolent. On the near side a footpath wound along the bank, bound tightly between stone and water. Having no alternative, this trail they now followed.

written while listening to:  Lawrence "Butch" Morris - Testament: A Conduction Collection, disc 9: Conduction #41 (New World Records/CounterCurrents, 80478-2, 1995, United States, cdx10+book,

March 16, 2022
Thirsty, Eurymedusa pined to drink from the water beside her, but the dangers of the rivers of the underworld were well documented. She knew not whether she trod along a tributary of the Acheron, Cocytus, Lethe or Styx—though the fiery Phlegethon could be ruled out—but each had its own dangers. She did not dare risk her memories. Already she felt a great disconnection from the surface world, which only her recollections of the sun and the sea prevented from erasing completely. Should she forfeit them, she would be lost here all the days of her life.

written while listening to:  Pauline Oliveros - Reverberations: Tape & Electronic Music 1961-1970, disc 12 (Important Records, IMPREC352, 2012, United States, cdx12,

March 17, 2022
In time unmeasured, the canyon opened into the largest cavern that Eurymedusa had ever encountered. Of course, its breadth and height were cloaked in darkness but its dimensions were unveiled to her ears through the absence of any echo to their footfalls. She surmised that all of Athens might be transplanted within such a cave. More marvelous than its prodigious capacity was the fact that stone did not line the floor. Rather, an endless, placid lake stretched out before Eurymedusa. Passing the squid, she approached until she stood ankle deep in the cold water. Her heart soared as if at a joyful reunion.

written while listening to:  Judson Trio (Joëlle Léandre, Mat Maneri & Gerald Cleaver) - Light and Dance, disc 2 (RogueArt, ROG-0112, 2021, France, cdx2,

March 18, 2022
Eurymedusa kept to the shallows as they walked a short distance along the shore. Arriving at a small rowboat, hauled halfway out of the water, the two men pushed it onto the lake. The squid climbed in and situated himself in the stern. Moros, holding onto the boat, motioned for Eurymedusa to board. Having been transported by sea as prisoner from Athens to Crete, Eurymedusa would never again set foot on a boat. If there was any lingering doubt in their minds that they had collected the right girl, her brash dive into the underground lake dispelled it.

written while listening to:  David Murray Quartet - Morning Song (Black Saint, BSR 0075, 1984, Italy, lp,

March 19, 2022
Moros pulled at the oars while Eurymedusa swam alongside the boat. She caused the squid some small worry for she neglected to keep in sight of his lantern. She disappeared for a minute or a two at a stretch, diving deep into the inky blackness. She received no reprimand for her actions. Her pleasure in returning to the water was no less apparent to them than had she been transformed into a dolphin, leaping into the air. Neither man was inclined to restrain her exuberance, for they knew the trial that was to come.

written while listening to:  Ornette Coleman - Ornette! (Atlantic, SD 1378, 1962, United States, lp,

March 20, 2022
Those in the boat mistakenly conjectured that the swimmer would tire ere they crossed the underground lake but, after an hour of rowing, it was Moros who struggled to keep up with her. Soon, the soft blue light of their underground village shone like a sapphire beacon in the far darkness. They made for it at a steady pace. To Eurymedusa, whose adventures thus far had consisted of the terror of the labyrinth and the solitude of the open sea, the distant light beckoned to her, as if the glow of a glittering diadem in a fairy tale.

written while listening to:  Anthony Braxton with Muhal Richard Abrams - Duets 1976 (Arista, AL 4101, 1976, United States, lp,

March 21, 2022
They tied the boat at the end of a stone pier then climbed a gentle hill into the village proper. No residents had come out to celebrate what Eurymedusa imagined was a momentous occasion in her life, perhaps in theirs as well. She considered it unlikely that strangers swam to their remote island and were brought down here on a routine basis. The street was lit by liquid light contained within glass amphoras, placed atop regularly spaced blocks. The stonework was neither ornate nor crudely cut. The sheer extent of it declared a lengthy habitation of this site.

written while listening to:  Kazue Sawai, Michel Doneda, Kazuo Imai, Tetsu Saitoh & Lê Quan Ninh - Une Chance Pour l'Ombre (Les Disques Victo, VICTO CD 094, 2004, Canada, cd,

March 22, 2022
Only the entrances to homes were visible, mouths to caves disappearing into rock. As she passed one opening, Eurymedusa thought she heard voices of a man and woman. The street widened until all three walked abreast then broadened further into what functioned as a town square, save that its shape conformed to the irregular whim of the stone along its perimeter. At its center lay a perfectly circular ring of brilliant blue water. The outer diameter was rimmed with a stone wall at a height for sitting, while inside the ring on a raised platform stood an arresting sculpture.

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

March 23, 2022
The stone had been meticulously cut to portray a being both woman and monster. Larger than life, she towered over Eurymedusa. From the waist up, the nude figure possessed the form of a muscular woman, her expression fearless, her arms stretched out to boldly seize the darkness about her. In place of two legs, eight tentacles, each at its base the diameter of a woman's thigh, emerged from her hips and descended in a tangled, writhing mass. The form of the cecaelia as a maritime peril was known to Eurymedusa no less than the siren or the kraken.

written while listening to:  Cecil Taylor - For Olim (Soul Note, SN 1150, 1987, Italy, lp,

March 24, 2022
As Eurymedusa gazed at the statue, the old man emptied the contents of the amphora into the ring of water encircling it. By the abundant light of the pool, she next witnessed the two men remove their cephalopodic headpieces, detaching the suckers that stuck to the skin of their faces, before lowering them into the water. Eurymedusa was not entirely surprised to see the octopus and squid, once returned to their native element, emerge from their hibernation and flex their many arms. Both quickly jetted off, disappearing into the liquid radiance. Still, she did not ask for an explanation.

written while listening to:  George Lewis - Shadowgraph (Black Saint, BSR 0016, 1978, Italy, lp,

March 25, 2022
The faint squeal of an infant broke the silence. Moros glanced at their charge then said to his companion, "I will leave her to you now and go to my family." The idea of this man in the role of husband and father seemed inconsistent with Eurymedusa's notion of him as a bizarre, octopus-wearing cultist wandering through subterranean darkness. Regardless, the old man nodded in assent and soon there stood only two beneath the towering cecaelia. He left the empty vase on the stone wall and led her down an alley opposite that which the younger man had taken.

written while listening to:  Irène Schweizer - Live at Taktlos (Intakt Records, Intakt 001, 1986, Switzerland, lp,

March 26, 2022
Through winding stone passages Eurymedusa followed the old man home. As he neared his destination, the agility with which he had managed the rope bridge and the narrow stairs seemed to desert him. His pace slowed and his stride grew more uneven. The path ended at the mouth of a cave, from which a now familiar blue light emanated. He looked over his shoulder and gestured for her to follow. He entered calling out, "Phoebe, I am home. I have brought a guest with me. Bring out a pitcher to slake our thirst."

written while listening to:  Christine Abdelnour & Magda Mayas - The Setting Sun Is Beautiful Because Of All It Makes Us Lose (Sofa, SOFA577, 2020, Norway, cd,

March 27, 2022
They entered a small, natural hollow, outfitted as a sitting room with several chairs and a couch. A closed, wooden chest with a flat top served as a central table. A woman of the same age as her husband set down the jug of water and, after a perfunctory nod in the direction of Eurymedusa, hurried over to tend to him. She ushered him onto the couch then fussed over him, straightening the wisps of white hair mussed by the squid. When she was satisfied, she kissed his forehead then whispered his name, "Adranís", in gratitude for his safe return.

written while listening to:  John Coltrane - Giant Steps (Atlantic, SD 1311, 1960, United States, lp,

March 28, 2022
Phoebe exited the cave through a side opening, only to quickly return with a bowl. She knelt before her husband and lifted the chiton up to his thigh. Eurymedusa observed that one leg was withered. To this leg, the old woman applied an unguent, spreading the greasy ointment from ankle to thigh and massaging the muscle as she did so. Adranís silently submitted to these tender ministrations. While working, she ordered Eurymedusa to pour a cup of water and bring it to him. Once this was done, she encouraged her guest to fill another cup for herself.

written while listening to:  Fieldwork (Vijay Iyer, Steve Lehman & Tyshawn Sorey) - Door (Pi Recordings, PI26, 2008, United States, cd,

March 29, 2022
"While I undo these knots you have put in your leg," she said to her husband, somewhat gruffly, "you might at least introduce our guest." The old man glanced over at the girl, who had remained standing, then admitted sheepishly to his wife that he could not introduce her for the simple fact that he did not know her name. Rather than admonish her husband for his ill manners, she seemed to take Eurymedusa to task, saying, "You just followed two men into the very depths of the Earth without even bothering to first exchange names with them?"

written while listening to:  Steph Richards with Joshua White - Zephyr (Relative Pitch Records, RPR1132, 2021, United States, cd,

March 30, 2022
Several potential defenses leapt to Eurymedusa's tongue, some of which invoked the Minotaur, but she voiced none of them. Instead, she observed the patient love between a long-married couple and chose her words more carefully. As we have noted, despite her reticence, she was committed to speaking the truth. In eventual response to the rebuke from her hostess, Eurymedusa replied, "I suppose that I am just a good judge of character." At this reply, the husband emitted a short bark of laughter, which provoked from his wife a sharp command to sit still.

written while listening to:  Colin Stetson - Sorrow (52Hz, 52HZ001LP, 2016, United States, lpx2,

March 31, 2022
They fed Eurymedusa then put her to bed in a small guest room. She lay on the mat trying to decipher the riddle of this old couple, who lived as grandparents might on the surface world, each long accustomed to the other, taking care to maintain a comfortable life together. The pair acted as if they were oblivious to their surroundings. The crux of the puzzle hinged on her own feeling that, having recently escaped from the labyrinth, she considered it stupendous bad luck to find herself once again trapped in the underworld.

written while listening to:  Thelonious Monk - The Complete Blue Note Recordings, disc 2 (Blue Note, CDP 7243 5 30363 2 6, 1994 (rec. 1948 & 1951), United States, cdx4,

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