The Poison Pie Publishing House presents:

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


December 1, 2023
There was naught for Melanippe to map on the borderless expanse of sea. Shearwaters and black-headed gulls cried out to be immortalized on her parchment but she heeded not their pleas. Conversely, a pod of dolphins leapt from the sea and begged her to keep secret the location of their passing lest unprincipled men be led by her hand to their marine refuge. To their wish she complied. A lone sea turtle, swimming just below the surface, paid her no mind, seemingly indifferent to the cartographer's anxiety as she traveled with great reservation back to the Greek mainland.

written while listening to:  You Had Me At Hello - Meet Ab Baars & Michael Moore (Tonometer Music, TONOM101, 2010, Denmark, 7", & Meet Oliver Lake (Tonometer Music, TONOM102, 2010, Denmark, 7",

December 2, 2023
On the first night at sea, the gods smiled upon the Aetos and tamed the waters so that the bireme rose and fell gently upon swells, rocking the men to sleep as if they were infants returned to the cradle. The captain seemed pleased with his decision to take the shortcut across the Ionian Sea but refrained from lording it over Abas, lest he tempt fate. Melanippe wrapped her arms around her knees to keep warm and watched the stars chase the night hours across the sky. The celestial reminder of her insignificance helped put her disquiet into perspective.

written while listening to:  Derek Bailey - All Thumbs (Incus Records, DVD 02, 2009 (rec. 2004), United Kingdom, dvd,

December 3, 2023
On the second night at sea, a chill fell in the air. The cold provisions were proclaimed less filling than on the previous night and the benches less comfortable. Blankets were distributed to the men, who quieted knowing this comfort was the best they were to receive. When it was time to settle down for the night, Linus sang them a lullaby to a slow tune on the flute of Bion. His wistful voice eased the men into slumber. What dream is better for a traveler than to return to the security of a mother's embrace at home?

written while listening to:  Keiji Haino - Twined Around the Universe, My Pain (PSF Records, PSFD-8020, 2005, Japan, cd,

December 4, 2023
The following day, a storm gathered on the eastern horizon, separating them from their destination. No amount of reassurance from Abas would have dismissed the clouds so he maintained a pensive silence. He held their course and the superintendents of rowing ordered the oarsmen to propel the Aetos into the oncoming dark. Melanippe stored her map below deck to protect it from the impending rain. The winds picked up, whipping the sea into a cantankerous spasm of roiling waves and froth. It proved impossible to distribute dinner upon the haphazardly tottering deck and the men went without.

written while listening to:  The Art Ensemble of Chicago - Urban Bushmen, sides C & D (ECM Records, ECM 1212, 1982, Germany, lpx2,

December 5, 2023
The tempest reached its climax beneath the cover of clouds, shielding its tantrum from the stars. No one on the Aetos slept a wink for they continuously re-oriented the ship so that the bow split oncoming waves lest they be capsized. By dawn the storm had spent its fury and a weary crew resumed rowing to Sparta. No respite was requested for they did not wish to spend another night at sea. In morning light, they rowed through the splintered wreckage of a vessel that had not managed to survive the night. Corpses floated facedown amidst rope and timber.

written while listening to:  Madison Greenstone - Resonance Studies in Ecstatic Consciousness (Relative Pitch Records, RPRSS020, 2023, United States, cd,

December 6, 2023
The Aetos entered the calm waters of the Messenian gulf, alive but chastened. Although mostly Athenians, men welcomed the sight of the gentle hills of Sparta. They came ashore well south of Thalamae, with no intention to trade there. The crew celebrated with bonfires on the beach, tossing portions of their dinner into the flames as an impromptu holocaust. An additional day of travel saw them rounding Cape Matapan, where it was said a cave leading to Hades could be found, before they arrived at the main Spartan port of Gytheio.

written while listening to:  Joëlle Léandre & Danielle P. Roger - Tricotage (Ambiances Magnétiques, AM 078 CD, 2000, Canada, cd,

December 7, 2023
Gytheio lay eight leagues south of the capital city of Sparta. As the shipped pulled into port, Melanippe scanned Cranae, the sliver of an island, jutting from the shore. Upon this spit of land, it was claimed that Paris spent his first night with Helen, after her abduction. The town itself rose in ordered tiers of limestone and marble up the slope from the placid harbor. The captain did not begrudge his men a day in port after their harrowing trek but kept Theodoros and Melanippe by his side, as he intended to accomplish his trading briskly and depart for Athens without delay.

written while listening to:  The Revolutionary Ensemble - And Now... (Pi Recordings, PI13, 2004, United States, cd,

December 8, 2023
Having previously visited Gytheio, the captain led them directly to a gallery, where he expected to find goods of a quality commensurate with the goals of the Aetos. Arriving as the sun set, the proprietor's wife begged them to come back on the morrow. The captain insisted that they be granted entrance. The woman summoned her husband who grumpily greeted them at the door, then changed his attitude as he saw the opportunity for significant profit. Before the tour of goods or any negotiations commenced, he plied his clients with fine wine.

written while listening to:  Steve Lacy & Joe McPhee - The Rest (Roaratorio, roar28, 2013, United States, single-sided lp,

December 9, 2023
Melanippe admitted that the captain had brought them to the right shop for the works on display were magnificent objects crafted by artisans of the highest caliber. While the captain favored the metalwork of Sparta, he purchased a set of eight terra cotta drinking cups, broad and shallow with two handles, each painted in the interior with rings of ornate geometry encircling a unique mythological beast—a pegasus, hydra, manticore, hippogriff, chimera, lamia, hippocampus and, alas, a minotaur. He handed one to her for closer inspection. Without a doubt, it was the most extravagant cup that she had ever held.

written while listening to:  Wadada Leo Smith - Lake Biwa (Tzadik, TZ 8008, 2004, United States, cd,

December 10, 2023
Sensing his final opportunity to add to his treasures, the captain continued his buying streak at the gallery. He purchased a matching pair of hammered bronze containers—a huge mixing bowl and an equally impressive water jar. Each was adorned with a troupe of solid cast figures depicting nudes arranged in exuberant poses between oversized blooms of iris and crocus. To Melanippe, the goods seemed too finely crafted to ever be put to practical use. In exchange for these items, the captain offered gold and a few remaining keepsakes from the hold that had been set aside for trade along their journey.

written while listening to:  John Zorn - Locus Solus (Eva, WWCX 2035, 1991 (rec. 1983), Japan, cd,

December 11, 2023
Melanippe had but the following day in Gytheio to herself before they would depart and two tasks to accomplish. The first led her to the house of a local scholar, where she purchased a sizeable parchment. By window light she made a complete copy of her map of the Great Sea. Her host permitted her the use of his home for he saw the beauty in her work, while his wife offered her refreshments during the hours it took Melanippe to accomplish the task. In the end, the copy was nearly as praiseworthy as the original and, to its benefit, rested upon a much less weathered parchment.

written while listening to:  David Murray - Sun/Moon, sides C & D (JMI Recordings, JMI-10, 2023, United States, lpx2,

December 12, 2023
We pause a moment to share a private grief that filled Melanippe as she worked at the scholar's table. She copied only the chart of the Great Sea while her mapping of the labyrinth languished, seemingly forgotten. There was no purpose in reproducing an object, which, if shared, served only to betray her origins. She wondered if there was another soul on Earth who might appreciate the myriad of lines, each as thin as the blade of a knife, meticulously captured on that parchment, for in that maze lay a year of her life and the answer to the riddle of who she had become.

written while listening to:  Tyshawn Sorey & Alarm Will Sound - Autoschediasms (Cantaloupe Music, CA21172, 2021, United States, cdx2,

December 13, 2023
She returned the original map to the Aetos, where the Ethiopian waited for her. They had agreed to seek out new employment together. Abas, who rarely left the ship, approached her, though he did not ask to see the contents of the rolled-up parchment. He already had a clear idea of the contours drawn upon its surface. No less had he intuited their leaving. He gestured to the Ethiopian. "I can guess why you wish to avoid Athens." To Melanippe, he said, "Your reason I do not know. All the same, let me join you as you walk about the town. I may be of use."

written while listening to:  Anthony Braxton - Trillium E, Act 3 (New Braxton House, NBH901, 2011, United states, cdx4,

December 14, 2023
Abas led them to a labor hall, where contracts were negotiated between sailors of all stripes—from common oarsmen to officers—and the merchants who funded each venture. Their progress was interrupted several times as crewmates of past campaigns approached the helmsman to warmly greet him. Events spanning years of separation were quickly summarized before parting with wistful smiles. Eventually, they arrived at a booth occupied by a man with nearly as much white hair as Abas. The old man's eyes widened in surprised recognition as he rose to his feet. Grabbing Abas by the arm, he joyfully exclaimed, "You're hired!"

written while listening to:  Søren Kjærgaard, Ben Street & Andrew Cyrille - Femklang (ILK Music, ILK181LP, 2011, Denmark, cd,

December 15, 2023
His name was Deinokrates and Abas good-naturedly declined his offer of employment made in jest. The two men spoke for a while, recounting travels and asking about mutual acquaintances of years past. Too many, it seemed, had been claimed by time. In due course, Deinokrates said, "Well, if I can't convince you to sail with me, to what do I owe the pleasure of your visit?" Abas gestured at his two companions. "I am loath to part with this pair," he said, "but fate decrees it. I recall that you always put to best use what good help you could muster."

written while listening to:  Schlippenbach Trio - Features (Intakt Records, Intakt CD 250, 2015, Switzerland, cd,

December 16, 2023
Of Melanippe, Abas said, "I have traveled with this lad around the entire coast of the Great Sea. Truly, he is a young Cimon of Kleonai when it comes to cartography. I have heard his tongue in Punic, Berber, Egyptian, Hittite, not to mention the dialects of Massalia, Sparta and Crete. Nor plague, nor storm, nor hunger at sea dulled his spirit nor tempered the care with which he recorded our course. As for courage, he alone led the expedition to retrieve one of our crew, who was imprisoned in the gaol of distant Thonis. You will not find better."

written while listening to:  Yona-kit - Yona-kit LP (Skin Graft/NUX Organization, GR20CD/NUX-D11, 1995, United States/Japan, cd,

December 17, 2023
Of the Ethiopian, Abas said, "As for his dark companion, we purchased his freedom from the Greeks in Cyrene. He pulls an oar the equal of any sailor with nary a word of complaint. Off the Carthaginian coast, as others fell around us, I myself saw his uncommon ferocity in battle with pirates, eager to cut all our throats for the joy of it. I heard the tale sung of the rescue of his companions as savages surrounded them in Iberian wilds. He too is a man of honor and valor, whom you would be fortunate to count among your number."

written while listening to:  Doug Wieselman - Dimly Lit (Tzadik, TZ 7515, 2003, United States, cd,

December 18, 2023
Having made his testimonials and vouched for Melanippe's status as a male and the Ethiopian's as a free man, Abas fell silent. Melanippe had copied the map as proof of her worldly travels and evidence of her skill as cartographer. She unrolled the parchment before their prospective employer then waited for him to pronounce judgment. However, it seemed that Deinokrates sought no recommendation but the word of Abas, for his eyes barely scanned the map and he uttered no words in praise of it. Any further information he extracted first of Melanippe then the Ethiopian through steady study of their faces.

written while listening to:  Fie Schouten, Vincent Courtois & Guus Janssen - VOSTOK: Remote Islands (Relative Pitch Records, RPR1179, 2023, United States, cd,

December 19, 2023
He recruited for an expedition that would sail to Tyre and, from there, head inland via caravan to eastern lands lying beyond the borders of any Greek map. He described a journey through the kingdom of Bactria, already east of Punic influence, to the fabled Indus river, where it was rumored a wholly foreign people cultivated spices and medicinal goods unknown even to the most erudite scholars of Athens. Melanippe assured him that she could map an inland journey as well as one by sea. Picturing herself in exotic lands, Melanippe set aside her trepidation and embraced the lure of adventure.

written while listening to:  Paul Bley - Tango Palace (Soul Note, SN 1090, 1985, Italy, lp,

December 20, 2023
Aboard the Aetos, the captain had already heard news of her impending departure. "You missed the first leg of our journey from Athens to Knossos and it looks as if you will miss the last leg as well. So be it." He appeared to have nothing more to say. Melanippe smiled at him. "Captain," she said, "I apologize for all the times I caused you to raise your voice at me." He seemed embarrassed to be reminded of his temper. She continued, "I gained my sea legs under your command. Each new captain under whom I serve shall be only a reflection of you."

written while listening to:  John Coltrane - The Believer (Prestige, PR 7292, 1964 (rec. 1958), United States, lp,

December 21, 2023
That evening she went drinking with Linus. They sat silently over their cups, attempting to extract meaning from their parting, though they found little. In truth, each would have preferred a future in which they continued to share the other's company. That fate was to sunder them seemed both painful and inevitable. Linus took another gulp of wine. "I will wait for calm seas under clear skies when the oarsmen row with no land in sight. Then I shall sing again 'The Romp of Theodoros in Thonis' and 'The Graverobbers of Hemeroskopeion' to the petrels and terns and anyone else willing to remember."

written while listening to:  In Situ Ens. - Same Place (Cubus Records, CR 377, 2022, Switzerland, cd,

December 22, 2023
She made to say her farewell to Theodoros on the wharf, but he bade her accompany him to an alley, where their words were private. Lewd catcalls from the crew followed them. When they were alone, the scholar said in a rush, "Cimon, I have never loved a woman as I have loved you." Melanippe smiled at his awkwardness. "I have never had so faithful a husband," she replied, "who kept my most precious secrets dear to his heart." He drew a deep breath. "Be safe," he said and, at a loss for further words, hurried back to the ship.

written while listening to:  Stan Kenton - Artistry in Rhythm (Capitol Records, BD-39, 1946, United States, 10"x4,

December 23, 2023
At dawn, the Ethiopian stood beside Melanippe on the beach as they watched the Aetos pull away from shore. Theirs was to be a lasting partnership of two far-roaming travelers. Though each was never to know the name given to the other at birth, their bond transcended mere words. Severed from their people, they had found in each other an anchor that neither would soon forsake. Melanippe supposed the gods, usually so fickle, had seen fit to make up for her selection in the lottery by placing this boon companion in her path. How lucky she was to have discovered this treasure along her journey!

written while listening to:  Francesca Naibo - So Much Time (Ramble Records, RAM-108, 2022, Australia/Italy, lp,

December 24, 2023
Three days rowing—around Cape Maleas, across the Gulf of Argolis and finally the Gulf of Aegina—led to the harbor of Athens. Having lost track of our heroine, we also lose interest in faithfully providing a daily account of the travels of the Aetos. Her eyes no longer mapped each feature of the coast as the bireme slipped past. The men yearned for home and did not resent the labor of these last few days. Linus kept time. Facing the stern, his eyes often came to rest on the empty spot of the deck where Melanippe's easel had stood.

written while listening to:  Sonny Rollins - Freedom Suite (Riverside Records, RLP 12-258, 1958, United States, lp,

December 25, 2023
The Aetos approached the port of Piraeus while the sun was yet setting. From the deck the men gazed reverently at the Parthenon, high atop the hill of the Acropolis, casting long shadows over the city. Each man was filled with a profound sense of accomplishment and relief at returning home after so long a voyage in which all aboard had seen new lands. None emerged from the journey wholly unchanged. On that evening, most did not stand in line for wages from the quartermaster. Rather, they streamed along the familiar road to waiting arms.

written while listening to:  Oren Ambarchi, Jim O'Rourke & Keiji Haino - In The Past Only Geniuses Were Capable Of Staging The Perfect Crime..., Sides C & D (Black Truffle/Medama Records, BT50/mr09, 2019, Australia/Japan, lpx2,

December 26, 2023
The return of the Aetos and the wonders in its hold were the talk of the town. Before its prizes were sold and distributed, an exhibit was arranged that came to be part advertisement for future sales, part educational course on culture and geography, and part festival. The first days were open to noblemen, then broadened to include their families. Finally, common folk were granted a day of access to gaze upon the display of the wealth of the world that only a power as mighty as Athens could assemble. In the center of the hall rested Melanippe's map.

written while listening to:  Craig Taborn Trio - Chants (ECM Records, ECM 2326, 2013, Germany, cd,

December 27, 2023
There was, of course, one object not on display at the Treasures of the Aetos exhibit. Theodoros had taken Melanippe's map of the labyrinth home with him. He initially entertained the notion of selling it though he began to fear that simply possessing an item, which might undermine the tribute Athens had paid to Crete, could be perceived as a crime unto itself. Alone, he spent hours by candlelight running a finger along the tangled lines of the maze. It was also true, we must admit, that the scholar did not wish to send trouble chasing Melanippe's heels.

written while listening to:  Gerry Mulligan & Chet Baker - Mulligan/Baker, sides C & D (Prestige, PR 24016, 1972 (rec. 1951, 1953 & 1965), United States, lpx2,

December 28, 2023
It took no clever detective work to discover the home of a nobleman named Borus, married to a woman named Agathé, who had given up a daughter to the lottery ending Minos' siege of Athens. Theodoros waited until evening, when he had the best chance of finding them both at home. A servant opened the door and admitted him when he asked for an audience though he did not disclose the specifics of his visit. He found them at table. When the mother made to shoo her daughter away, he encouraged Clio to stay. His message was for all of them.

written while listening to:  Sven-Åke Johansson - Blended Box, disc 5 (SÅJ, SÅJ-CD 42, 2016 (rec. 2013), Germany, cdx5,

December 29, 2023
"As I sailed upon the Aetos," said the scholar to the bewildered family, "I met a traveler in Knossos whom I took as an apprentice and who then voyaged with our crew across the Great Sea. As cartographer, their map is on display at the exhibit, but they gave me a secret map in exchange for safe passage off Crete." A space was cleared on the table and he unrolled Melanippe's first map. No words were exchanged when father, mother and sister each gasped in turn as the revelation dawned upon them of the labyrinth captured on the parchment.

written while listening to:  Alvin Curran - Maritime Rites, disc 2 (New World Records, 80625-2, 2004, United States, cdx2,

December 30, 2023
"The cartographer lives," he whispered, "but she cannot come home. She was raised to conduct herself with intelligence, determination and kindness—traits with which she will find a happy path through life. Even now, headed for remote shores, she has a trustworthy companion by her side." He knew that Melanippe would not want him to leave without embracing the family. When the scholar extended the unexpected invitation, the trio rushed around the table to do so. For some time the four of them stood in a group hug. Many tears found the same shoulder and neck where Melanippe's tears had once fallen.

written while listening to:  David Grubbs - Act Five, Scene One (Blue Chopsticks, BC9, 2002, United States, cd,

December 31, 2023
We come to the end, again, Gentle Reader. We learned only of two maps created by Melanippe. In her capture of the labyrinth, we trace one aspect of her being and in that of the Great Sea, quite a different one. To be sure, she made other maps in her days walking the far reaches of the Earth. A detailed inspection of these later works is not essential, for they combine aspects of the loneliness and the shared experience woven through the first two. In the fine contours of these testaments, we may find a wrinkle of our own way.

written while listening to:  Ensemble Dedalus / Ryoko Akama - Éliane Radigue (Montagne Noire, MN7, 2023, France, cd,

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