The Poison Pie Publishing House presents:

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


February 1, 2023
The Aetos sailed into the morning sun with Melanippe upon it. Shielding her eyes from the orange glare, the sea opened before her. The ship traced a path along the northern coast of Crete. They had a favorable tailwind, which was interpreted by the oarsmen as an auspicious omen for their journey and allowed them a welcome delay to their labor. Melanippe turned once to observe the port shrinking behind her. Departing Knossos, a great weight lifted from her shoulders. She wanted to shriek with joy. Of course, she displayed no emotional outburst, deeming it unmanly.

written while listening to:  Orchestre National de Jazz, Olivier Benoit - Europa Paris, disc 1 (ONJazz Records, 424444, 2014, France, cdx2,

February 2, 2023
The Aetos, meaning Eagle, was a massive bireme, spanning nearly one hundred feet. Its rounded stern curled upon itself in the motif of a fish tail. Its prow formed a graceful arc over a lethal battering ram, plated in bronze. Two rows of oars extended from each side of the hull, requiring a full complement of one hundred twenty oarsmen. Two sails, a smaller foremast and a towering mainmast, rose from the deck. A pair of steering oars projected from the stern. The Aetos glided across the water like a bird of prey, looking to snatch an unsuspecting fish from the sea.

written while listening to:  Derek Bailey - Solo Guitar Series: In Church (Incus Records, Number 1, 2002, United Kingdom, cdr,

February 3, 2023
Beyond the oarsmen, the crew of the Aetos consisted of another two dozen men, all currently on deck. Some tended to their duties while others relished the early morning sun and the freedom in a return to the open sea. Standing beside Melanippe, Theodoros pointed out individuals, adding names much faster than could register in her memory. He identified their captain, the helmsman who operated the ship and his pair of steersmen, the carpenter essential for repairs during the voyage, a crew for each sail, the boatswain, two superintendents of rowers and a duet of piper and singer who kept time for the oarsmen.

written while listening to:  Keiji Haino - I Said, This is the Son of Nihilism (Table of the Elements, 18 Ar, 1995, United States, cd,

February 4, 2023
"You'll get to know them all well enough in these close quarters," replied Theodoros when Melanippe asked him to repeat all the names. He turned his attention away from her and observed the captain speaking to the boatswain, who gestured in their direction. She studied his face in profile, trying to decipher the man. "What is your role?" she asked. He rambled off a list. "Interpreter, scribe, connoisseur of fine goods, numismatist, accountant as necessary, and reluctant cartographer, to name but a few." "And what is my role?" she asked. His answer was postponed by the arrival of the captain.

written while listening to:  The Art Ensemble of Chicago - The Sixth Decade: From Paris to Paris, sides A & B (Rogueart, ROG-0122, 2023, France, lpx2,

February 5, 2023
"Have you uncovered a stowaway, Theodoros?" asked the captain in a decidedly unfriendly tone. To the eyes of Melanippe, he seemed out of place among his officers. Where their tans and scars showed signs of lives spent at sea, the captain's garb was new, clean and formal. Alone upon the ship, he wore a hat, custom made with a wide brim to shield his face from the sun. It was wrapped with a strip of rabbit fur. He looked every bit the foppish dandy, though all beneath him accorded him the greatest deference and had, more than once, complimented his unique headwear.

written while listening to:  Robbie Lee - Prismatist (Relative Pitch Records, RPRSS009, 2021, United States, cd,

February 6, 2023
"No stowaway, captain," replied Theodoros, "but an invaluable addition to the crew, essential to the catalog of items that we are to acquire. I have seen with my own eyes the astounding map-making skills of this talented young man. Coasts come alive in his hand! No mere squiggles of line upon parchment does he render. With all the creases and wrinkles, he is a veritable Cimon of Kleonai in the field of modern cartography! Upon observing his charting of our journey, all the lords of Athens shall envy you for having traversed such intricately detailed lands."

written while listening to:  Joëlle Léandre & Núria Andorrà - Bla Bla Bla Duo (Fundacja Słuchaj!, FSR 21|2022, 2022, Poland, cd,

February 7, 2023
The captain seemed impressed by these words but quickly hid any positive reaction. Directing himself to Melanippe, he asked, "Who was your tutor?" "Self-taught, sir! Mapping comes as naturally as breathing to me." Melanippe had intentionally lowered the pitch of her voice. All within earshot heard the affectation in her speech, though they supposed the act not of a woman but of a young man barely through puberty, attempting to prove that he belonged among veterans. It pleased the captain to have someone less seasoned than himself aboard, as he was not a mariner but a political appointee.

written while listening to:  Jonathan Finlayson & Sicilian Defense - Moment and the Message (Pi Recordings, PI48, 2013, United States, cd,

February 8, 2023
To the boatswain the captain said, "From his dress a Cretan farmer but from his talk a son of Athens. I sense a tale of intrigue here." The captain shrugged. "I have no interest in intrigue." He directed himself to the young man. "You will make yourself useful or we will summarily deposit you in Tarsus, if you do not provoke an earlier departure." By this terse manner was Melanippe made aware of their destination: Tarsus in distant Anatolia, an eastern land literally named after the rising sun. Melanippe could not have wished for a more exotic refuge.

written while listening to:  Steve Lacy & Andrea Centazzo - Clangs (Ictus Records, ICTUS RE 0001, 2021 (orig. 1976), Italy, lp,

February 9, 2023
Was it possible that the captain actually misunderstood the name of his new cartographer to be Cimon? Yes, it was so and no one dared correct him. Brief was Melanippe's tenure as Mikkos. For the remainder of her life as a man, she was to be known as Cimon. "I want a demonstration," bellowed the captain. To Theodoros, he ordered, "Put away that scrap of parchment and bring out a full length." Theodoros shuffled off and the boatswain returned to his duties. The captain draped his arm over Melanippe's shoulder. "Cimon, my son, I hope for your sake that your master spoke truly."

written while listening to:  Wadada Leo Smith - String Quartets, disc 1 (TUM Records, TUM BOX 005, 2022, Finland, cdx7,

February 10, 2023
The captain proposed a test of Cimon's mapping skills. As Theodoros had indicated, they were charged with delivering a map of all the lands visited by the Aetos. He had in his possession a chart describing only the first fragment of their journey, to get them past Rhodes to Tarsus. Cimon was to begin immediately rendering the coasts along the first leg of their journey. Upon arrival in Tarsus, the captain would compare it with his existing map as a means of validation. The youth's continued employment aboard the Aetos rested on the outcome of this trial.

written while listening to:  Naked City - Heretic: Jeux des Dames Cruelles (Avant, AVAN001, 1992, Japan, cd,

February 11, 2023
A sizeable piece of parchment, as wide as the span of her arms, was stretched over a wooden board and mounted on an easel placed on the rear deck in front of the two steersmen. Theodoros demonstrated the process that she would use to make ink, mixing water, a pigment of lampblack and tree gum in an ink well. She was handed a reed pen. A crate of shipwright's tools became her roost. Seated before the blank parchment, Melanippe stared out to sea. With the wind caressing her face, she felt a sort of perverse, paradisaical helplessness.

written while listening to:  Julius Hemphill with Abdul Wadud & Don Moye - Raw Materials and Residuals (Black Saint, BSR 0015, 1978, Italy, lp,

February 12, 2023
In mapping the labyrinth, Melanippe had measured distances with footsteps. At each juncture, she had accounted for angles by carefully rotating her body. Because she had worked in darkness, she transcribed each feature using a scale where three hundred steps were reduced to the width of her pinky finger. While solitude had allowed for her to work without disturbance, the threat of the minotaur had loomed ever-present. Mapping the coasts of the Great Sea in broad daylight seemed a comparatively simple task, yet she had no idea where to begin.

written while listening to:  Ákos Rózmann - Tolv Stationer / Twelve Stations (1978-2001), disc 2 (Ideologic Organ, SOMA021, 2014 (rec. 1979-1998), Austria, cdx7,

February 13, 2023
The white-bearded helmsman, Abas, was responsible for navigation. The sailors at the steering oars answered to him and, as he paced behind Melanippe, he observed her empty parchment. An old sea dog, he had sailed for twenty-five years. He was barrel-chested with spindly legs descending from his chiton. By afternoon, he lost patience with Melanippe's idleness. He paused behind her. "I would start here." He pointed to a spot near the top right of the parchment. Melanippe rested her finger at that spot. "That way," Abas said, "when the Aetos arrives home, the whole map will fit on this skin."

written while listening to:  Anthony Braxton - Six Compositions (Quartet) 1984 (Black Saint, BSR 0086, 1985, Italy, lp,

February 14, 2023
"If your map is to be of any use," Abas said to Melanippe, "you must be properly oriented." He identified north for her, allowing her to get her bearings with respect to the coast of Crete on the starboard side. Without prompting, he offered their distance from the shoreline. She observed coastal contours relative to mountainous landmarks but had yet to understand the scale of her map. Abas promised to report his estimate of the leagues covered that day. With this guidance, Melanippe would be able to appropriately space features on the parchment.

written while listening to:  Søren Kjærgaard, Ben Street & Andrew Cyrille - Syvmileskridt (ILK Music, ILK215LP, 2014, Denmark, lp,

February 15, 2023
The Aetos had been constructed for a particular journey of extended length. First and foremost a merchant vessel intended for trade, its beam was much wider than a military ship and its draught much deeper to allow for significant storage. At the beginning of the journey, before the hold filled with treasures of their voyage, provisions and drinking water served as ballast. There were no bunks for one hundred twenty oarsmen. Like most Greek ships, the Aetos hugged the coastline, putting in each night where men slept on shore beneath the open sky.

written while listening to:  Jean-Marc Foussat, Daunik Lazro & Evan Parker - Café Oto, London, The 22th Of January 2020, disc 2 (Fou Records, FR - CD 38/39, 2020, France, cdx2,

February 16, 2023
The ship's operations paused in early afternoon for one meal of preserved fruits and a soup with lentils and carrots. An orderly procession of oarsmen filed in shifts to and from their rowing stations. The men stretched their legs and basked in the scant minutes of sunlight. More than a few tilted their heads to look skeptically at Melanippe's empty map. Oarsmen had only this one chance to relieve themselves during the day. After eating, men lined the deck, urinating into the sea. Melanippe perforce limited what she consumed.

written while listening to:  Jim O'Rourke & Syllyk - Frontières ? (La Légende Des Voix, LDV 007, 1992, France, cd,

February 17, 2023
When the wind died down, the oarsmen were put to work. The piper situated himself at the bow and began to play his aulos. A double flute, the instrument possessed two reeds and two pipes, one generating a rhythmic melody and the other extended chords. The singer was a young man, second only in fewest years to Melanippe. He began with a sea chanty, well known to the sailors, who sang along on the first piece. Soon they rowed only to the voice of the singer, who vocalized sounds around the piper's notes to mark a beat that spanned hours.

written while listening to:  Anthony Pateras - Mutant Theatre (Tzadik, TZ 7095, 2004, United States, cd,

February 18, 2023
Toward evening, the helmsman directed the ship to a beach without sign of settlement. Unlike a light military vessel that could be hauled out of water each night by the crew, this merchant ship was sufficiently heavy that, once the hull touched sand, the oarsmen disembarked and waded ashore. The captain was chauffeured in a small dinghy with dinner supplies. Soon only Melanippe and the helmsman remained aboard. Providing detailed distances covered that day, he watched as she drew a thin, squiggly black line, compressing more than a dozen leagues of coast into the width of a few fingers.

written while listening to:  Way Out Northwest (John Butcher, Torsten Müller & Dylan van der Schyff) - The White Spot (Relative Pitch Records, RPR1006, 2012, United States, cd,

February 19, 2023
Melanippe found the nightly routine of the crew of the Aetos much to her satisfaction. Tired of cramped quarters, men spaced themselves out on the beach. She was fed and wandered off to relieve herself in private without drawing attention. Importantly, the cloud of dread that had hung over her head all day regarding the sharing of quarters with Theodoros dissipated. Although she caught him eyeing her several times that night, when they eventually settled down, he did not seek her out. She lay down in sight of Abas in the officers' camp and the oarsmen, who readily sought slumber after their arduous labor.

written while listening to:  Dave Douglas - Five (Soul Note, 121276-2, 1996, Italy, cd,

February 20, 2023
At the eastern tip of Crete, the Aetos left sight of land moving northeast. They entered the waters of the Dodecanese Islands, spending the next night on the western edge of Karpathos and the following two nights ascending the west coast of Rhodes. On both islands the crew avoided cities and, when ashore, did not venture into local villages. Abas chose beaching sites common to merchant ships. The locals who observed them seemed to know the visit would be brief and gave the sailors wide berth. On the following day, the southern shore of Anatolia came into view.

written while listening to:  John Coltrane - Kulu Sé Mama (Impulse!, AS-9106, 1967, United States, lp,

February 21, 2023
A mountainous country lay to their north. Rugged peaks projected skyward in the hazy distance and steeply fell to the Great Sea. Much of the coast consisted of exposed rock in hues of slate and umber. Where the slope descended gently, thick forest covered the land, presenting, at their range, a lush and inviting textured green surface. Melanippe was not alone among the crew in dreaming of a respite in its cool shadows. They put in at isolated beaches, walled by sheer cliffs and accessible only by sea. Streams of water fell from great heights and replenished their drinking supply.

written while listening to:  Spill (Magda Mayas & Tony Buck) - mycelium (corvo records, core 022, 2023, Germany, lp,

February 22, 2023
The crew possessed varying degrees of seafaring experience. Some, like old Abas, had traveled to Rhodes, Kuprus, Tarsus and ports beyond. For a number of the poorer citizens who had been hired to serve as oarsmen aboard the Aetos, this was their first expedition outside the boundary waters of their homeland. They knew little of the Hittites who occupied this land save their reputation for a thousand gods. The approach of a storm led to an argument over whether it was wiser to pray to the Greek gods or to Teshub, the Hittite lord of thunder and storms. "Stow your prayers and row us to shore!" bellowed Abas.

written while listening to:  Charlie Parker - Bird's Eyes, Last Unissued, Vol. 2 (Philology, 214 W 12, 1990 (rec. 1949), Italy, lp,

February 23, 2023
Through it all, Melanippe tracked their journey, faithfully recording the coast of Anatolia day by day and inch by inch. Ten days they followed the southern shoreline. Abas remained a consultant, though his role was modest once the cartographer was sufficiently oriented to let her natural skills take over. When she asked about the temperament and customs of the Hittites, he warded off the question. "Best to see for yourself. There will be no shortage of Hittites when we reach Tarsus. It is their city, though they share it with others and welcome the wealth of traders."

written while listening to:  Brûlez Les Meubles - Tardif (Circum-Disc/Tour de Bras, microcidi030/TD8900058cd, 2022, France/Canada, cd,

February 24, 2023
Tarsus was situated at the mouth of the Cydnus River. The city formed a crossroads, where merchants collected iron tools and other goods from Anatolia to the north and west. Textiles and tin arrived from Assyria and lands further east. All were available to the ships that arrived by sea, be they Greek or Phoenician, so long as they had stock of value to trade. The Aetos entered the harbor before noon. Because parts of the river were shallow, many ships were hauled to shore stretching in a line along the bank. Abas directed them to such a mooring.

written while listening to:  Albert Ayler - Holy Ghost, disc 2 (Revenant, RVN 213, 2004 (rec. 1964 & 1966), United States, cdx10,

February 25, 2023
Eager to disembark, the men were forced to wait in line for the quartermaster to distribute wages, which they would spend freely on wine and women. Melanippe stood on board, peering out at the irregular stone profile of the city. Eventually the captain, flanked by Abas and Theodoros, appeared to inspect her map. He carried a small piece of parchment, which he kept from her. He stood before her map and shifted his eyes between it and the reference. "Why did you only draw parts of each island?" he complained. "I drew all the coasts that we passed."

written while listening to:  Oren Ambarchi, Jim O'Rourke & Keiji Haino - In a Flash Everything Comes Together as One; There is No Need for a Subject, sides A & B (Black Truffle/Medama Records, BT05/mr02, 2011, Australia/Japan, lpx2,

February 26, 2023
Unable to come to his own conclusion, the captain asked, "What do you think, Abas?" The helmsman discreetly glanced at their young cartographer. "He'll do." The captain shrugged. He began to walk off and barked over his shoulder, "Finish the rest of the islands, Cimon!" Theodoros then led Melanippe to the quartermaster to claim her pay. "Come with me," he said, "I shall show you Tarsus and one shop in particular, where you might satisfy the captain's command to map the far side of islands, upon which you have never laid eyes."

written while listening to:  Anders Jormin - In Winds, In Light (ECM Records, ECM 1866, 2004, Germany, cd,

February 27, 2023
Melanippe followed Theodoros from the wharf into the city proper. The heavy man moved at a measured pace and she had ample time to take in their surroundings as they walked. Much of the city was walled with great stones, laid down in rough shapes as if by cyclopean giants. She observed homes made much the same way, where families dwelt in the gaps between stacked, angular boulders. Intent on reaching a particular destination, Theodoros paid them no mind. Melanippe could not suppress her sense of wonder at exploring this fabled eastern city, in which, it was said, the sun rose.

written while listening to:  Richard Barrett - Binary Systems (no label, no catalog #, 2021, United States, digital files,

February 28, 2023
To her surprise, the Hittites, whom she passed in the street, were recognizably distinct from Greeks in physical appearance. Their eyes were shaped differently and they were, in general, a shorter people. Their smooth skin bore less pink. The men wore a heavier garment than the chiton, pinned at the shoulder. Women walked openly in the city, garbed in robes and scarves. Children, though familiar with foreigners, nevertheless stared at their passage. One young woman of the same age as Melanippe flashed a mischievous smile as they passed each other.

written while listening to:  Phill Niblock - A Young Person's Guide To Phill Niblock, disc 2 (Blast First, BFFP102CD, 1995, United Kingdom, cdx2,

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