The Poison Pie Publishing House presents:

Hebeloma's Clockwise Cadenza
Hebeloma Crustuliniforme
(link to main page of score)

September

September 1, 2023
Melanippe walked beside Theodoros through the streets of Hemeroskopeion. Their pursuit of anything that would please the captain seemed hopeless. The ubiquitous piles of mineral refuse from the ovens stood in slovenly contrast to the rest of the peninsula, where she had so recently observed shearwaters on wing at sea, polecats in a pristine glade and a remote nursery of seal pups. Where men had landed, the land was ruined. Each slag heap appeared in her eyes a deformed monument to human greed. When she said as much to the scholar, he replied, "Cheerful as ever, Cimon, my love."

written while listening to:  Hans Lüdemann Transeuropeexpress - Polyjazz (Budapest Music Center Records, BMC CD 246, 2018, Hungary, cd, discogs.com)

September 2, 2023
The captain was scarcely pleased when Theodoros brought before him one sulking man who wished to leave Hemeroskopeion aboard the Aetos. He explained, "It was a mistake coming here. I can't breathe the sour air of the mines nor the constant smoke in camp. I forsake all claim to my wages if you but let me depart with you." The captain was sympathetic to his plea as he too regarded coming here a dreadful mistake. When the man agreed to pull an oar, the captain accepted his offer. While still short ten men, at least they would now have an even number of rowers.

written while listening to:  Derek Bailey - From the Store: Visitors Book (Incus Records, CDR3, 2002, United Kingdom, cdr, discogs.com)

September 3, 2023
Sent back out, Melanippe ventured to the far rear of the camp, where a barrier of trees provided some relief from the smoke. She found a lean-to erected in which three women sat conversing among themselves in a language unknown to her. They were preparing a meal, cleaning fish and turnips. Melanippe smiled in greeting. Upon the arrival of a strange man, one among them spoke in heavily accented Greek a phrase kept at the ready, "I am the wife of the foreman and my companions belong to his lieutenants. We are not prostitutes." She appeared nervous that her words would fail to have the desired effect.

written while listening to:  Keiji Haino - The Book of "Eternity Set Aflame" (Forced Exposure, FE-036, 1996, United States, cd, discogs.com)

September 4, 2023
Melanippe assured them that she had not come seeking sex. While she was tempted to shed her ruse, she knew better than to reveal the secret of her gender so readily. Her words placated them only little. One of them bade her to be gone. "I will leave soon enough," she promised, "but first let me ask you a few questions." To her eyes, the women appeared to possess the blood of both continents, mixing Berber and Greek traits. "Are you Iberians?" The women exchanged glances. "That is nothing but the name you invaders have given our people."

written while listening to:  The Art Ensemble of Chicago - Message To Our Folks (BYG Records, 529.328, 1969, France, lp, discogs.com)

September 5, 2023
Melanippe explained her task to the trio of Iberian women. "What is a treasure of this land?" They glared at her with contemptuous incredulity. "Why should we tell you?" snapped the woman on the right. The woman on the left refused to speak Greek, so the woman in the center translated her words. "You would have us share our secrets then steal it from us just so you and your kind can piss on it." She barked a bitter laugh. In this conversation, Melanippe learned that these women had been captured and were held against their will.

written while listening to:  Camila Nebbia - Una Ofrenda A La Ausencia (Relative Pitch Records, RPRSS023, 2023, United States, cd, discogs.com)

September 6, 2023
This encounter put Melanippe in an unsettled frame of mind for she too had been a prisoner in a foreign land. Still, she kept to the task at hand. "There is great wealth on my ship. We can trade handsomely for precious goods." Observing the persistence of their visitor, the women took counsel with each other in their native tongue. On the spot, they hatched a plan, which would either free them from their captivity or rid them of their unwanted guest. "The treasure of our people," they told Melanippe, "lies buried with our chiefs."

written while listening to:  Joëlle Léandre & Quentin Sirjacq - Out of Nowhere (Ambiances Magnétiques, AM 184 CD, 2008, Canada, cd, discogs.com)

September 7, 2023
Melanippe returned with ink and a small piece of parchment upon which, under the scrutiny of the women, she drew a map to a barrow. Inside this burial mound, they said, slept a former chief, known not so much for his leadership as for his avarice. He had been buried with much of the tribe's wealth. She would surely find something to satisfy her captain there. Suspicious of this sudden helpfulness, Melanippe asked them what they desired in exchange. They would not admit that which they sought—their freedom—nor how her quest might deliver it.

written while listening to:  Henry Threadgill Ensemble - The Other One (Pi Recordings, PI97, 2023, United States, cd, discogs.com)

September 8, 2023
Having secured rations, the captain was impatient to depart Hemeroskopeion but waited for Melanippe to miraculously produce some signature good. That evening, when she returned empty-handed, she was publicly berated. She gathered Linus and the Ethiopian, both of whom agreed to accompany her without knowledge of her intentions. Each armed himself with a spear. Melanippe, who had had enough of spears, carried oil in a lamp and brought flame on a torch lit from the campfire on the beach. Before leaving she said to Abas, "Have the ship ready to go," as both recalled their hasty exit from Thonis.

written while listening to:  Steve Lacy - Saxophone Special + (Emanem, 4024, 1998 (rec. 1973 & 1974), United Kingdom, cd, discogs.com)

September 9, 2023
They soon abandoned the dirt road leading to the mine entrance in favor of a narrow path through the forest. As they ascended a steady slope, Melanippe shared her plan. "We seek the tomb of an Iberian chief, buried with the riches of his people." Linus paused, "Now we are graverobbers?" Melanippe glanced back at him, "Let's hope we find something to satisfy the captain, lest we trouble ourselves over nothing." She said naught of the misgivings with which the women had left her. "Will it be guarded?" asked the Ethiopian astutely. "I wonder much the same myself," she whispered.

written while listening to:  Wadada Leo Smith - Spirit Catcher (Nessa Records, ncd-19, 2009 (rec. 1979), United States, cd, discogs.com)

September 10, 2023
The trio hiked beneath the canopy of leaves. According to the women in the camp, the burial mound was placed prominently on a mountain bald. That the men of Hemeroskopeion had not discovered it yet betrayed only their singular lust for iron. With knowledge of its location, Melanippe and her companions emerged from the tree cover into the high opening. The torch scarcely seemed necessary for the refulgent, grassy slope captured the moonlight and illuminated a path to the barrow at the round peak. No sound of man did they hear over the song of katydids and crickets, surging in waves like the surf.

written while listening to:  PainKiller - The Talisman (Tzadik, TZ 7342, 2002 (rec. 1994), United States, cd, discogs.com)

September 11, 2023
A groove was cut into the earth and deepened as the mound rose. This entrance to the barrow was sealed with a pile of stones. Melanippe stuck the torch into the ground and helped the other two move the stones until they created a gap large enough for her to crawl through. She lit the oil lamp and traded her map with Linus for a sack. The two men waited outside in the shadow of the trench. What had she, who had entered a labyrinth where dwelt the Minotaur, to fear of a cave inhabited by only the corpse of a man?

written while listening to:  Julius Hemphill Sextet - At Dr. King's Table (New World Records, 80524-2, 1997, United States, cd, discogs.com)

September 12, 2023
A short tunnel deposited her at the edge of a single round chamber, the shadowed dimensions defined by flickering flame. She saw no body nor coffin, but a square plot, bordered in pebbles and flanked by a row of urns lined against the curved wall. In the middle of the tomb, sat a low, stone altar. Melanippe bypassed the altar and knelt before the grave. She prayed briefly for pardon for violating this tomb. She pried the brittle beeswax seal off the closest urn to reveal not treasure but ashes. This chief was surrounded by the cremated remains of his people.

written while listening to:  Ingrid Laubrock - The Last Quiet Place (Pyroclastic Records, PR 24, 2023, United States, cd, discogs.com)

September 13, 2023
Upon the altar, Melanippe discovered a votive offering of grain, figs and olives, all rotted away to nothing but a handful of pits covered in dust. She brushed them aside and revealed a ceremonial plate. Without further examination, she placed it in the sack. She also found a small decorative knife, wrapped in brittle leaves, which she claimed. Finally, there was a bronze statuette of a man astride a horse. In the dim light, it appeared crudely sculpted by Athenian standards, but the selection of wares in this market was limited and into the sack it went.

written while listening to:  Anthony Braxton - Trillium R, Act 4 (Braxton House, BH-008, 1999, United states, cdx4, discogs.com)

September 14, 2023
Melanippe would have continued scavenging but the voice of Linus urgently calling her name drew her from the tomb. Scrambling over rocks into the trench, she squeezed behind her two companions. "There are men in the tree line," Linus whispered over his shoulder. She saw no torches nor heard any voices. She knew not if these men had been stationed as guards or were present by chance encounter. "How many?" she asked. "At least four," said the Ethiopian. He looked to her for direction. "We make a run for the Aetos," she said. "We fight only if we have to."

written while listening to:  Merdh Laleh - Matter out of Place (Katharsis Label, 10, 2021, Denmark, cassette, discogs.com)

September 15, 2023
The Iberian warriors had spread out into a semi-circle in the forest just beyond the edge of the clearing. They intended to surround the invaders, who held the high ground, overwhelming them with numbers. The sudden flight of their quarry, abandoning their advantage, took them by surprise. Only one man blocked the path leading down the mountain. This unfortunate soul was skewered by the spear of the Ethiopian as he raced by. He jerked the bloody weapon free and fled after Melanippe and Linus. The outraged cries of half a dozen warriors pursued them.

written while listening to:  Evan Parker, Alexander von Schlippenbach & Paul Lytton - America 2003, disc 2 (psi, psi 04.06/7, 2004, United Kingdom, cdx2, discogs.com)

September 16, 2023
The path was fresh in Melanippe's mind. After a year spent in the maze of King Minos, retracing her steps through the forest was trivial in comparison. She made for Hemeroskopeion, certain that their pursuers knew their destination. The direct path to the barrow provided by the women prevented the locals from cutting them off via a shorter route. Melanippe and her companions maintained a modest but steady lead. Behind them sounded the shouts of the warriors. Some calls coordinated the pursuit while other howls were intended to instill fear in the foreigners who had desecrated a grave, sacred to their people.

written while listening to:  Mats Gustafsson - Parrot Fish Eye (Okka Disk, OD12006, 1995, United States, cd, discogs.com)

September 17, 2023
During the chase, the flood of adrenalin distorted the flow of time. Their lives hung in the balance, a stumble over a root in the dark and they would be overtaken. She doubted that they could all cover the distance without faltering. Yet, these thoughts vanished as they entered the clearing at the rear of the camp, where dwelt the three women. The howls of their pursuers had ceased for they knew that they approached the refuge of their enemy. Melanippe broke the silence, shouting at the lean-to, "You women, come out! Your men have come to claim you."

written while listening to:  Kayo Dot - Choirs of the Eye (Tzadik, TZ 7092, 2003, United States, cd, discogs.com)

September 18, 2023
Melanippe, Linus and the Ethiopian raced through Hemeroskopeion, heading toward the beach. The pursuing warriors found reason to pause at the edge of the camp, not solely because they rightly feared to face the town's full complement of miners and metalworkers. Hailed in their own tongue by frantic voices, they discovered women whom they had thought lost to their tribe. To trade one life and a few buried trinkets for the recovery of three lives seemed a tolerable exchange and provided some measure of saving face. Into the night forest the Iberians retreated as one.

written while listening to:  Lina Allemano & Axel Dörner - Aphelia (Relative Pitch Records, RPR1153, 2023, United States, cd, discogs.com)

September 19, 2023
Some in Hemeroskopeion were roused by Melanippe's cry. Upon searching the clearing, they found the foreman's wife gone along with the two others. On the beach, they stared dumbly at the form of the Aetos propelled in reverse by the oarsmen, already well out of reach. Soon the silhouette of the galley was lost in moonlight glinting off the sea. There was much consternation the next day in camp as the foreman attempted to piece together a narrative that explained the disappearance of his woman and the abrupt departure of the Athenians. Soon his thoughts returned to work; there were production quotas to meet.

written while listening to:  Andrew Cyrille, Jeanne Lee & Jimmy Lyons - Nuba (Black Saint, BSR 0030, 1979, Italy, lp, discogs.com)

September 20, 2023
At sunrise, the captain with great fanfare called Melanippe to present the "treasures of Hemeroskopeion". One by one, she drew the contents from the sack—plate, knife and mounted figurine. She arrayed them on the deck and, before the captain could raise any objections, described her finds as a rich, archeological exhibit of the funerary rites of the Iberian people. "When the lords of Athens come to observe the collected goods of the Aetos displayed in august halls, they shall marvel that not only from civilized cities were unrivaled goods purchased but from wilderness too were rare treasures procured."

written while listening to:  John Coltrane - Coltrane Plays the Blues (Atlantic, SD 1382, 1962, United States, lp, discogs.com)

September 21, 2023
The captain appeared uncertain if he should be satisfied by the fruits of their tomb-robbing, which were, at face value, inferior to the bounty of other ports. Crossing the deck, Linus forestalled an outburst. He presented Melanippe's map to the barrow, saying, "This map is indisputable evidence, as you tell your tale, of the provenance of these grave goods, reclaimed from the Iberian afterlife." The captain held the bronze sculpture. When he criticized the artist's skill, Melanippe praised the authenticity of the piece. "Nowhere but Hemeroskopeion could this piece be found. No other like it exists in Athens."

written while listening to:  Jane in Ether - Spoken/Unspoken (Confront, core 22, 2021, United Kingdom, cd, discogs.com)

September 22, 2023
The Ethiopian too came to Melanippe's aid, describing how they were surrounded by warriors at the barrow on the bald. "What did they look like?" asked the captain. The Ethiopian shrugged his broad shoulders. "Hard to say; the foe hid in forest shadows. I killed one as I ran by but I did not see his face." This admission added an element of danger to the narrative percolating through the captain's mind. As the final piece in their appeasement, Linus performed a song, describing their adventure with customary embellishment, both to keep time for the men and to flesh out the captain's spiel.

written while listening to:  Jimmy Giuffre - The Jimmy Giuffre Clarinet (Atlantic, SD 1236, 1956, United States, lp, discogs.com)

September 23, 2023
In the song, Cimon constructed his map based on the musings of three sisters, sharing names with the fates: Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos. Inside the tomb, Cimon bartered with a phantom bearing human form, trading three years of his life in exchange for three items from the underworld. The battle in the forest was greatly exaggerated. Linus dubbed the Ethiopian "the Black Whirlwind", a lethal tempest, virtually invisible in the forest darkness. Cornered in a ravine, Linus himself slew two men. Of course, the treasures were extolled as the most valuable relics to have ever issued from the Iberian peninsula.

written while listening to:  Saowakhon Muangkruan & Manop Nakornchai - The Night of an Animal (Ramble Records, RAM-113, 2023, Australia, digital files, discogs.com)

September 24, 2023
Propelled by a favorable wind, they sailed northwest along the coast. All aboard relished a return to civilization, particularly to Massalia, a Greek colony renowned for its blend of culture without the ponderous social hierarchy of Athens, Sparta, Corinth or Thebes. The captain opined aloud that they should enjoy the comforts well so long as they departed ere the next delivery of iron arrived from Hemeroskopeion and word of their business there spread. All agreed; crude jokes were told at the foreman's expense regarding the consequences of a miserly nature.

written while listening to:  Sonny Rollins - Saxophone Colossus (Prestige, PRLP 7079, 1957, United States, lp, discogs.com)

September 25, 2023
One among the crew said little. The laborer who had begged passage aboard the Aetos to escape Hemeroskopeion feared the reception he would receive at home once it was known that he had not only broken his contract but was guilty by association with those who had fled the settlement under questionable circumstances. A lanky, young man, he went by the name of Zosimus. Already having second thoughts about his decision, he rowed in silence with eyes cast down. He resolved to approach the cartographer, who seemed both clever in his schemes and unscrupulous in their execution.

written while listening to:  Oren Ambarchi, Jim O'Rourke & Keiji Haino - I Wonder If You Noticed..., Sides A & B (Black Truffle/Medama Records, BT21/mr07, 2016, Australia/Japan, lpx2, discogs.com)

September 26, 2023
Zosimus introduced himself to Melanippe after dinner one evening as she sat listening to the seabirds circle overhead. She found it strange that his gaze was constantly fixed on his feet, for she too would have done whatever it took to flee the smoke-filled labor camp of Hemeroskopeion. He stood beside her, while she remained sitting. Despite the passage of several days, his chiton retained the odor of smelting kilns. He described to her the reception he feared at Massalia, his confession punctuated by the raucous cries of gulls.

written while listening to:  Pat Metheny Group - untitled (ECM Records, ECM 1114, 1978, Germany, lp, discogs.com)

September 27, 2023
Her conversation with the newcomer induced a sense of guilt in Melanippe. Her actions had cost the foreman his wife and Zosimus, who had aided at the oar their eventual escape, would bear the repercussions. Still, the women of the camp were freed. All actions, she supposed, helped some and hurt others. The trick was to help more than hurt. With Zosimus in her company now, she had an opportunity to mend what damage she may have caused. "Would it go better if you claimed at home that I kidnapped you?" she asked with half a smile.

written while listening to:  The Chet Baker Quartet - The Complete Pacific Jazz Live Recordings, sides E & F (Mosaic Records, MR4-113, 1985 (rec. 1954), United States, lpx4, discogs.com)

September 28, 2023
The journey through the broad gulf that separated the Iberian peninsula from the rest of Europa was an indication of progress for at the far end lay their destination, Massalia. However, the rough waters therein were well known to mariners. Though the skies remained clear, the Aetos was buffeted by high waves, banging against the sides of the hull like a drunken, impatient drummer. Few moments of reprieve did the sea grant. Melanippe made the incremental marks of daily progress to her map from memory in the evening while standing on solid ground.

written while listening to:  Sven-Åke Johansson - Blended Box, disc 2 (SÅJ, SÅJ-CD 39, 2016 (rec. 1976), Germany, cdx5, discogs.com)

September 29, 2023
The city of Massalia was located east of the Rhodanus river delta. The Aetos passed each of the five mouths until, at the last one, they joined a small caravan of vessels—barges bearing goods down river as well as fishing boats returning with the daily catch—headed toward the old port, which locals fondly called the Lacydon. Two rocky spurs enclosed the entrance to the harbor. Upon each of these outcroppings stood a columned temple; Artemis of the Ephesians and Apollo of the Dolphins welcomed to the city travelers and residents alike.

written while listening to:  Sachiko M & Keith Rowe - Contact, disc 2 (Erstwhile Records, erstwhile 054-2, 2009, United States, cdx2, discogs.com)

September 30, 2023
As was his privilege, the captain granted the officers and crew a well-earned day in port to themselves. Once Zosimus discovered that Melanippe and Linus were not immediately headed to the taverns and brothels with the bulk of the oarsmen, he offered to give them a tour of his home town. Having now heard more than once the song of the tomb-plundering trio, he asked if the Ethiopian would join them. Melanippe looked around for her companion but he had already claimed his pay and disembarked. She shook her head and replied, "No, he goes his own way."

written while listening to:  Roland Kirk - I Talk With The Spirits (Limelight, LS 86008, 1965, United States, lp, discogs.com)

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