The mythological Ariadne continues to generate an awful lot of paper – or these days, its digital equivalent. And now there is this wildly ambitious retelling by Greek orchestral conductor Stamatia Karampini.

Stamatia Karampini

As one might expect of a conductor who has apparently stood before many of the top orchestras of Europe, the book is dramatic, complex, unusual and often florid. And, as Ariadne was most often identified with labyrinths and mazes, she perhaps explains Karampini’s structure of many, many sections.

It begins with Preludes – 1977 to 2013; then Part One: Solo, Opera, Conductor, Flat, Key. Part Two gives us Intermezzo, Orchestra, In Concert, Beat and a time sequence, and finally, Part Three – Ballet, Bars, Duet and Cadence. 

There is also “Notes” where, if you are reding the eBook version and were wondering about the meaning of “Ursäkta” on page 52, you can click to page 585 and discover it means “Pardon, in Swedish.” And, if curiosity gets the better of you, “Lyssna!” On page 78, is revealed on page 586 as “Listen!” – also in Swedish. Page 111 offers “Iperoho,” and page 587 reveals it as “how beautiful” in Greek.

This kind of digression is a lot of fun – especially reading the book in the sixth or perhaps seventh (?) week of a Sydney COVID lockdown, but when accompanied by a glass of Dalamara Paliokalias, the adventures of the modern day Ari in the morass of the music industry are mesmerisingly tricky to follow. 

Take, for instance, this description of a sight that greets Ari one rainy day: “Stern, disjointed, plastic handles entangled with metallic ribs, sharply protruding out of bedraggled and mudded fabric – all beautifully enwrapped in the befitting fetor of putrescence.” 

Charge your glass if you worked out it’s a heap of discarded umbrellas – Grattis till dig! (Congratulations to you, in Swedish.) 

Apple Books, PB, 398pp, $20, ISBN:‎ 9783982335001