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Ayahuasqueros | The Peruvian Shipibo shamans

Soundwalk Collective — founded by Stephan Crasneanscki and including Dug Winningham, Simone Merli, Kamran Sadeghi, and Jake Harper — is an international art collective based in New York City. Since 2000 they have traveled from Bessarabia to the Rub’ al-Khali desert to the strait of Gibraltar, exploring and documenting the world around us through its sounds. The collective then abstracts and recomposes these sound fragments of reality to create audible journeys — soundwalks.


In May 2012, Stephan Crasneanscki and a small crew traveled to Peru to record the icaros of Shipibo shamans Victor Nieto and Ushamano Walter Martinez. The result is Ayahuasqueros, a mixture of jungle sounds, textual narration, and ayahuasca songs, with a text by anthropologist Jeremy Narby, that soundwalks us through the ayahuasca experience. […]

And this is what its creators say about it:

In their visions, ayahuasca shamans say they see the essences that animate living beings, the first property of which is to emit melodies. These essences are considered powerful beings, and ayahuasqueros learn their melodies by singing along. Singing like powerful beings, they learn to see like them, and this gives them knowledge. The melodies that shamans bring back from their visions are called “icaros”; they help navigate the space of ayahuasca consciousness, and can also serve as lifelines when overwhelmed by visions. Grab onto the icaros: these songs are made of knowledge.


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