I was invited to participate in a project with Cities & Memory called Sacred Spaces. Sacred Spaces examines the crucial role sound has played in our spiritual and religious lives for thousands of years, and explores the sonic similarities between different religions, and different types of sacred space from across the world.

For my track “Vegetalismo” I used a Leslie Rollins field recording of Alberto San Pedro (a medicine man in San Antonio de Cumbaza Peru). In this field recording he is singing an icao for a vegetal healing ceremony. My fascination is with the icao he is singing, which is used by shamans to enhance the effects of plant medicines, evoking plant spirits for spiritual healing. My title “Vegetalismo” comes from the term used for the practice of mestizo shamanism in the Amazonic provinces of Peru. The shamans – known as vegetalistas – gain their knowledge and power to cure from the vegetables, or plants of the region. Many receive their knowledge from ingesting the hallucinogenic, emetic brew ayahuasca. They say the plants actually teach the icaros (magical healing and protective songs) to the shaman. In my recording process, I have used Leslie Rollins field recording in many different ways throughout the song, not only as altered vocals, but also as various textures and rhythms, representing the healing process and the transformation of the individual as imagined during this ceremony. Thinking about how these shamans receive their knowledge and power to heal from their special relationship with the spirits of the Amazon rainforest are the foundation of this piece of music.

Be sure to visit Cities & Memory and check out all of the other artists tracks.

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“I’m always thinking about creating. My future starts when I wake up in the morning and see the light.”

― Miles Davis