Icaros In Pop Music
The paramount feature of an Ayahuasca experience, whether you’re dancing with the Daime or in a traditional ceremonial setting with an Ayahuasquero, is the language and energy of sound and song. The vision space is moved by the power of the songs that are sung by participants or shamans. The songs used by Ayahuasqueros are called Icaros. Shamans are taught or given Icaros by spirits, trees and plants in order to perform a variety of special kinds of healings, as well as to open up particular astral realms into the visionary space. I once asked a shaman that I was working with about this.
“All of my visions are becoming very aquatic,” I said. I was seeing pink river dolphins, gliding turtles and electric eels among shimmering blue waves of light.
"That’s because I just sang an Icaro that opens a healing water realm,” he replied.
There are a number of places that a person can listen to Icaros on the World Wide Web. To the sober ear, they are whistling patterns, accompanied by the shaking of a leaf rattle, called a chakapa. But once you’re in the middle of a ceremony, they become the equivalent of a cosmic Beatles concert.
The potential for song writing to be influenced by the waves of sound language that surge to the surface during an Ayahuasca ceremony is incredible to think about. The combination of sabiduria divina, “divine wisdom,” and Icaro medicine together could make for an entirely new variety of music. The possibility of infusing popular song writing and musicianship with inspired Icaro tree medicine seems to be making its way to the forefront with the debut of a new musician from the Twin Cities of Minnesota:
Nicolai Ordahl is a 26 year old singer/songwriter whose material speaks to the growing demand for deeper significance in popular music. While the melodies radiate popular appeal, the lyricism is infused with the riddles and revelations of the modern mystic. Influence comes from shamanism, Taoism, rock, folk and electronica. Ordahl's first full-length recording was finished in 2006. Taking responsibility for all sounds and arrangements, he demonstrates a spellbinding style as vocalist, composer, lyricist, and instrumentalist. Copies have been distributed in the U.S.A. and U.K., where listeners describe an intangible vocal quality, sharp lyricism, and natural melodic brightness.
Listen to what Icaro music sounds like.
Listen to tracks from Nicolai Ordahl’s album “Meridian.”
Nicolai’s ballad, “Like a Dove,” features the whistling of Icaro tree medicine in the bridge near the end of the song.Tweet