This evening’s Clear Spot - 8:00pm – is a radio essay by Jeremy Narby in collaboration with Francisco Lopez and featuring Victor Nieto and Ushamano Walter Martinez and produced by Soundwalk Collective. In May 2012, Soundwalk Collective traveled into the heart of the Peruvian Amazon to document the ancient chanting rituals of the Ayahuasquero, the Master Shaman and practitioner of plant medicine. In this ritual, the shaman consumes a potent brew made from the Ayahuasca, a sacred vine of the Amazonian jungle, the “vine of the souls”. The brew induces a powerful psychedelic experience that causes visual and auditory hallucinations. It is in this state that the Ayahuasquero conjures the “icaro” or magic song. 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. 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.