Ayahuasca Noche de Ritual
Iris Disse & Don Yachak De Duran ayahuasca noche de ritual a trance journey in the amazon jungle 73rd Schneeball / Indigo 21752 "Night. I'm walking down a narrow path in the jungle. A broad river, the Agua Rico, shimmers nearby in the moonlight. Shadows play around us. Huge trees tower above us. Twigs snap. I cling to Miguel. The path is no longer visible: nothing but moonlight, like flecks of silver on gigantic leaves. How long have we been walking? Time no longer exists." This is how Iris Disse begins her description of a nocturnal trance journey in the Amazon jungle, her encounter with the shaman Don Yachak de Duran and the magical visions of the Amazonian Indians. Iris Disse participates in a nighttime ritual. Under Don Yachak's direction, she drinks ayahuasca, a bitter broth brewed from plants native to the Amazon Basin. For thousands of years, this potion has served the indigenous people of the region as a leader on spiritual journeys and has made essential contributions to their worldview and relationship to nature. "For a few moments, I'm present in reality. I hear the shaman's song and the crickets, then I'm again absorbed by the powerful, dreamlike images of my inner world. Two cosmic visions meet one another: my rational world and the magical world of the Amazonian Indians, who still live in an era in which everything is related to everything else." Iris Disse translated her experiences into a suite-like composition, a mixture of song cycle, radio play and electro-acoustic impressions. For 55 minutes, she transports her listener into a strange and magical world, where she creates a musical equivalent of her nocturnal experiences. She respects the traditions of the indigenous people while simultaneously using contemporary compositional methods and studio techniques. The basis of the composition consists of her field recordings: crickets, the cries of birds, the sound of the rain, and the traditional songs of the shaman. All of the sounds are continually in flux, constantly changing, blended into one another and/or electronically processed so that they correspond to the acoustic hallucinations which are experienced under the influence of ayahuasca. These sounds are overlaid with an exclusively acoustic ensemble of instruments (violin, flute, saxophone, bass clarinet, jaw harp and percussion). That mostly played solo, these instruments are occasionally heard playing in duos or trios. In addition to this, the composition is permeated by the gossamer tracery of women's voices from the ILALOA improvisation group and by the voice of Iris Disse herself, who can be heard reciting brief, impressionistic texts or singing songs. (Her "Ayahuasca Song" is particularly beautiful!) Despite the sometimes massive electronic post-processing of the field recordings, a feeling of breadth and transparency predominates on this CD, coupled with a dynamic alternation between tension and relaxation and a profound knowledge of the spiritual and musical culture of South America. All 13 tracks on the CD flow into one another without stopping - ayahuasca noche de ritual is a challenging but thoroughly rewarding listening experience with which, by purely musical means, one can embark on a trance journey of one's own. Iris Disse is a vocalist, actress, maker of theater and radio plays, international expert in experimental radio, and a composer of Acoustic Artworks. She has lived in Ecuador for the past seven years. Her feature reports on the indigenous people of the region have won her international prizes and awards. Iris Disse : "This is a nighttime meeting for a ritual: a lover, a shaman, the profoundly secret jungle, the universe and me. Two visions of the cosmos collide with one another: my rational worldview meets the magical world of the Amazonian Indians, who still live in an era in which everything is connected to everything else. AYAHUASCA NOCHE DE RITUAL is intended to be precisely this: a meeting. There is a space where the shaman sings alone. And there is another space where my visions are transformed into music. Both worlds are woven together to produce this musical trance journey. The next day, we spoke to a chief of the Cofan Indians. He liked the idea of creating a CD. In a project like this, he sees an opportunity to share Cofan culture with people from the outside world. Ten percent of the income from sales of the CD will go to help the village." IRIS DISSE studied philosophy and art history at Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, and also studied acting and directing at the Neue Münchner School of Acting. She has collaborated on nearly 20 motion pictures and TV movies since 1981, including (among others) "Die Ehre der Veronika Voss" by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, "Das Mädchen mit den Feuerzeugen" by Ralf Hüttner and "Der Fahnder: Baal" by Dominik Graf. From 1983 to 1993 she gained experiences both on stage and backstage within the framework of the DGC (Disse Gries Company), of which she was a cofounder. She performed in 16 theater productions and also worked as director, literary and artistic director, and occasionally as stage designer. She was the director-general of Werktheater Wedding during the 1991/92 season. She has collaborated since 1993 with actor and tango dancer David Höner to organize a series of performances entitled "Piraten der Stimme" ["Pirates of the Voice"], which features collaborations with local musicians, dancers and authors. (Performances have been staged thus far in Switzerland, Germany, Russia, Ecuador and Mexico.) In acknowledgement of her artistic work in the field of electro-acoustic music, she has been invited to teach at universities in San Francisco, Quito and Lago Agrio. She participated with her "Screaming Mamas" composition in the Festival for Modern Music in Maui, Hawaii. Iris Disse has also worked since 1991 as the author of radio plays and features. She has received numerous awards and commendations for her productions. She was represented three times at Expo 2000: LA LUNA 99.3 FM cultural radio (of which she is a cofounder) was presented there, as was RAEL (radio artistica experimental latinoamerica) Foundation; and Iris Disse also performed live in the "Piraten der Stimme" performance series at Expo 2000 together with musicians from Ecuador. "Ayahuasca Noche de Ritual," a musical trance journey, premiered at Expo 2000 and was broadcast on the radio by SFB. Iris Disse has lived in Ecuador for the past seven years. Prizes & Awards: 1991 Prix Futura for the radio play "Tunguska-Guska" (BR, with Grace Yoon and Sainko Namchilak) 1991 Prix Futura for the film "Zu jung um zu sterben" (ARTE, with G. Hamosh) as literary & artistic director and lead actress 1994 Radio Play of the Month of March for "Letzte Sprünge oder die Erlösung des G." (NDR, with David Höner) 2000 International Radio Play Prize for "Frieda Kahlo - Sandunga con Alas" and International Feature Prize for "Habia Una Vez - Mañana" at the third International Radio Biannual in Mexico 2002 International Feature Prize for "Kinder des Dschungels" (SWR) at the fourth International Radio Biannual in Mexico AYAHUASCA (also known as 'yagé,' 'caapi' or 'daime'; Engl.: 'vine of the soul') is a holy, plant-based decoction which has been used in the Amazon Basin and the adjacent Orinoco Region for more than 2,000 years in a ritualized manner for spiritual journeys, initiations and healing purposes. In recent years, it has also been administered at the ceremonies of approximately 20 syncretistic cults, most of which are indigenous to Brazil. The best known of these cults are Santo Daime and União do Vegetal (UDV). The Indios believe that ayahuasca separates the soul from the body so that the soul can journey freely before returning to the body. The effectiveness of the ayahuasca broth derives from it's blend of plant species, which contain two different alkaloids. The hallucinogenic effect derives from (N, N-dimethyl-triptamine). Even in high dosages, ayahuasca is typically ineffective when taken orally because it is metabolized by the body's own monoaminooxidase (MAO) enzyme before the active ingredients can cross the blood-brain barrier and penetrate into the central nervous system. The metabolic breakdown is prevented by the simultaneous ingestion of harmine and harmaline, two MAO inhibitors which block the action of the enzyme so that the DMT can take effect. Harmine and harmaline are two closely related species of vines which belong to the Banisteriopsis (Malpighiaceae) genus and which serve as the basis for ayahuasca in the Amazon Region. Harmine is also present in Syrian rue (Peganum harmala). DMT is contained in a series of plants in the nightshade family: for example, it's found in the leaves of the chacruna (Psychotria viridis). The experience of intoxication can vary drastically depending upon the specific type of DMT-containing plant ingested. Every shaman in the Amazon Region has his or her personal secret recipe for ayahuasca. Often the drink is prepared in different ways, which vary depending upon the desired effect. Furthermore, it may also be taken in combination with other medicines. "The plant extract helps the shaman to recognize illnesses, ward off dangers, guess an enemy's stratagems or predict future events. A state characterized by dizziness, nervousness and nausea is followed by the appearance of luminous colors whose symbolic meanings are subject to interpretation. Yellow is associated with seeds and their fertilization by the sun; red symbolizes female fertility; and blue signifies thinking in the midst of tobacco smoke. The leader of an ayahuasca ceremony is always a specialized shaman who, after intoxication, can communicate the wishes of the spirits to the participants." (Excerpted from: Schultes & Hofmann, Pflanzen der Götter, AT Verlag, 1998) The ingestion of ayahuasca is accompanied by unpleasant physical side-effects which include, among others, feelings of dizziness and a pounding heart. Violent vomiting often occurs shortly after ingestion and diarrhea typically occurs during the same night. The intoxication itself is accompanied by strong visual and acoustic hallucinations. Intoxicated individuals typically experience themselves in an alien reality and lose their sense of time. The hallucinations gradually fade after four to six hours. Ingestion together with certain medications (anti-depressives, sedatives or tranquilizers that contain MOA) can be fatal. It is generally recommended that one follow a strict diet prior to ingestion (avoid eggs, milk products, coffee, bananas, tomatoes, sugar and meat) and that ayahuasca only be taken under the supervision of an experienced person. Literature: Arno Adelaars/Christian Rätsch/Alan Shoemaker: "Ayahuasca" (Nachtschatten-Verlag) Jonathan Ott: "Ayahuasca Analoge. Pangäische Entheogene" (Grüne Kraft) Jim DeKorne: "Psychedelischer Neo-Schamanismus" (Grüne Kraft) William S. Burroughs/Allen Ginsberg: "Auf der Suche nach Yage" (Limes) Richard Evans Schultes/Albert Hofmann: "Pflanzen der Götter" (AT Verlag) Original?: SI. Interesante?: SIN LUGAR A DUDAS. Rock Progresivo?: DEFINITIVAMENTE NO... al menos no lo es en el sentido standard del término. Ayahuasca Noche de Ritual es el ultimo lanzamiento del sello alemán Schneeball Records, que presenta un ecléctico catálogo que va desde míticas bandas del Krautrock de los '70, tales como Embryo y Missus Beastly, hasta desafiantes proyectos de música étnica. Ayahuasca Noche de Ritual cae, sin el menor atisbo de duda, en esta segunda categoría. Es una especie de estudio antropológico-musical que presenta la música de los Cofanes, una tribu del Amazonas ecuatoriano, procesada a través de la perspectiva y la sensibilidad de Iris Disse, una vocalista, actriz y creadora teatral/radiofonica que lleva siete años con los indígenas ecuatorianos. Definir la música de este disco es, al menos para mi, una tarea prácticamente imposible, pero lo que si puedo afirmar es que esta muy, pero muy lejos de los estilos mas transitados (es más, me atrevería a decir que también esta lejos de los no muy transitados). Es, como lo sugiere su subtitulo, un 'viaje de trance en la selva del Amazonas', un documental de sonidos de la jungla y ritos chamanísticos, aderezados en forma discontinua con instrumentos nativos, voces y algunos esporádicos instrumentos 'clásicos' difundidos en la mezcla (por ejemplo, me resulto simpático detectar en un fragmento de la pista 12 que un violín estaba ejecutando tímidamente la melodía del tango 'Adiós muchachos', un clásico argentino del legendario Carlos Gardel). Tal vez la mejor descripción de este disco pueda encontrarse en las palabras de la misma Iris Disse: 'Es un encuentro nocturno en un ritual: un amante, un chamán, la selva secreta, el universo y yo. Dos cosmovisiones que se encuentran: mi mundo racional con el mundo mágico de los indígenas amazónicos, quienes están viviendo todavía en un tiempo donde todo esta conectado con todo. La composición de la NOCHE DE RITUAL debe ser justamente esto: UN ENCUENTRO'. Un comentario aparte merece la presentación de este CD cuyo arte y fotografía me parecieron SOBERBIOS. Conclusión: Definitivamente un disco original y fuera de lo común, aunque UNICAMENTE para aquellos que deseen descubrir los sonidos de una cultura prácticamente desconocida y muy probablemente en peligro de desaparecer. Un interesante viaje sonoro por el primitivo Amazonas ecuatoriano plasmado a través de la visión de una moderna artista europea. Paul Puleston.