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Combining Ancient + Future Technologies: Sound + Psychedelics

Project Immersed continues the conversation on Sound, Psychedelics + Altered States of consciousness with a new episode in their digital series. Psychedelic medicine is an exciting space where we are seeing ancient and future technologies meet for the betterment of humanity. In the discussion, moderator and host, Tyler Cymone guided the panelists through a conversation of the past, present, and future of sound and psychedelics, and how the they are being used to promote wellness. The panel included three influential guests who are leading the charge in this space, including:

Mendel Kaelen | Founder + CEO, Wavepaths

David Starfire | Head of Music + Sound, TRIPP | Co-Founder, PsyAssist

Mary Sanders, LCSW | Psychedelic-assisted Therapist, Integrationist, and founding board member at People of Color Psychedelic Collective

The Past

The conversation started by addressing the ancient roots of the use of sound and psychedelics for healing. These practice date back to ancient times and there is even research to support the notion that the use of psychedelics during these times significantly contributed to the evolution of the human brain and ultimately the human species. Plant medicines and psychedelics have been used for centuries by shamans and shamanic healers on the ceremony grounds around the world. Of some of the most prominent include the use of Ayahuasca and other plant medicines in the Amazon. There are also other psychoactive plants such as Iboga being used in ceremony in Central and West Africa. For centuries shamans and healers across time have intuitively known to combine the potent healing effects of these plant medicines with the healing influence of sound and music. In the Amazon, shamans sing songs called "Icaros" to evoke the spirit of the plant being used and to address various conditions of the people in ceremony. Music is as important as the plant medicines in ceremony as it is works to guide the person through the experience. This knowledge and understanding of the traditional uses of these plants is heavily influencing the modern resurgence of these therapeutics and it is important that we maintain a sense of grounding in and respect for their ancient and indigenous roots.

David Starfire on the ancient roots of psychedelics

Mendel Kaelen on the ancient roots of Psychedelics

The Present

In modern times we are seeing Psychedelic-Assisted therapy on the rise as people turn to alternative treatments for healing. Therapists like Mary Sanders, LCSW are blending their knowledge of the ancient and indigenous uses of psychedelics with the modern science to guide patients through unique treatment sessions. This form of therapy has been proven effective for those seeking to release trauma, overcome depression/anxiety/ptsd/addiction, and more. A lot of the research we have available to us concerning psychedelics in conjunction with sound is thanks to the work of Mendel Kaelen. His studies have demonstrated the undeniable healing effect of sound and psychedelics and gives us access to the reasons why this is so.

Scientists and practitioners continue to experiment with combining these these therapeutics and others to further their influence and deepen the positive effects. Combining with somatic touch is showing promise to further the beneficial effects of these treatments. David Starfire even shared his experience using the SUBPAC as a form of somatic touch in conjunction with these therapies to further the results. As the demand for these alternative therapies increase, we will continue to see new research becoming available to quantify and qualify the use of sound and psychedelics for healing.

Mary Sanders, LCSW on Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy

The Future

The future of sound and psychedelics is bright. There is a lot to look forward to in this space, as research continues to confirm the efficacy of these therapies. Mendel Kaelen's Wavepaths will continue to lead us into the future of sound and psychedelics with their personalized soundscapes for Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy. David Starfire's PsyAssist is bringing Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy into the metaverse, making it more accessible to all. He is also the Head of Music and Sound at Tripp, a digital wellness platform with immersive meditative experiences that is sure to amplify the future of sound + psychedelics coupled with and supported by technology. Mary Sanders continues to blaze the trail for promoting representation and accessibility in the psychedelic therapy community. Her work with POC Psychedelic Collective is educating people of color around the world on the healing potentials of psychedelics when used in a therapeutic context.

We encourage our supporters to keep an eye on this space as it continues to flourish in the coming years. We will continue to share new research and findings as they become available to us. To learn more about Project Immersed, please visit and stay tuned for more discussions on sound and psychedelics.

More about the panelists:

Mendel Kaelen is not only the Founder + CEO of Wavepaths, but also worked as a PhD and postdoctoral neuroscientist at Imperial College London since 2011, where his research was the first to demonstrate music’s central role in psychedelic therapies. He is a thought leader on the therapeutic use of music and publishes and speaks frequently on this topic. He has been featured amongst others in Forbes, Nature News, San Francisco Chronicles, Vice Motherboard, Rolling Stone and TEDx.

David Starfire was named by BBC Radio as “One of the most brilliant world-fusion producers of our time”, David Starfire is known as the pioneer of the Global Bass genre and psychedelic dance floor experiences at Burning Man. Billboard summed it up best, “David Starfire brings a unique perspective to EDM.”

Mary Sanders, LCSW is a Psychedelic-Assisted Therapist and Integrationist in Oakland, California. Sanders is passionate about representation in this field and is a Founding Member of the POC Psychedelic Collective working to bring psychedelic education to people of color around the world.


Do you have experience with Sound + Psychedelics? Let us know @healthandbass :)

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