This UK instrumental band found success playing South American panpipe music and ethnic instruments such as whistles, armadillo shells, llama toenails, condor bones, and nose flutes. Formed in 1982 and signed initially to Beggars Banquet Records subsidiary Coda Records, they were led by Mike Taylor (quena, zamponas, bombo, chajchas, vocals) and Tony Hinnigan (quena, zamponas, bombo, caja, guitar, tiple). The other members of the band included Forbes Henderson, Simon Rogers, Chris Swithinbank, Sergio Avila, and Mauricio Venegas. Their distinctive sound earned them a surprise UK Top 20 hit in 1982 with ‘Cacharpaya (Andes Pumpsa Daesi)’, which was used in the popular BBC Television natural history programme, Flight Of The Condor. Afterwards, Incantation’s commercial fortunes dwindled, though their albums continued to sell modestly to the folk/world community. Their innovative music was also heard on the soundtracks of the movies The Mission, Patriot Games, Clear And Present Danger, and Legends Of The Fall.
After a four-year break, Taylor and Hinnigan re-formed Incantation in 1993. They recorded for the Cooking Vinyl Records label, including a re-working of ‘Cacharpaya’. Taylor parted company with Hinnigan in 1996, ending an association that had spanned nearly twenty-five years. The latter continued to lead a new line-up of Incantation for touring purposes, in addition to working with composers James Horner and Michael Nyman on soundtrack scores. (NB: Not to be confused with the US black metal band of the same name).