If the title “Dreaming The Magic of Your Maya” by Princess Flower and the Moon Rays does not ring any bells you may like to read this:
Recorded in 1968 and issued as a very limited private pressing (less than 100 copies made) this psychedelic raga freak-out is the brainchild of multi disciplinary artist Loren Standlee plus his partner Ziska with the cooperation of Daevid Allen and Gilli Smyth in what was the first incarnation of Gong.
Loren and Ziska had been involved with the crowd of avantgardist free thinkers that settled in Formentera in the sixties, and back home in N.Y. they had also been connected to experimentalists such as Angus Maclise, Marian Zazeela, Tony Conrad, Henry Flynt, Pandit Pran Nath, and others.
This bizarre selection of sounds was the brainchild of Loren Standlee and Ziska and is in effect the earliest Gong recording. Loren Standlee and Ziska were among the “Formentera” (small Island near Ibiza, Spain) visionary poets, musicians and psychedelic ‘researchers’ in the early sixties. In Paris, they began hand-painting silk and designing clothes for many of the rock luminaries of the time, among them The Beatles, Rolling Stones, and Jimi Hendrix, as well as haute couture designers in Paris and London. They met Daevid Allen and Gilli Smyth at a poetry reading where Loren was playing Alto Flute and Ziska was creating vocal sounds to intermix with the flute. They began playing together as a group utilizing Daevid’s Italian echo chambers and soon they had a two-night-a-week gig playing at the Vielle Grille, an avant-garde club in Paris where you might hear Ornette Coleman playing upstairs or see Yoko Ono performing in a sack on stage.
Gong was formed and took two identities: one, only Daevid Allen and Gilli Smyth’s material, and the other, the Gong sound of Daevid on ‘space’ guitar, crystals, feathers and other unpredictable objects, Loren on alto flute and jews harp, and Ziska and Gilli’s ‘space whispering’ chanting sounds which built up to sound climaxes. For the time, it was extremely avant-garde, and culminated in a gig to perform at Diane Von Furstenberg’s wedding where the group took LSD and both shocked and beguiled the party by performing for two hours, dressed in Loren and Ziska’s hand-painted silks and making sounds that no one had ever heard before. It put them into a kind of cult status.
Two of the tracks on the bonus LP, that comes with the vinyl reissue of “Dreaming The Magic of Your Maya”, feature the line-up of Loren, Ziska and Raj Samyana, which is basically The Universal Mutant Repertory Company minus Angus Maclise and his wife Hetty.
“Dreaming The Magic of Your Maya” will be reissued for the first time ever as a limited edition pressing of 500, double LP, with poster and insert. Pre-order your copy here.