The story of Daevid Allen is the tale of a life lead in tenacious adherence to ideals of what are often considered ‘hippie visionary’, but are also a reflection of a desire to go beyond goals of personal glory or financial success: “I’ve always had a very particular conception of music. In my point of view, there is no reason for making so-called ‘popular music’ simply for personal glory or financial reasons. That is not enough of a motivation for me, I need higher aspirations. I need to feel that my music helps society and the human race in general to move forward.” This has lead sometimes to loss of copyright revenue in return for retention of artistic integrity.
The result of this scant disregard for material accretion may be a further incentive for him to pursue such an active performance schedule, but from conversation you feel is more the source of energy for an ever-expanding orbit of creativity. Here is an artist whose productive years span most of the later twentieth century, but whose capacity for subsuming new forms, while retaining his own whimsical surreal style, seems bound to continue unabated well into the next. He died on 13th of March 2015.
Born 16 August 1944 in Herne Bay, Kent is an English songwriter and major influential force in the English psychedelic movement. John Peel wrote in his autobiography “Kevin Ayers’ talent is so acute you could perform major eye surgery with it.” Ayers was a founding member of the pioneering psychedelic band Soft Machine in the late 1960s, and was closely associated with the Canterbury scene. He has recorded a series of albums as a solo artist and worked with Brian Eno, Syd Barrett, John Cale, Elton John, Robert Wyatt, Andy Summers, Mike Oldfield, Nico, Ollie Halsall and many others. Long resident in Deià, Mallorca, he returned to the United Kingdom in the mid 1990s. He then lived in the south of France, and completed work on a new album recorded in New York City, Tucson, Arizona and London. He Died in 2013 in France.
Joan Bibiloni Febrer, better known as Joan Bibiloni, (Manacor, Majorca, 1952) is a Spanish guitarist, arranger and composer. A prolific artist he also produced musicians such as Marina Rosselló Antonio Vega. In 1982 he was a co-founder of the record label Blau. Joan Bibloni lived in Llucalcari and played with Pepe Milan and with John Fisher among many others at the Guitar Center in Palma, He met and married his wife in the little church in Lluc Alcari in 1976. He now lives in Manacor, Mallorca and continues to play music and breed horses.
Composer and conductor, born in Barcelona in 1938 to a family of musicians. He studied music at the Conservatorio Municipal de Musica and the Conservatorio Superior de Musica de Liceu in Barcelona. At the age of ten he started collaborating in jazz diffusion with Tete Montoliu and travelled all over the country, at the same time he started to write his first compositions. He has worked with artists such as Ronnie Scott, Sonny Rollings, and Chet Baker. In 1976 his record “Olive Tree” came out based on poems by Robert Graves. He also has been music director for films such as “Illegally yours” by Peter Bogdonaovich and “Contra El Viento” by Francisco Perinan. In 1999 he created the National Jazz orchestra of Spain and continues to compose and conduct.
Born on 14 March 1949. “Ollie may not have been the best guitarist in the world, but he was certainly among the top two.’ – John Halsey, 1997. Peter John ‘Ollie’ Halsall (–is best known for his role as a guitarist in the bands Patto and Boxer, and for his work with Kevin Ayers. He is also notable as one of the few players of the vibraphone in rock music. He was known as Ollie because of his distinctive way of pronouncing his surname, with a dropped ‘h.’ Halsall came to London in 1967 to play vibraphone with pop-rock outfit Timebox (which included bassist Clive Griffiths and keyboard wizard ‘Professor’ Chris Holmes). Ollie took up guitar and they acquired Mike Patto on vocals, and finally drummer ‘Admiral’ John Halsey. They played a unique blend of ‘progressive’ jazz-rock and Halsall’s guitar work began to develop legendary status. In 1973, Halsall left to join Jon Hiseman’s Tempest. After less than a year, he quit and did numerous sessions including one track for Kevin Ayers; this led to a permanent position in Ayer’s band The Soporifics. In 1975, Patto staged a brief reunion comprising just three benefit gigs. The reuniting of Halsall and Patto sparked the formation of Boxer, a band which unfortunately promised more than it delivered, In 1976, Halsall rejoined Ayers, with whom he stayed on and off for the next 16 years until the former’s untimely death in 1992. He is buried in the Deia cemetery.
Born in Los Angeles, California in 1935, started to learn piano at the age of nine. From the beginning he preferred to improvise rather than practice. His teacher at that time, Samuel Ball, encouraged him to write down these improvisations. Years later, following a short stint in the U.S. Navy and a year in New York City he earned a bachelors degree in music at the University of California. After a further year of study in New York he went to Munich where he received a scholarship from the Bavarian State to study piano with Professor Rosl Schmid at the Musikhochschule München. In 1965, during a concert tour of Spain, he fell in love with the mountain village of Deià on Mallorca. He has actively participated in the Deià International Music Festival, since it’s founding in 1978, as a composer and performer. In 1987 he was commissioned to write an opera for the festival’s tenth anniversary. Since 1969 Carl and his wife, the Swiss painter Antoinette Mansker, divide their time between Münich an Deià.
ALEJANDRO MAZA OCHOA
Born 1950 Buenos Aires. Brother of Fernando and Javier (Pitxi) Maza studied classical guitar with Consuelo Mallo Lopez in Argentina. His first concerts were for the Guitar Association in Buenos Aires. He came to Spain in 1971 with a grant from the Hispanic Cultural Institute. He moved to Florence in 1975 where he taught six-string guitar, composed and played classical guitar. He returned to Deia often to play in concerts at the local church and other venues in Mallorca. He died in 2004.
PATRICK MEADOWS & STEPHANIE SHEPARD
In 1976 two amateur musicians met in Deià, Stephanie Shepard and Patrick Meadows. Neither had seriously touched an instrument for fifteen years, but they began again, playing recorder duets, trios and quartets with other amateurs. With Llullist Anthony Bonner they became familiar with the extensive repertoire for flute, recorder, and basso continuo. In 1978 they brought a harpsichord from England, along with numerous second-hand scores.
That same summer, they moved to the house in the valley below Deià and they installed the harpsichord, reading through the Handel sonatas, many works by Telemann, Quantz, Bach, Loeillet, and trio sonatas with visitors. Narcis Bonet, then musical director of l’Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris who spent summers in nearby Lluch-Alcari, knocked on their door one afternoon in August, having heard that there was a harpsichord and some musicians getting together. So with Canadian violinist Vera Blum and an English oboist and a cellist, flutes and recorders, and Narcis on the keyboard they played a program in the chapel of Lluch-Alcari and then in the church in Deià.
They organized the classical concerts at Son Marrotx from then on.
Stephanie died in 2005 and Patrick died in Mallorca in 2017.
Came to Deia in 1978 working for Daevid Allen and Gong and subsequently founded the Sexbeatles, (originally the Offbeats) with Jordi Rullan, son of Sebastian of Bar Las Palmeras. We broke down the defences of Soller, Palma and beyond, never abandoning our philosophy of ‘Porque No’. We wrote all our own material and released ‘Well you never…’ as a single in 1979.
We played at the 1979 Glastonbury Festival and toured the UK in 1980. Our legacy was a rallying call against military government, a song called’ Al Suelo, Cono’ written by Hamish and Ollie Halsall, a cry that so hit home at the time,that we were prevented from releasing it.
Pepe Milan has been coming to Deia since 1969. He played guitar with Tomas Graves, John Fisher and others at Can Quet and at the Guitar Center in Palma. He would come to Deia to rehearse with his fellow musicians and Maria who owned a house in Llucalcari enticed him to stay by offering him a house to rent. He lived there from 1976 and continued to play music with all of the musicians that lived in the village including Daevid Allen and Kevin Ayers.
At the invitation of Dorothy and Bob Bradbury, Jose, came to Deia in 1962 with his wife Angelines, ‘his right arm and his eyes’ (He lost his sight after a bicycle accident when he was six years old). He was a renowned concert pianista and had agreed to give lessons to Susie Bradbury. He gave one of the first Deia concerts that set the precident for years to come. Deia was a quiet town at night, no cars or electricity. People would sit on the street below the window of the Bradbury’s house listening to the melodious music coming from within. If a musician arrived in town, for example Walter Biemel, who played the viola, he would come and play as well. They performed for pleasure and shared their talents with one and all.
PA AMB OLI BAND
Founded by Juan Graves and David Templeton in 1978, Pa Amb Oli Band was joined by Jordi Ramone in 1979 and Tomás Graves in early 1980. Essentially a live band they have been playing for 30 years without leaving the island nor entering a recording studio. Regular guests are Frances Baxter (vocals) and Carmen García-Gutierrez (tambourine). Among others who have joined the band onstage include drummers Joan Bibiloni, Ramón Farrán, Pere Colom, Phil Shepherd and Ollie Halsall; on keyboards Ben Sidran, Miles and Orlando Napier, Andrew Lloyd Webber, guitarists Mike Sheffrin, Dai Griffiths, Guillermo Perez de Diego, Brendan McCann, Mike Oldfield, Jiva, Sam Williams; bassists Archie Leggett, Kevin Ayers; vocalists Samuel, Dickon and Barbar Gough, Natalia Farrán, Catherine Zeta Jones, Tim Rice, Toni Rigo, Eric Burdon, Ben Elton; sax players Hugo Napier and Paul Matthews. Juan Graves, one of the instigators of the band died in 2015 but the group carries on.
Gilli Smyth (allegedly born June 1st, 1933) a musician who performed with the bands Gong, Mother Gong and Planet Gong as well as several solo albums and albums in collaborations with other members of Gong. In Gong, she often performed under the name Shakti Yoni contributing poems and space whispers. Smyth has three degrees from King’s College London, where she gained notoriety as the outspoken sub-editor of “Kings News”, a college magazine. After a brief spell teaching at the Sorbonne (Paris) (where she became bilingual), she began doing performance poetry with well-known English jazz-rock group Soft Machine, founded by her partner and long-time collaborator, Daevid Allen, in 1968. She co-founded Gong with Allen. Smyth was the only female voice in a line up of musicians later including Steve Hillage, Pierre Moerlen and Didier Malherbe and portrayed a prostitute, mother, witch and old woman This became part of cult mythology.
Came to Deia in1973 and formed a band called the Chuchuasis. Things were not easy, “we had no costumes or instruments but with the generosity of neighbours we made costumes, put together publicity and were on stage at the Museum with a packed audience some of whom sat outside and along the torrent. They had immediate success and started playing venues such as Hotel Es Moli, weddings and parties all over Deià. “Our songs of protest from Latin America were not shared by some but we felt famous in the small world of Deià.
Suzanne Bradbury was born in California to artist parents and grew up in Deia, Mallorca, at a time when the town hosted many talented writers and artists. By the age of twelve she had performed Haydn’s D major concerto in Alicante and was already studying with the blind Spanish pianist José Ortiga who encouraged and inspired her to continue with her musical studies.
After attending the Academy of Music in Vienna under Dieter Weber and the Manhattan School of Music, New York, she completed her academic studies at the Munich Musikhochschule with Ludwig Hoffman. The prizes she received at that time led to many recordings for German and American radio, the BBC and Radio Suisse Romande as well as to performances throughout Europe and America. For many years she travelled regularly to Bonn to work with Stefan Askenase.
In 1980, Wilhelm Kempff invited Suzanne Bradbury to his Master Course in Positano, which led to a lasting musical friendship. In following year she founded the Allensbach Chamber Music Festival at Lake Constance and was its musical director for ten years. During that period the festival attracted many internationally renowned musicians. In 1988 Suzanne Bradbury returned to Deia and became involved in The Deia International Music Festival.
Through her influence the Festival enjoyed the participation of respected international artists. From 1995 to 2005 she joined the Silvestri Quartet in giving Chamber Music Master Classes in Capellades, near Barcelona. As well as having an extensive repertoire as a soloist, Suzanne Bradbury has performed with chamber music groups including the Wind Quintet of The Berlin Philharmonic and Camerata Quartet of Warsaw, and soloists including the clarinettist Walter Seyfarth. More recently she has performed with the renowned English baritone Peter Harvey, and the American counter-tenor Don Krim, and collaborated with Austrian mezzo soprano, Waltraud Mucher and English soprano Fiona Stuart-Wilson in a series of concerts featuring new music by American and British composers.