Invisible Opera Company of Tibet, OZ
'The Invisible Opera Company of Tibet' first manifested as a musical outfit in 1986 in a banana shed somewhere in the Australian Rainforest under the leadership of Daevid Allen and Russell Hibbs
There was a sound that came through the early Gong gigs, particularly during the spacey glissando sections, that sounded like angels singing. They called this, 'The Invisible Opera Company of Tibet'. In the 1980s Daevid used this concept to bind together a group of flexible personnel, chosen for their ability to channel a quality of music beyond their own normal capabilities. The performances became ritual ceremonies for integrating the group awareness through a wide range of acoustic and metaphysical technologies. Daevid encouraged Russell to take the lead in the Australian band, and allowed it to become primarily Russell's vehicle.
This first band spent a traumatic six months in the studio recording the Invisible Opera Company of Tibet's first album, eponymously titled The Invisible Opera Company of Tibet (Voiceprint VP 106 CD?) and the limited edition 7-inch single, Trial by Headline (Invisible 1), before engaging on a tour dedicated to the Harmonic Convergence and Earthlink, which involved members of the nascent Kangaroo Moon.
Daevid split for the UK, forming the Invisible's 'Goddess' manifestation. Russell continued playing healing festivals with the Australian line up. Meanwhile, Fabio Golfetti? and Nelson Coelho formed Opera Invisivel? (Versao Tropicale) independently in Brazil, with releases including gems such as Glissando Spirit(approve sites).
Daevid returned to the UK on his 50th Birthday, to do a series of self - initiation playshops and a few low - key gigs. . (some hope). The 'Goddess manifestation', UK Invisibop Band, they can be heard on 'Live spring'88' (GAS Tape) split due to the age old drugs issue and Daevid's discomfort with the radicalized 80s feminism of some of the members.
Meanwhile the Australian line up did loads of wacky gigs including the Harmonic Convergence / Earthlink Tour with Mother Hut as part of a plan to get the whole band over to Machu Picchu - had a jolly good time trying anyway! The band improved by leaps and bounds and started getting serious offers of work. Kavi and Tina left at the end of '88, feelinq that the band was getting too macho and Rock'n'Roll.
Gigs had became these huge tribal shambles, starting with invocations and ending up buried under guesting didgeridoo players. The band split. Tried to reform without Evan. Rehearsed briefly with Peter Mercury (ex Captain Matchbox and Bruce Mc Nichol?, from Silly Symphony). Somehow it just wasn't the same. So they went back to Evan on their hands and knees, and he agreed to come back! ...but only on the proviso that they play a decent number of his songs. They moved to St. Kilda, Melbourne with the intention of seriously 'going for it' played Malaney and Bellingen Healing Festivals, and outed their mighty new arrangements. Unfortunately, they were far too hard edged and professional for the faerie folk and old fans and the band fizzled out before it really got going. Russell worked briefly with Harry Williamson and Liz van Dort before splitting for the UK to meet up and tour with Daevid Allen and the new Invisible Opera Company of Tibet (UK). Formed from a bunch of UK Gong fans at Brian Abbott?'s instigation. Toured spring '94 supporting Daevid and Russell solo shows.
The rest of the band teamed up with John Howley, an old mate of Daevid's from the 60s. They appear on Every Witches Way (Voiceprint VP 139CD) which also features Mother Gong and Kangaroo Moon, and also on the Radio Series CD (Voiceprint).
In a sense every single person on this chart is an honorary member of the Invisible Opera Company of Tibet, but the band itself seems to have taken on a life of it's own. There are now four different Invisible Opera Companies existing simultaneously (well, almost) in the world. As well as the line-ups listed here, there is also a Brazilian Opera Invisivel (Versao Tropicale) - Fabio Gofletti? and Nelson Coelho. Releases include Glissando Spirit(approve sites). Very much in the Deya Days/Playbax style.
(We believe there is/was also a lineup in the States. We wait for meaningful contact...?)
The flowering of Invisible Opera Bands in the UK, Australia and Brazil has created the possibility of a new kind of musical collective; an international umbrella group consisting of several bands, with shared or compatible songs and music, developing and promoting themselves simultaneously in different world centres.
Following on from the Brazilians' lead, Brian Abbott?, who had guested as an honorary goddess in the '88 lineup, instigated an independent acid-punk manifestation of the Opera Company out of a bunch of people that had been involved in Daevid Allen's "Zero" Initiation workshops.
This band toured the UK supporting Daevid and Russell's solo shows, and opened up for Gong's 25th Birthday Party at the Forum in London. They released Live/Studio '93 (Tape), Live - Totally Bananas '94 (Tape), and Jewel in the Lotus(approve sites) (GAS CD).
Live guests have included Gilli Smyth, Thom the World Poet?, Graham Clark, Harry Williamson, Liz van Dort, Claire Jones, and Felix (Hi, Felix!).
Brian split to join Global? and produce a solo album with Jacki Juno. Tim and Jim reformed the Invisibles involving, variously : Stevie P. (ex Heathens All, Yü, ...Eat This), Maya (Heathens All), Maryjane, Nick Harrison (ex Fancabdu), Brian Gulland (ex Gryphon), and Feliks Tabis. This has included an expansion of musical direction to include experimental forays into mellow funk and world folk grooves.