Gillian Mary “Gilli” Smyth was born on June 1, 1933, and died on August 22, 2016.
She was an English musician.
She performed with the bands Gong, Mother Gong, and Planet Gong and released several solo albums and albums in collaboration with other members of Gong.
Whilst she was at Gong, she often performed under the name Shakti Yoni, contributing poems and “space whispers”.
Gilli did performance poetry with well-known English jazz-rock group Soft Machine, founded by her partner and long-time collaborator, Daevid Allen, in 1968.
Herself along with Daevid Allen, Hyde Park, 1974
Smyth co-founded Gong with Allen, an outfit that included musicians such as Steve Hillage, Pierre Moerlen and Didier Malherbe.
All of the songs on the albums Magick Brother and Continental Circus are listed as written or co-written by her.
During her spoken-word poetry, especially within Gong’s “Radio Gnome Invisible” Trilogy, she portrays a prostitute, a cat, a mother, a witch, and an old woman, and she has been known for wearing such costumes on stage.
This became part of the cult mythology, which was written into sixteen albums that were produced.
Gong developed into a family of bands, which included Gongmaison and Mother Gong.
Her selection called Mother, her 1978 solo album, led to Smyth founding Mother Gong having left the original Gong band in 1975 to have children.
She died in Byron Bay, Australia.
Gilli Smyth passed away at 83 years old.