Donna De Lory Honors Spirit
Spirit and devotion have always been prominent aspects of Donna De Lory‘s music. On her album The Unchanging, she beautifully builds upon this foundation. Crafted in honor of her late father Al De Lory, the album is heartfelt and touching, while also carrying an uplifting and spirited quality.
This eleven-song album builds on and solidifies Miss De Lory’s musical spirit. She injects dance-infused grooves and pop sensibilities into many of the songs. Conversely, she offers a softer, more personal delivery on others – accented by sparse instrumentation that inspires reflection and emotion. As a result, she has created a dynamic, full, and rich body of work.
Celebration through Song
On “Gayatri Mantra,” De Lory’s unmistakable voice soars over trance-inducing beats. She intersperses repetition of the ancient Sanskrit mantra with her own heartfelt English verses. Upbeat grooves lift songs like “The Offering,” “Be The Change,” “Amma,” and her joyful take on George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord” (the first chant she learned as a child) to a place of movement and celebration of Spirit.
Another musical dimension of The Unchanging is one that is soft, open, and expansive. “Amazing Grace” is a spacious rendition of the traditional melody, laid over a downtempo beat. The a cappella “Kinder” delivers angelic harmonies and lyrical beauty. “Luciana,” a touching song about De Lory’s daughter and motherhood, accents lyrical poignancy with piano supported by a graceful string section. The final song on the album, “Life Without Boundaries,” also backed by piano and strings, carries a deep emotional quality. “Luciana” and “Life Without Boundaries,” along with the title track “The Unchanging,” feature Donna playing her father’s piano.
Musicians on The Unchanging
In addition to vocals and piano, De Lory plays a variety of instruments on this album and works with long-time collaborator Mac Quayle. She has assembled a top-notch group of artists. Their credits speak for themselves. These include album mixer Kevin Killen (U2, Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush, Elvis Costello), bassist Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel, King Crimson, John Lennon), drummers Jerry Marotta (Peter Gabriel, Elvis Costello, Paul McCartney) and Dave Allen (Michelle Branch), and guitarist Jerry Leonard (David Bowie). She also collaborates with bhakti go-to musicians like tabla icon Girish, bansuri flute master Manose, and bassist Mark Gorman. All are respected and talented masters in their chosen fields.
It is fitting such talent has assembled for an album paying respect to De Lory’s father. Al De Lory was a noted music producer who produced two Grammy-winning albums. He was also a session pianist who worked with The Beach Boys and Phil Spector, among many others.
“I’m honoring him with this album” says Donna De Lory. “It’s about how my father’s death affected my whole spiritual path.” She speaks of him as one of the most important people in her life and embodies that statement in The Unchanging‘s liner notes. “This CD is dedicated to my beloved father Al De Lory who showed me the way to follow my bliss.”
Joe Kara enjoys a double life working in music and teaching Yoga in Hollywood and the Valley. He plays a little bass, too. @JoeKaraYoga