Music Review: Gone Beyond
DONNA DE LORY’S new album, Gone Beyond, offers the fruits of the singer’s daily practice of improvising vocals combined with her love of sacred Buddhist and Hindu mantras. De Lory told Spirituality & Health that her morning singing ritual is meditative.
“It’s a time for peace and creativity, improvising naturally and fluidly. I would close my eyes and get into this sacred space in music. I just sang what I heard.”
As with many musicians worldwide, the pandemic altered De Lory’s recording process. “I love collaborating. Then COVID happened and nobody could come over. Not even an engineer. It was so weird, especially at the very beginning, right? I went from playing live with great musicians to being in the studio and having them send me their performances. It’s the next best thing.”
Musicians featured on Gone Beyond include David Bowie’s guitarist Gerry Leonard and Peter Gabriel’s rhythm section of bassist Tony Levin and drummer Jerry Marotta. “I contacted Tony and he said, ‘I’m home, I’m not touring. Just send me the tracks,’” De Lory recalls. “He said most people send him King Crimson kind of music to play on. So, he was loving playing on my tracks because they were so calm.”
Mantra music has been a focus for De Lory since her 2000 album Bliss. Earlier, between 1987 and 2006, De Lory traveled the world as back-up vocalist and dancer for Madonna and sang on albums including Like a Prayer and Erotica.
The title song on Gone Beyond is an ethereal version of the Tibetan mantra “gate-gate-paragate-parasam-gatebodhi-svaha.” De Lory told S&H “the translation of this mantra is ‘gone beyond to the further shore.’” De Lory adds, “The music I created in this time, the creative spirit and discipline I found within myself, was really powerful.”