The past few months, I’ve been listening a lot to Seu Jorge’s The Life Aquatic Studio Sessions. For the album, Jorge recorded new versions of David Bowie songs, all in Portuguese. These songs, while unmistakably born from Bowie’s originals, become also unfamiliar; beautiful and new and strange. They are lower-key than David Bowie’s versions; Bowie’s songs, expressive and anthemic, often held us at arm’s length. But relaxed into Jorge’s new acoustic interpretations, the music becomes contemplative. Inviting. This is music Jorge asks us to inhabit, to live alongside, sit with.
I love the way Jorge’s album fills my space, his rich Portuguese intonation, the relaxed guitar strums and meandering voice.
In the months since my cousin moved to Brazil, I’ve also liked this sense of connection to Brazilian music. As we all spend more time in the televised spaces of Brazilian life and in its soccer arenas, perhaps this is a good moment to visit Jorge’s cross-cultural collaboration, which belongs a little bit to a broader world, and also is so intimate, so much his.