Uruguayan doctor-turned-poet and musician Jorge Drexler made history in 2005 when he received the first Oscar for Best Original Song ever awarded to a Spanish-language tune ("Al Otro Lado Del Río", from The Motorcycle Diaries). To date, his songs continue to enchant with delicate twists of phrases and gentle tilts of meaning — Drexler's lyrics are meant to be slowly sipped, as the full flavors of each nuance expand in our minds.
From his latest album Salvavidas De Hielo, the song "Movimiento" (Movement) is an anthem to our eternal impulse to seek out new horizons – whether itching to take off for adventure's sake, or moving in search of a better future.
The recently released video for "Movimiento" features 22-year-old Lorena Ramirez, a runner from Mexico's indigenous Tarahumara/Rarámuri community (a term that means "the light-footed, those who run well"). Last July, Ramirez won a 100km (62 mile) ultramarathon in the Canyons of Guachochi wearing a homemade dress and sandals made from recycled tire rubber.
"Movimiento," a poem which Drexler set to music, refers not to running as a sport, but to movement as a fundamentally human trait, which he links to migration and to our very survival as a species. Shots of Ramirez traversing the beautiful sierra in the state of Chihuahua are juxtaposed with images of Drexler roaming a magnificent library, as he sings an ode to life. He's commenting that like songs, birds and alphabets, humans need to move to be alive.
To move freely is a human birthright, Drexler says. He addresses humans as parents, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of immigrants — as a species in transit: "We don't have belongings; only luggage."
And in the percussive refrain of the song, he reminds us of the crux of the matter – none of us are really completely from anywhere, and all of us are a little bit from everywhere: "I'm not from here. But then, neither are you."
Jorge Drexler will be touring Salvavidas De Hielo in the United States in 2018.