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Discovering Identity in Music

Jorge Drexler's Speech on Music Discusses Identity and Humanity

— May 24, 2017 — Keynote Trends
Jorge Drexler is a Uruguayan musicion and actor, as well as an otolaryngologist, who give a unique speech on music that encourages viewers to find their common humanity through breaking down, and understanding, the complexities of identity.

Drexler discusses an assignment he was once given, where his friend gave him a chorus to a song and asked Drexler to write the stanzas for the rest of the song in décima. Décima is a ten-line stanza of poetry that has very specific rhymes, syllables and structures, and Drexler took it upon himself to learn more about this form of poetry. He discovered that décima originated in Spain in 1591, but that most Spanish-speaking countries (particularly in South America), had different names for it and claimed it as their own. This led him to delve into how music and identity intertwine with one another, and he left his audience with an important lesson; things only look pure if you look at them from far away, and while it is important to know our roots and history, we must also understand that deep down – we're all from nowhere, and a little bit from everywhere."

Drexler ended his unifying speech by performing the song he was first assigned with completing, with the chorus that moved him so much being; "I am a Jewish Moor living among Christians, I don't know who my God is, nor who my brothers are."