“Intimacy was at stake at that moment too, and its urgent poetry surfaced in “Manos Ajenas”—an ode to the liberatory freedom of touch and movement, of those things that many would seek to sever and deny.” – Dos Santos
It seems quite the time for “Manos Ajenas” to drop in its just released video version. It’s a song by Dos Santos from the incredible album, Logos and was filmed at CoProsperity Sphere. “Manos Ajenas” feels like such praise to the power of being and such a healing way to share the art of music and movement.
Before writing this I decided to listen to the song “Manos Ajenas (Touch You Every Day / Another’s Hands (Touch You Every Day) again, on its own first, followed by the video. Thus began an emotional tug that, even before the halfway mark of the song, led to unexpected tears. Beyond nostalgia, it’s the thrilling rhythms and sounds created by Dos Santos that gave way to a simple (is it?) realization of who we are, ultimately, in the grand scheme of things.
Don’t you love music that moves you in such ways? I do.
Now, it’s no surprise to be lured in to any song with Alex’s commanding and enlightening vocals. Alex’s voice bestows so much power upon poetry in music. His singing compels you to linger, then ponder and then stay still. You suddenly pay attention to what is happening. You are engaged in the now and that, right there, is magic.
Musically, what begins in grand percussive form in “Manos Ajenas” quickly ascends to a place where – if you will – whatever is beyond what you comprehend, multiplies and suddenly you find yourself in a space of healing where each note of this song, each beat, every singular vibration and every multi-sound enunciation has a purpose. Patty Lorena Solorzano’s dance and movements flow along beautifully to reiterate a state of being, whatever being that may be for you.
For me, the video and song splendidly accentuate the beauty of being alone, a new perspective on intimacy, and the healing power of sound. It’s perfect.
Enough of my thoughts. Let’s read what Dos Santos had to say about “Manos Ajenas.”
“The hands of others touch us every day. Yet when that stops, it feels as if intimacy is disrupted or eclipsed… like when music goes silent or when streets become empty. We need the sun, we need art, and we need touch in order to grow, to flourish, to feel.
Intimacy has always been at stake in the borderless world of Dos Santos’ music. And in that sonic universe, freedom dreams and dances are not fleeting desires, but marvelous intimacies made real through congregation.
“Manos Ajenas (another’s hands) (touch you every day)” was written and recorded in the tumultuous summer of 2017—a time of hate rallies in the United States, disaster capitalism in Puerto Rico, and the carceral rumblings of migrant detention along the Mexican border. Intimacy was at stake at that moment too, and its urgent poetry surfaced in “Manos Ajenas”—an ode to the liberatory freedom of touch and movement, of those things that many would seek to sever and deny.
In the era of COVID-19, the world finds itself deep in the bowels of a late capitalist pandemic nightmare, where touch and congregation are forbidden. Yet, their denial—in a seemingly dystopian plot twist—is an expression of care.
In that spirit, “Manos Ajenas” is a meditation on the hands that figuratively and literally touch us every day—from the loving embrace of those closest to us, to the labor of unknown hands that work to nourish us. In a time when we feel as if the walls are closing in, Dos Santos asks us to consider the people that continue to touch us in ways unseen in a moment when many are experiencing profound solitude. And as our minds rest in the calming eye of that meditation, Dos Santos also invite us to dance, to move, to listen, and to enjoy like freedom dreamers ready to take on a technicolor world that exists beyond that dream.
“Manos Ajenas (another’s hands) (touch you every day)” is an anthem of art and love in the time of corona, because we all need to keep living and we all need to keep nourishing our deep connections with one another. Paz.”
NOTES: The video for “Manos Ajenas” was shot at Co-Prosperity Sphere, directed by Jude Goergen, and features original choreography by the amazingly talented Paty L. Solórzano Dance. Production was coordinated by Nathan Karagianis & Jaime Garza Rodriguez with the lighting talents of Joseph Mietus and hair and makeup by Estela Rojas.