I won’t pretend to be a historical expert on bossa nova, but where I can draw powerful parallels is that literally translated, ‘bossa nova’ means ‘new wave.’ And just like new wave music ushered in a cultural revolution in the 70’s and 80’s, bossa nova similarly made unprecedented convergences in the 50’s and 60’s that overturned the status quo: Samba born from African slave communities, Brazilian folk, and American cool jazz were some of the interwoven musical styles. And beyond music, it was part of the larger cultural shift that included the brilliance of Oscar Niemeyer’s architecture and the progressive social theories of Cinema Novo…

New wave(s) usher in change. They are open-ended and open to interpretation. Tom Jobim famously said ‘music is the silence between notes’ and to that, I would add that the syncopation of these silences in bossa nova allow us to invent our own experiences while moving to the groove. Moreover, the ambiguous chords (for us music geeks, 9th, 11th, and 13th intervals) don’t fall neatly within the major/minor, happy/sad dichotomy. Bossa nova has been described as wistful, melancholic, optimistic, even euphoric – but like the weather, the same songs change with different contexts and times of day. Try listening to Corcovado at different points in your life – the song can bring tears or elation, opening our senses to the momentum under the surface.

So on Tom Jobim‘s birthday coinciding with the lunar new year, I find it fitting during these uncertain times to be launching ‘n0va,’ an EP of bossa nova infused songs. Slowly over the upcoming months, I’ll be releasing 3 more tunes (hopefully with accompanying music videos). Up until today, this blog has largely been about the past – it’s been easy piecing together my musical biography in front of an empty auditorium (except for my close friends in the front row… a million thank you’s, you know who you are ;-). After two decades of being away from music, I’ve dusted off my instruments and am ready to jam! Although the here-and-now still feels unfamiliar, I hope after a few posts I can get the hang of bringing you some illumination and interest… moments of ‘new wave’ freedom, however small, to offset the straight-jacket of oppression that we are entering the new year with.


Album artwork by Jin Suk
» buy aerochute on Bandcamp »
Faster than faster her,
flyer than higher, you can shake down an airplane fly girl…
When you move I don’t even have eyes just to know i see you.
Harder and further her,
no parachute can prove it
take a leap of faith love.
All i know, it’s you who’s brave enough to be afraid now.
Will catch you when you fall after all
mended wings bring your heart to mine.
(faster, higher, further faster)
Lighter than arrows her,
shall we keep flying over faces places we know?
Or strip bare unclothe those words that sting even when not spoken.
Falling forever friend,
the clouds’ll catch us
not a broken bone will scratch us!
Cheating death for now hold hands while i take the fall when we land.
Will catch you when you fly, suicide
mended wings bring your heart to mine.