If you enjoy the introductory music that begins our show, you’ll really love this episode — host Charlie Bresler is talking with composer and musician José González, who generously agreed to allow his music to grace Musings on Ourselves and Other Strangers.

José has had a fascinating history: his parents fled the dictatorship in their native Argentina in 1976. Because José’s parents were at university and his father was an activist, they were targeted by the government. They were able to flee through Brazil, and ultimately the Swedish embassy helped them to relocate to safety. They landed in Sweden, where José was born.

As you might guess, politics and activism were frequent topics around the family dinner table. José himself prefers to communicate his thoughts and reflections through his music, with allusions and metaphors that can speak to us on a deeper level. “Many songs have a crystal-clear, secular humanist agenda: anti-dogma, pro-reason,” he says. 

A scientist by training, José left academia to pursue his music career, but he admits to missing learning and reads broadly to pursue his interests. Though he’s created “only” three solo albums in 18 years, each album is intricately designed, the music’s apparent simplicity belied by a deep, inner complexity. He regularly plays to sold-out venues and devoted followers.

José says his music takes on the Big Questions, the existential conundrums that reflect the journey of “smart apes on a quest to understand ourselves and our place in the cosmos.” Like Charlie, José is interested in why humans — himself included — behave the ways we do, and his music gives us openings to view ourselves through.

We hope you’ll enjoy this episode. To find more music by José, visit his website jose-gonzalez.com.


Spotify  Apple Podcasts - Wikipedia   Pandora is Getting Into Podcasts. Here's What You Need to Know.  Logo — Brand Guidelines  YouTube

Recent Episodes

Episode 19: Musings with Felix Brooks-church

Starvation isn’t only a deficit of calories, it’s also a deficit of nutrients. Children especially suffer when the food they do get doesn’t meet all their nutritional needs. Felix Brooks-church has some big ideas to end the “hidden hunger” of micronutrient deficiency, and in 2013, he and David Dodson co-founded the non-profit organization Sanku to help close the gap.

🎧 Listen Now

Episode 18: Musings with Joshua Ross and Adam McCurdie of Humanitix

What do concert tickets and philanthropy have in common? Generally, not much, but a couple of friends of The Life You Can Save are working very hard to change that. Tech entrepreneurs Joshua Ross and Adam McCurdie could have made a fortune building their ticketing platform start up, but a trip to war-torn Sri Lanka fueled their desires to do work that was truly meaningful.

🎧 Listen Now

Episode 17: Musings with Peter Singer

According to its author, Peter Singer, those with money are behaving unethically — even immorally — if they don’t take steps to end the poverty and suffering of others. Listen to this fascinating conversation around why we give or don’t. As you might imagine, the reasons are complex, rooted in human psychology, tinged with fear and cognitive dissonance, and seasoned with a lack of cultural pressure, thanks to an idea called the “diffusion of responsibility.”

🎧 Listen Now
No more podcasts to load.

See our vetted list of proven, high-impact charities.

Best Charities >

DMI creates radio ads that help save children's lives.

More about DMI >

Education boosts life skills and opportunities.

Education For All >

Climate change affects the vulnerable most.

Learn More >