Osmel Almaguer

Levis Aliaga. Photo: levisaliaga.blogspot.com
Levis Aliaga. Photo: levisaliaga.blogspot.com

HAVANA TIMES — The work of Levis Aliaga (Ciego de Avila, 1972) is one of the most solid produced by folk singers of his generation. Praised by artists and writers, Aliaga has not yet achieved much renown among audiences – something which, most likely, has more to do with his current whereabouts (the Canary Islands) than with his talent as a singer-songwriter.

In 1992, he joined Roly Berrio and Raul Cabrera to create the Enserio trio, a (now dissolved) ensemble that achieved a fair degree of popularity (even in Cuba’s media), and did a number of tours in countries such as Japan, Guatemala, Mexico, Colombia and Cyprus.

His songs have been performed by a great many young folk musicians across the country. Enserie en vivo en casa (“Enserie: Live at Casa de las Americas”), a concert held at Havana’s Casa de las Americas cultural center, and Enserie, an album produced by Cuba’s Abdala label, are his two albums.

His songs are simple and tend to address everyday concerns and issues of importance to the country and humanity in general. He is a talented guitarist and singer who pours much feeling into his songs, making it difficult for the public not to identify immediately with his lyrics.

Casiopea

Come close and say it yourself / that I am your night, that I am your Blues. / Come close and say it yourself / naturally.
Your aura of freedom / fills me with ideas / wings sprout from your gaze / when you blink.
I walk through a place / where no one knows what keeps me awake, / Casipea’s reflection / on the water.
Come close and say it yourself / that I am your night, that I am your Blues. / Come close and say it yourself / naturally.
The touch of diamonds / is what my offer invites you to, / I return, carassing your hair / with my fingers.
Teach me of those countryside / paths traced on the sidewalk, / I only want to love you, / Casiopea.

Communion between a man and a woman, between a man and a star in the firmament, between man and Beauty – has the author personified Casipea, or has he transformed a simple, young woman into a star? In his mind, there appears to be no difference. He addresses her as though he has known her his whole life (“say it yourself, naturally,” he insists), certain that he can become that nightly stage where stars dance (“I am your night, I am your Blues”).

She appears to be a contemporary woman, though that “aura of freedom”, contrary to what many tend to assume, are not the exclusive trait of modern women. He does not seem put off by this. He knows how to love her there, up in the sky, because he also knows he can be that sky, and is able to recognize her in her most intimate depths, where, instead of his own reflection, he finds the reflection of Casiopea every night.

He is intoxicated by the feeling of requited love. Does one not enter into a kind of communion with the entire universe when one feels the same?


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