The Colorful Light of Cuba’s Liuba Maria Hevia

Musical Bridge from Cuba*

Osmel Almaguer

HAVANA TIMES — Concerning this unique Cuban artist, Liuba Maria Hevia, one could begin by saying what is written about her in most places: that she’s a talented songwriter and a brilliant performer who floats gracefully between the apparent dissimilarities of musical styles like tango, guajira, habanera, son, ballenato, and so on.

As is usually done, I could describe how she’s so widely popular and recognized by the critics, with her songs having long ago transcended national boundaries. Surely these continue to do so with her simple and charismatic manner, her shy and yet profound style, and her countless musical techniques that in no way diminish her naturalness.

That’s why I prefer to define her as an “artist with light,” but not just any light – rather one that is colorful, but not based on any one color. All of them are beautiful shades associated with the beauty of life: hope, the sea, love, nostalgia, the countryside, children (to whom she has devoted much of her work,), etc.

His discography includes the albums Coloreando la esperanza (1993), Señor Arcoiris (1995), Habaneras en el el tiempo (1995), Alguien me espera (1996), Del verso a la mar (1998), Travesía magica (2001), Iluminame (2002), Angel y Habanera (2004), !Atentos! Traigo un regalo (2005), Secretos cantados (2007) and Puertas (2010).

Si me falta tu sonrisa, amor

CD: Coloreando la esperanza

This house where you live, / this light that recognizes you, / you’re hanging around my door / with the song of a mockingbird. / Here is what’s necessary, / but the silence is broken / when there escapes from your lips / in a kiss that hides you.

Without your love, life drags on, / the world collapses / if your smile invades me. / Tell me what to do with the beauty of this hour, / so I can dream about mornings / if I need your smile.

These hands are born / of your hair and your back, / of that implacable tenderness / which doesn’t comprehend words.

Where can I draw your laughter, / how can I hide that you are missed / to this guitar that knows / about spirits and the early morning.

Without your love, life drags on, / the world collapses / if I invade your smile. / Tell me what to do with the beauty of this hour / so I can dream about mornings / if I need your smile.

Without your love, life drags on.

These hands are born…

When approaching Liuba’s work, the first song that came to my mind was this one. I looked for it unconscious and unequivocally. It is her, perhaps because of its intensity, perhaps because of its poetic power.

The messages are not simple, they’re hidden behind Liuba’s seemingly transparent lyrics. It’s clear that she’s speaking of love and of the need to address this sentiment, to face the vicissitudes of life.

We can easily imagine a woman waiting for her loved one, someone who always seems to be close but is never present.

In the same vein, I would like to point out the possibility of a ghostly presence in nature. This is evident in eternal possibilities, which of course are never realized.

The loved one may well be corporeal, but it’s also immaterial. The singer could then be doing so in terms of an ideal.

This idea is reinforced with a series of symbols which together form a kind of force field. Thinking about her work like this, in a place where light, smiles, the song of the mockingbird, a kiss, a dream, and so on cohabit, then there’s no room for evil.

Notice the peculiar fact that this group of signs captures all of the human senses.
There’s always the open possibility of a possible inspiration in one’s own inspiration (or a muse), like what we like from poets who force us to contemplate.

It’s a song that tries to cover too much space, and perhaps here we can find some imperfection. But there are many virtues. Beauty, depth and poetic flight are some of them. Let’s listen to this piece by Liuba, who has managed to transcend those twenty years since it was first composed.

(*) A Musical Bridge from Cuba: This is an effort to find new bridges that promote communication between peoples of the diverse regions of the planet. I will be using simple narration in a series of articles to connect with those who are interested in the messages transmitted by Cuban songs, which due to their limited commercial potential and the difficulties posed by their translation, languish in a state of communicational stagnation – despite their being true jewels of Cuban culture.