Haiku ? Yusa describes her third album as intimista, each song an emotional snapshot of the inner world of the heart, like a butterfly momentarily caught, its wings still fluttering.
And Yusa's songs are imbued with the spirit of haiku, that minimal Japanese poetic form popular worldwide. In the words of Mexican poet Octavia Paz, a haiku is, "A poetic experience re-created as lived poetry." And so Yusa - her name itself as evocative as a haiku - worked intense yet playful afternoons and evenings in the studio with Brazilian producer Alê Siqueira to "Amar un sueño, parar un hijo" ("Bring to life a dream, birth a child").
For Yusa, Alê Siqueira is the mago magician who climbed inside her songs with her, bringing out their fragile mystery with luminous delicate detail. The sound is kept personal with Yusa playing many of the instruments herself (bass, Cuban tres guitar, Fender Rhodes, percussion) inviting in friends and collaborators to add glimmering threads into the magical weave.
The title song Haiku de paz (Peace Haiku), which has Carlos, Eme and Michael of pioneering Afro-Cuban rock group Síntesis singing the textured chorus, is for Obatalá, the Afro-Cuban orisha deity of purity and dream. Walking Heads, in which Yusa sings gently in English touches feelings often easier to express in a foreign language in which one has no fear of the meaning of the words. No tengo otro lugar (I Have No Other Place) is another way of saying how much one can love someone, while Y te aparece (Suddenly You Appear) came to Yusa to, "Accompany my insomnia."
Conga Pasajera (Passing Conga) intertwines love and life in the joyful spirit of Carnival. París Muy Bien (Paris Is Good) explores the awareness that however hard feelings can be, it's a question of choice whether they get worse or better. Mínimum, pared down to essentials, encapsulates the distilled heart of the album. Tanto de mí (So Much Of Me) touches on how it is to feel the indescribable; while Sirvió de algo? (Was It Useful?), embeds itself in questions of doubt. 'Gente simple' (Just People), about the immensity of life itself was recorded on Yusa's birthday, a day complete with cake, masks, false noses, and balloons!
For Yusa, for a song to be sincere, "It's always going to be the result of a journey into the interior of oneself. You only live your own life so everything is the result of what one has lived." A haiku of songs about the viscidities of life and the precarious world of the senses. Ask Yusa, "Can you live without love?", and she'll tell you, "Yes, you can, but I'm not sure it would have any meaning."
Ask Cuban singer YUSA, "Can you live without love?", and she'll tell you, "Yes, you can but I'm not sure it would have any meaning." And in this production she offers us Haiku ? a collection of intimista songs. Working with Brazilian producer Alê Siqueira
"Listening to the bitter-sweet lyrics of new Cuban singer YUSA and the simple sophistication of her music one knows one is finally hearing 21st century Cuba. Her cutting-edge songs map the contemporary emotional lives of urban Havana. Fused inside her music are traces from further afield, from iconc more