martes, 8 de noviembre de 2011
Chalena Vásquez’ Song Poems / Carolina Amoruso
Nuestra amiga Carolina Amorouso comparte con nosotros sus impresiones sobre la musica de la cantante, poeta, activista e investigadora Chalena Vasquez, que hace no mucho nos ha regalado un ramillete de hermozas canciones. Yusyulpayki panikuna
Chalena Vásquez’ Song Poems
By Carolina Amoruso
I’d very much like to meet Chalena Vásquez; I’d like to see if she’s
the person I imagine her to be: reflective, wise and yet ingenuous, a
woman both blessed and beset by barraging images and imaginings.
I’d like to know how she became stellar without nurturing star quality,
where she found the temerity to slip, unannounced, into my “hogar” of
Her lyrics—or are they poems set to melody, seasoned
with instrumental sound?—are studded with “love,”
with “dreams,” “ternura,” with “flowers,” with a myriad of images
from Nature. Kind of old fashioned. Trite, one might think. Don’t
we all know about “dia” and “melodia,” of “piel” and “miel,” of “brisa”
and “sonrisa?” But the everyday opens into a palimpsest inviting
surprise images ripe for interpretation. “Como la violeta sufro,” “La
yerba se agita bajo nuestros pies.” Her lyrics meet in oblique yet
very personal ways bidding us to accept the mundane in new ways.
She’s here at Huwansuyo, she’s on Soundcloud, on YouTube,
around, but not touted. Her music is so intimate, some of it, that you
wonder how public she wants to be.
Her genre is Trova, I guess, though she steps back as well into the
traditional. Chalena’s spare vocal and guitar are languidly imparted
with a small selection of instruments just to delineate the genre. Like
the lando, “Corazón Alborotado,” where she ups the percussion with
a cajita, stepping easily but not imitatively into Susana Baca’s realm.
Her voice is untrained and breathy, more an earnest invitation to
share her poetic offering and the melody she’s found to showcase it
than a pretension of virtuosity.
On “Amor al Amor,” a woodblock and small metal chimes suggest
a forest floor. Here she thanks her lover for his earthly gifts: “los
sueños de abril,” “el fuego sagrado en el atardecer,” “la arena
callada.” Her lover is the spirit of the forest, or even the forest itself.
“Como el Mar,” which she does as both a slow-paced wayno and a
more fetching Andean dance is the most up-tempo of the tunes. It is
a paean to aging, its tempo sprightly enough to clear cobwebs and
And so, En este otoño limeno, La vida es una guitarra,Y en ella está
ya tu risa
She’s left me with a laugh, too, tinged in irony--for we know that
Chalena has not laughed her way through life--and renewed by
getting to know her.