Kitka Brings ‘Powerful Women’s Voices, Joined Together’ From East To Western
For four years, the Oakland ensemble Kitka has sung intricate harmonies from Eastern Europe. Users Shira Cion and Kelly Atkins speak about the team’s brand brand new record album, Star evening.
LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
The daylight is dwindling away. The solstice comes on Friday. Therefore let us pay attention to some warming songs from Eastern Europe that celebrate the summer season upon us.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “MOMCI KOLEDARCI”)
KITKA LADIES’ VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (Singing in Bulgarian).
GARCIA-NAVARRO: The record record record album “Evening Star” features harmonies unique to Balkan, Slavic and Caucasian lands. But here’s the twist – they truly are served up by Kitka, an ensemble that is vocal of years standing located in the San Francisco Bay region. Shira Cion may be the team’s creative manager. She joins us through the studios of KQED. Welcome.
SHIRA CION: so excellent to be around, Lulu. Many thanks.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: additionally with us is Kelly Atkins. She actually is another Kitkat – i do believe that is just what you call yourselves, appropriate?
KELLY ATKINS: It Really Is, yes. Hi.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Hi. Shira, i will focus on you. You are quoted within the press records saying this music springs from a, estimate, “instinct to get together and sing into the deep, dark heart of wintertime.” Everyone loves that, in addition. Performs this music help bring within the body’s temperature?
CION: they really think it most likely does. And it’s really been interesting. You realize, a lot of studies are now actually being released about type of the real and intellectual and social advantages of harmony singing and singing that is choral. And i believe all of the science is simply appearing a thing that Eastern European villagers have actually understood for hundreds of years, which will be that when times are tough, whenever climate conditions are cool, where simply surviving through a hard period actually calls upon communities in the future together, it really is an occasion to sing. And I also think singing does carry spirits. It does type of synchronize our organisms together. I truly do think it can help us endure through attempting times.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Kelly, that image of this deep, dark heart of wintertime can be a metaphor, i assume, regarding the variety of music that this might be. Let me know exactly what – exactly exactly how it is seen by you.
ATKINS: Well, we additionally make use of the metaphor regarding the rounds of life. A number of the tracks, while you probably noticed, through the record are literally about wintertime. Plus some of these are in regards to the wintertime of life https://myukrainianbrides.org. Therefore we sort of see plenty of the tracks that people go through in our own lives that we sing not only about the holidays themselves but about the cycles.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: let us tune in to a little bit of the name track. It is a song that is bulgarian “Evening celebrity.”
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “ZVEZDA VECERNICA”)
KITKA LADIES’ VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (Performing in Bulgarian).
GARCIA-NAVARRO: i got eventually to inform you, it is like something profoundly ancient and thrumming. You realize, it comes down – it truly arises from this kind of crucial destination. It truly does. It really is amazing. Kelly, you are understood by me have back ground being an indie rocker. Exactly just What got you thinking about Eastern European music that is vocal?
ATKINS: Well, the very first time we saw the Bulgarian Women’s Choir, I happened to be at Grace Cathedral. And I also sat into the pews and merely wept. And I also could not determine what ended up being occurring in my experience. And it also simply rocked me personally on a tremendously, extremely level that is deep. Therefore I think that has been my gateway medication, in the group as we call it. Just about everybody has our gateway medication of Bulgarian choir music.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) Shira, individuals additionally can be amazed to find out that there is really numerous vocal teams right right here in the us focusing on Eastern European music. There Is Kitka. There is Planina located in Denver. There is the Yale Slavic Chorus, that has been around very nearly 50 years. exactly What do you consider makes.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: . The songs so irresistible to female vocalists?
CION: Well, i do believe for all those of us whom i might say recognize as liberal American feminists, there is something concerning the quality of effective ladies’ sounds joined up with together in this extremely real, extremely close harmony, often dissonant harmony designs that really interests a contemporary American feminine sensibility.
(SOUNDBITE OF UNIDENTIFIED SONG that is KITKA
KITKA LADIES’ VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (performing in language).
CION: And they are countries where work ended up being traditionally split by sex. And ladies had been familiar with producing in community and music that is creating in community. We had been really just referring to this within the greenroom previous today – how many of us whom sing in Kitka are a lot more oriented in direction of kind of collective and harmony performing than individualistic, soloistic performing. And I also think it type of counters the kind of highly individualistic trend that America values a great deal. It is, like.
CION: . Everybody else to.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: The solamente musician.
CION: . Themself (ph).
CION: The solamente musician. And also this is truly a form that is communal really can just fly whenever there is a residential district of individuals playing it.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: let us pay attention now to A ukrainian carol from your record album.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “V HOSPODARON’KA”)
KITKA LADIES’ VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (Performing in Ukrainian).
GARCIA-NAVARRO: which means this is really a carol that is ukrainian New season’s. And also you really traveled here some time straight straight back and met up having a group that is ukrainian. How about your other travels to do in Eastern Europe? What is been the response from audiences?
ATKINS: we had been in Serbia about – ended up being it 5 years ago?
ATKINS: and it also had been my very first time with Kitka traveling abroad and performing music that is serbian Serbians. And I also genuinely had been stressed going. I became thinking, whom have always been We as A us to go and sing these tracks in the front of those individuals where, you realize, they usually have these deep origins with these tracks? However in reality, we had been gotten extremely warmly. And it also really was a cathartic experience for both the viewers as well as us.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: therefore, Kelly and Shira, this will be to you both. What is your favorite track regarding the record album?
CION: Oh, that is a tough one.
CION: What do you believe about maybe “Blazentsv”?
ATKINS: Perhaps “Blazentsv.”
CION: Yeah. This is not theoretically a cold temperatures track. But it is a track that individuals feel articulates characteristics that people all you will need to summon in ourselves throughout the yuletide season. It is a musical environment of “The Beatitudes” by the Russian composer Vladimir Martynov. And, you understand, they are calling the listener to embody characteristics of generosity and compassion and kindness, residing merely in order that other people might just live and simply because real contentment actually originates from variety of going from the grain of greed and egoism and materialism and physical violence and residing carefully, residing kindly to ensure that other people can have the kingdom of paradise right right here on the planet.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: That is a holiday message that is good. Shira Cion and Kelly Atkins from the Kitka female’s Vocal Ensemble. Their album that is new is “Evening Star.” Many thanks both really.
CION: many thanks a great deal for having us.
ATKINS: many thanks.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “ZAPOVEDI BLAZENSTV/ THE BEATITUDES”)
KITKA WOMEN’S VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (Performing in Russian).
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Correction Jan. 18, 2019
A past type of the internet summary listed an album name that is incorrect. Kitka’s showcased record is named Star, not Harmonies of Heaven and Earth evening.