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 record 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: (Performing in Bulgarian).
GARCIA-NAVARRO: The record album “Evening Star” features harmonies unique to Balkan, Slavic and Caucasian lands. But here is the twist – they are offered up by Kitka, a vocal ensemble of numerous years standing located in the san francisco bay area Bay region. Shira Cion may be the group’s creative manager. She joins us through the studios of KQED. Welcome.
SHIRA CION: So great to be right here, Lulu. Many thanks.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: additionally with us is Kelly Atkins. She actually is another Kitkat – i believe that is just what you call yourselves, appropriate?
KELLY ATKINS: It Really Is, yes. Hi.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Hi. Shira, i will begin with you. You are quoted within the press notes saying this music springs from the, estimate, “instinct to get together and sing within the deep, dark heart of wintertime.” I enjoy that, in addition. Performs this music help bring the body temperature up?
CION: they really think it probably does. And it is been interesting. You understand, a lot of studies are actually being released about type of the real and intellectual and social great things about harmony singing and choral singing. And i believe all of the science is just demonstrating a thing that Eastern European villagers have actually understood for hundreds of years, which will be that after times are tough, whenever climate conditions are cold, where just surviving through a challenging season actually calls upon communities to come together, it is a period to sing. And I also think performing does carry spirits. It does kind of synchronize our organisms together. I must say I do think it can help us endure through attempting times.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Kelly, that image associated with the deep, dark heart of wintertime can be a metaphor, i suppose, for the style of music that this is certainly. Let me know exactly exactly what – just exactly how the thing is that it.
ATKINS: Well, we additionally utilize the metaphor regarding the rounds of life. A number of the tracks, while you probably noticed, through the record are literally about cold weather. Plus some of those are in regards to the cold weather of life. Therefore we kind of see plenty of the tracks that individuals sing not just in regards to the vacations on their own but concerning the rounds that individuals undergo inside our very own life.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Why don’t we pay attention to a bit of the title 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 let you know, it is like something profoundly ancient and thrumming. You realize, it comes down – it certainly originates from this kind of important spot. It certainly does. It is amazing. Kelly, you are understood by me have back ground being an indie rocker. exactly What got you enthusiastic about Eastern European music that is vocal?
ATKINS: Well, the time that is first saw the Bulgarian Women’s Choir, I became at Grace Cathedral. And I also sat within the pews and merely wept. And I also could not determine just what had been taking place in my opinion. Also it simply rocked me personally on a rather, extremely deep degree. Thus I think that has been my gateway medication, once we call it within the team. Just about everybody has our gateway medication of Bulgarian choir music.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) Shira, individuals additionally could be astonished to discover that there is really many vocal teams right here in the usa focusing on Eastern European music. There Is Kitka. There is Planina located in Denver. There is the Yale Slavic Chorus, that has been around nearly 50 years. Exactly exactly What do you consider makes.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: . The music so irresistible to feminine vocalists?
CION: Well, i do believe for anyone of us whom I would personally state determine as liberal US feminists, there is one thing concerning the quality of effective ladies’ sounds joined together in this extremely real, extremely harmony that is close often dissonant harmony designs that actually attracts a modern ukrainian brides team American female sensibility.
(SOUNDBITE OF UNIDENTIFIED KITKA SONG)
KITKA WOMEN’S VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (Singing in language).
CION: And they are cultures where work ended up being typically divided by gender. And ladies had been familiar with creating in community and producing music together in community. We had been really and truly just speaing frankly about this into the greenroom previous today – just just how most of us whom sing in Kitka are much more oriented in direction of kind of collective and harmony performing than individualistic, soloistic performing. And I also think it kind of counters the type of strongly individualistic trend that America values so much. It is, like.
CION: . Every person to.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: The solamente musician.
CION: . Themself (ph).
CION: The solamente musician. And also this is actually a form that is communal can definitely just take flight whenever there is a residential area of individuals taking part in it.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: let us listen now up to a carol that is ukrainian your record.
(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 Year’s. And also you really traveled here some time straight straight back and met up with A ukrainian team. Think about your other travels to execute 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 was my first-time with Kitka traveling abroad and performing music that is serbian Serbians. And I genuinely had been stressed going. I became thinking, who have always been We as a us to go and sing these tracks right in front of those people where, you understand, they usually have these deep origins with these tracks? But in reality, we had been gotten extremely warmly. Also it really was an experience that is cathartic both the viewers as well as us.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So, Kelly and Shira, this will be to you both. What is your song that is favorite on record?
CION: Oh, that is a difficult one.
CION: What do you believe about maybe “Blazentsv”?
ATKINS: Perhaps “Blazentsv.”
CION: Yeah. This is not theoretically a wintertime 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 composer that is russian Martynov. And, you realize, they are calling the listener to embody characteristics of generosity and compassion and kindness, residing just to make certain that other people might just live and simply because real contentment actually originates from type of going contrary to the grain of greed and egoism and materialism and physical physical violence and living carefully, residing kindly to ensure that other people can have the kingdom of paradise here on the planet.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: That is a holiday message that is good. Shira Cion and Kelly Atkins through the Kitka female’s Vocal Ensemble. Their brand new record is called “Evening Star.” Many thanks both really.
CION: many thanks plenty for having us.
ATKINS: many thanks.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “ZAPOVEDI BLAZENSTV/ THE BEATITUDES”)
KITKA LADIES’ 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 Evening celebrity, maybe not Harmonies of Heaven and Earth.