Kitka Brings ‘Powerful Women’s Voices, Joined Together’ From East To Western
For four decades, the Oakland ensemble Kitka has sung intricate harmonies from Eastern Europe. Users Shira Cion and Kelly Atkins speak about the team’s 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 songs that are warming Eastern Europe that celebrate the summer season upon us.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “MOMCI KOLEDARCI”)
KITKA LADIES’ VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (Performing in Bulgarian).
GARCIA-NAVARRO: The album “Evening Star” features harmonies unique to Balkan, Slavic and Caucasian lands. But listed here is the twist – they truly are offered up by Kitka, a vocal ensemble of several 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 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 focus on you. You are quoted within the press records saying this music springs from a, estimate, “instinct to get together and sing within the deep, dark heart of wintertime.” I favor that, in addition. Performs this music help bring the body temperature up?
CION: they really think it most likely does. And it is been interesting. You realize, many studies are actually being released about kind of the real and intellectual and social great things about harmony performing and singing that is choral. And i believe all of the science is simply showing a thing that Eastern European villagers have recognized for hundreds of years, which can be that whenever times are tough, whenever climate conditions are cool, where just surviving through an arduous period actually calls upon communities in the future together, it is a time to sing. And I also think singing does raise 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 also be a metaphor, i suppose, of this form of music that this is certainly. Let me know just just what – exactly just how the truth is it.
ATKINS: Well, we additionally make use of the metaphor for the rounds of life. A few of the tracks, while you probably noticed, through the record album are literally about cold weather. Plus some of these are concerning the cold temperatures of life. 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 title track. It really is A bulgarian song – “Evening celebrity.”
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “ZVEZDA VECERNICA”)
KITKA WOMEN’S VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (Performing in Bulgarian).
GARCIA-NAVARRO: i eventually got to inform you, it feels as though something profoundly ancient and thrumming. You understand, it comes down – it certainly originates from this kind of crucial spot. It surely does. It is amazing. Kelly, you are understood by me have back ground being an indie rocker. just What got you enthusiastic about Eastern European vocal music?
ATKINS: Well, the time that is first saw the Bulgarian Women’s Choir, I happened to be at Grace Cathedral. And I also sat within the pews and merely wept. And I also couldn’t determine what was taking place in my opinion. Also it simply rocked me on an extremely, extremely level that is deep. Therefore I think that was my gateway medication, in the group as we call it. Just about everyone has our gateway medication of Bulgarian choir music.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) Shira, individuals additionally could be amazed to find out that there is really numerous vocal groups right here in the usa focusing on Eastern music that is european. There Is Kitka. There is Planina located in Denver. There is the Yale Slavic Chorus, that has been around nearly 50 years. Exactly just exactly What do you consider makes.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: . The music so irresistible to feminine vocalists?
CION: Well, i believe for anyone of us who i might state determine as liberal US feminists, there is one thing concerning the quality of effective ladies’ sounds joined up with together in this really real, really close harmony, sometimes dissonant harmony designs that actually interests a modern American female sensibility.
(SOUNDBITE OF UNIDENTIFIED KITKA SONG)
KITKA WOMEN’S VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (performing in language).
CION: And they are cultures where work ended up being usually divided by sex. And ladies had been used to producing in community and music that is creating in community. We had been really just referring to this into the greenroom previous today – exactly exactly 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 kind of highly trend that is individualistic America values a great deal. It is, like.
CION: . Everybody 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 fly whenever there is a residential area of men and women playing it.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Why don’t we pay attention now to A mail order bride 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 in fact A ukrainian carol for New Year’s. And also you really traveled here a bit straight back and met up by having A ukrainian team. Think 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: plus it had been my very first time with Kitka traveling abroad and performing music that is serbian Serbians. And I also seriously ended up being stressed going. I became thinking, whom have always been I 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 really warmly. Plus it really was an experience that is cathartic both the viewers as well as for us.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So, Kelly and Shira, it is to you both. What is your favorite track in the record?
CION: Oh, that is a hardcore one.
CION: What you think 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 individuals all attempt 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 just in order that other people might just live and simply because contentment that is true arises from types of going up against the grain of greed and egoism and materialism and physical violence and residing carefully, residing kindly in order that other people can have the kingdom of paradise right here in the world.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: That is a good getaway message. Shira Cion and Kelly Atkins through the Kitka female’s Vocal Ensemble. Their album that is new is “Evening Star.” Many thanks both quite definitely.
CION: Thank you a great deal 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 form of the internet summary listed a incorrect record title. Kitka’s showcased record is known as Evening celebrity, perhaps not Harmonies of Heaven and world.