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 new album, Star evening.
LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
The daylight is dwindling away. The solstice comes on Friday. Therefore why don’t we 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 record album “Evening Star” features harmonies unique to Balkan, Slavic and Caucasian lands. But listed here is the twist – they are served up by Kitka, an ensemble that is vocal of years standing situated in the bay area 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 do believe that is just what you call yourselves, appropriate?
KELLY ATKINS: It Really Is, yes. Hi.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Hi. Shira, i’ll focus on you. You are quoted into the press notes saying this music springs from the, 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, a lot of studies are actually developing about type of the real and intellectual and social advantages of harmony performing and singing that is choral. And I think all of the science is simply appearing a thing that Eastern European villagers have actually recognized for centuries, which will be that after times are tough, whenever weather conditions are cool, where just surviving through a hard period actually calls upon communities in the future together, it is a time to sing. And I also think performing does carry spirits. It does kind of synchronize our organisms together. I truly do think it can help us survive through attempting times.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Kelly, that image of this deep, dark heart of wintertime can also be a metaphor, i assume, regarding the variety of music that this can be. Let me know just what – just just how it is seen by you.
ATKINS: Well, we additionally utilize the metaphor for the rounds of life. A few of the tracks, while you probably noticed, through the record are literally about cold weather. Plus some of these are concerning the wintertime of life. Therefore we sort of see plenty of the tracks that individuals 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 song that is bulgarian “Evening celebrity.”
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “ZVEZDA VECERNICA”)
KITKA LADIES’ VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (Performing in Bulgarian).
GARCIA-NAVARRO: i eventually got to let you know, it feels as though something deeply ancient and thrumming. You realize, it comes down – it surely originates from this type of crucial destination. It surely does. It really is amazing. Kelly, you are understood by me have history being an indie rocker. What got you enthusiastic about Eastern European vocal music?
ATKINS: Well, the very first time we saw the Bulgarian Women’s Choir, I became at Grace Cathedral. And I also sat into the pews and simply wept. And I also could not find out just what ended up being occurring for me. Plus it just rocked me personally on an extremely, extremely level that is deep. Thus I think that has been my gateway medication, even as we call it within the team. Just about everyone has our gateway medication of Bulgarian choir music.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) Shira, individuals additionally can be astonished to find out that there is actually numerous vocal teams right right right here in the us devoted to Eastern music that is european. There Is Kitka. There is Planina situated in Denver. There is the Yale Slavic Chorus, which was around nearly 50 years. exactly What do you consider makes.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: . The songs so irresistible to feminine vocalists?
CION: Well, i believe for the people of us whom I would personally state recognize as liberal US feminists, there is one thing in regards to the quality of effective ladies’ sounds joined up with together in this really physical, really close harmony, often dissonant harmony designs that actually attracts a modern American feminine sensibility.
(SOUNDBITE OF UNIDENTIFIED KITKA SONG)
KITKA LADIES’ VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (performing in language).
CION: And they are countries where work ended up being usually split by sex. And women had been used to creating in community and music that is creating in community. We had been really just speaking about this into the greenroom previous today – exactly exactly just how most of us whom sing in Kitka are much more oriented towards kind of collective and harmony performing than individualistic, soloistic performing. And I also think it kind of counters the type of highly individualistic trend that America values a great deal. It is, like.
CION: . Every person to.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: The solamente artist.
CION: . Themself (ph).
CION: The solo artist. And also this is truly a public kind that can definitely only fly whenever there is a residential district of individuals playing it.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: let us pay attention now up to a carol that is ukrainian your record album.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “V HOSPODARON’KA”)
KITKA LADIES’ VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (Singing in Ukrainian).
GARCIA-NAVARRO: and this is really a carol that is ukrainian New season’s. And also you really traveled here some time back and met up having a group that is ukrainian. https://mailorderbrides.dating How about your other travels to do in Eastern Europe? What is been the effect from audiences?
ATKINS: we had been in Serbia about – ended up being it 5 years ago?
ATKINS: and it also ended up being my first-time with Kitka traveling abroad and singing music that is serbian Serbians. And I also really had been nervous going. I happened to be thinking, who have always been We as a us to go and sing these tracks in the front among these individuals where, you understand, they usually have these deep origins with these tracks? However in reality, we had been gotten very warmly. Also it was a cathartic experience for both the viewers as well as us.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: therefore, Kelly and Shira, this might be to you both. What is your favorite track in the record album?
CION: Oh, that is a tough one.
CION: What do you consider about maybe “Blazentsv”?
ATKINS: Possibly “Blazentsv.”
CION: Yeah. This is not technically a cold weather song. But it is a track that people feel articulates characteristics that individuals all you will need to summon in ourselves through the festive season. It really is a musical environment of “The Beatitudes” by the Russian composer Vladimir Martynov. And, you realize, they are calling the listener to embody characteristics of generosity and compassion and kindness, residing merely in order for other people might just live and simply because real contentment actually arises from variety of going contrary to the grain of greed and egoism and materialism and violence and residing carefully, residing kindly to ensure other people can feel the kingdom of paradise here in the world.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: That is a good vacation message. Shira Cion and Kelly Atkins through the Kitka Woman’s Vocal Ensemble. Their album that is new is “Evening Star.” Thank you both greatly.
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 form of the internet summary listed an album name that is incorrect. Kitka’s showcased record is known as Star, not Harmonies of Heaven and Earth evening.