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. People Shira Cion and Kelly Atkins speak about the team’s brand brand brand new record album, Evening Star.
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 record record record album «Evening Star» features harmonies unique to Balkan, Slavic and Caucasian lands. But here is the twist — they truly are offered up by Kitka, a vocal ensemble of numerous years standing situated in the san francisco bay area Bay region. Shira Cion could 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 is another Kitkat — i believe that is what you call yourselves, right?
KELLY ATKINS: It’s, yes. Hi.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Hi. Shira, i’ll focus on you. You are quoted into the press records saying this music springs from the, quote, «instinct to get together and sing into 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 understand, a lot of 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 just appearing a thing that Eastern European villagers have actually understood for hundreds of years, which will be that whenever times are tough, whenever climate conditions are cool, where simply surviving through an arduous 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 sort of synchronize our organisms together. I must say I do think it will help us endure through attempting times.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Kelly, that image for the deep, dark heart of wintertime can also be a metaphor, i assume, for the type of music that this is certainly. Let me know what — just exactly how it is seen by you.
ATKINS: Well, we also make use of the metaphor associated with the rounds of life. A few of the tracks, while you probably noticed, through the record album are literally about wintertime. Plus some of these are concerning the cold weather of life. So 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 pay attention to a little bit of the name track. It’s 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 thrumming and ancient. You understand, it comes down — it surely arises from this type of crucial place. It certainly does. It is amazing. Kelly, you are understood by me have history as an indie rocker. just 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 when you look at the pews and simply wept. And I could not determine just what had been occurring if you ask me. And it also simply rocked me personally on a tremendously, 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 numerous vocal teams here in the usa 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 just What do you consider makes.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: . The thereforengs so irresistible to vocalists that are female?
CION: Well, i do believe for the people of us whom i might state determine as liberal US feminists, there is one thing about the quality of effective ladies’ voices joined up with together in this extremely physical, really close harmony, often dissonant harmony designs that actually interests a modern American feminine sensibility.
(SOUNDBITE OF UNIDENTIFIED KITKA www.myukrainianbride.net/ SONG)
KITKA LADIES’ VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (performing in spanish).
CION: And they are countries where work had been typically split by sex. And females had been familiar with producing in community and producing music together in community. We had been really just referring to this within the greenroom previous today — exactly exactly how many 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 type of counters the type of highly individualistic trend that 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 truly a form that is communal really can only fly whenever there’s a residential district of individuals taking part in it.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: let us pay attention now up to A ukrainian carol from your record album.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, «V HOSPODARON’KA»)
KITKA LADIES’ VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (Singing in Ukrainian).
GARCIA-NAVARRO: and this is clearly A ukrainian carol for New Year’s. And also you really traveled there a bit straight back and met up by having A ukrainian team. Think about your other travels to execute in Eastern Europe? What exactly is been the effect from audiences?
ATKINS: we had been in Serbia about — was it 5 years ago?
ATKINS: plus it had been my first-time with Kitka traveling abroad and performing music that is serbian Serbians. And I also seriously had been stressed going. I happened to be thinking, whom have always been I being 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 songs? However in reality, we had been gotten really warmly. Plus it was really an experience that is cathartic both the viewers as well as for us.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So, Kelly and Shira, this is certainly to the two of you. What exactly is your song that is favorite on record album?
CION: Oh, that is a tough one.
CION: What do you believe about maybe «Blazentsv»?
ATKINS: Possibly «Blazentsv.»
CION: Yeah. This is simply not theoretically a cold weather track. But it is a track that people feel articulates characteristics that individuals all attempt to summon in ourselves through the festive 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 for other people might merely live and simply because contentment that is true arises from sorts of going contrary to the grain of greed and egoism and materialism and physical violence and living carefully, residing kindly to ensure that other people can have the kingdom of paradise right 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.» Thank you both really.
CION: many thanks 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 type of the internet summary listed an album name that is incorrect. Kitka’s featured record is called Evening celebrity, maybe not Harmonies of Heaven and world.