Kitka Brings ‘Powerful Women’s Voices, Joined Together’ From East To Western
The Oakland ensemble Kitka has sung intricate harmonies from Eastern Europe for four decades. People Shira Cion and Kelly Atkins speak about the group’s brand brand new album, Star evening.
LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
The daylight is dwindling away. The solstice comes on Friday. Therefore let’s listen 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 album “Evening Star” features harmonies unique to Balkan, Slavic and Caucasian lands. But here is the twist – they may be offered up by Kitka, an ensemble that is vocal of years standing situated in the san francisco 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 believe that is what you call yourselves, appropriate?
KELLY ATKINS: It’s, yes. Hi.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Hi. Shira, i will focus on you. You are quoted into the press notes 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 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 type of the real and intellectual and social great things about harmony performing and choral performing. And i believe most of the science is simply 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 cool, where just surviving through an arduous period actually calls upon communities in the future together, it is an occasion to sing. And I think performing does carry spirits. It does type of synchronize our organisms together. I must say I do think it can help us survive through attempting times.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Kelly, that image of this deep, dark heart of wintertime normally a metaphor, i suppose, associated with form of music that this can be. Let me know exactly exactly what – just exactly how you notice it.
ATKINS: Well, we additionally make use of the metaphor regarding the cycles of life. A number of the tracks, while you probably noticed, through the record album are literally about cold weather. Plus some of these are concerning the cold weather 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 name track. It is A bulgarian song – “Evening celebrity.”
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “ZVEZDA VECERNICA”)
KITKA LADIES’ VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (Performing in Bulgarian).
GARCIA-NAVARRO: i got eventually to inform you, it feels as though something deeply ancient and thrumming. You realize, it comes down – it certainly originates from this type of crucial spot. It truly does. It is amazing. Kelly, i am aware you have background as 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 happened to be at Grace Cathedral. And I sat into the pews and simply wept. And I also could not determine what had been occurring if you ask me. Plus it simply rocked me personally on a rather, extremely level that is deep. And so I think that has been my gateway drug, in the group as we call it. Most of us have our gateway medication of Bulgarian choir music.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) Shira, individuals additionally can be astonished to learn that there is really numerous vocal teams 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, which was around nearly 50 years. What do you consider makes.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: . The songs so irresistible to feminine vocalists?
CION: Well, i do believe for the people of us who i might state recognize as liberal US feminists, there is one thing in regards to the quality of effective ladies’ sounds joined together in this really real, really harmony that is close sometimes dissonant harmony designs that actually attracts a modern American female sensibility.
(SOUNDBITE OF UNIDENTIFIED KITKA SONG)
KITKA LADIES’ VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (performing in language).
CION: And they are countries where work ended up being typically split by sex. And ladies had been used to producing in community and producing music together in community. We had been really and truly just referring to this into the greenroom previous today – exactly just how most 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 kind of counters the type of highly individualistic trend that America values a great deal. It is, like.
CION: . Everyone else to.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: The solo musician.
CION: . Themself (ph).
CION: The solo musician. And also this is truly a communal type that can definitely just fly whenever there is a residential area of individuals taking part in it.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: let us pay attention now 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 in fact a carol that is ukrainian New season’s. And also you really traveled there a bit straight straight back and met up by having a group that is ukrainian. Think about your other travels to execute 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: plus it ended up being my first-time with Kitka traveling abroad and performing Serbian music to Serbians. And I also actually had been stressed going. I became thinking, whom have always been We as A us to go and sing these tracks right in front among these individuals where, you realize, they usually have these deep origins with these tracks? However in fact, we had been gotten really warmly. And it also was 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 is your song that is favorite on record?
CION: Oh, which is a hardcore one.
CION: What you think about maybe “Blazentsv”?
ATKINS: Perhaps “Blazentsv.”
CION: Yeah. This is not theoretically a cold weather track. But it is a track during the holiday season that we feel articulates qualities that we all try to summon in ourselves. It is a musical environment of “The Beatitudes” by the composer that is russian Martynov. And, you understand www.mail-order-bride.net/asian-brides/, 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 originates from sort of going contrary to the grain of greed and egoism and materialism and physical violence and living carefully, residing kindly making sure that other people can have the kingdom of paradise right here in the world.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: This is certainly a good vacation message. Shira Cion and Kelly Atkins through 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 LADIES’ VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (Performing in Russian).
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Correction Jan. 18, 2019
A past form of the internet summary listed a wrong record title. Kitka’s showcased record is named Star, not Harmonies of Heaven and Earth evening.