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. Members Shira Cion and Kelly Atkins speak about the group’s brand brand brand new record album, Star evening.
LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
The daylight is dwindling away. The solstice comes on Friday. So let us listen to some warming songs from Eastern Europe that celebrate the summer season upon us.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “MOMCI KOLEDARCI”)
KITKA LADIES’ VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (Singing in Bulgarian).
GARCIA-NAVARRO: The record album “star” features harmonies unique to Balkan, Slavic and Caucasian lands evening. But here is the twist – they are offered up by Kitka, an ensemble that is vocal of years standing situated 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 great to be right here, Lulu. Many thanks.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: additionally with us is Kelly Atkins. She 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 enjoy that, in addition. Performs this music help bring within the body’s temperature?
CION: they really think it most likely does. And it’s really been interesting. You realize, countless studies are actually being released about type 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 demonstrating something that Eastern European villagers have actually recognized for hundreds of years, which can be that whenever times are tough, when climate are cool, where simply surviving through an arduous period actually calls upon communities in the future together, it is an occasion to sing. And I also think performing does carry 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 associated with the deep, dark heart of wintertime normally a metaphor, i assume, for the form of music that it is. Let me know just exactly exactly what – just just exactly how the thing is that it.
ATKINS: Well, we additionally make use of the metaphor regarding the rounds of life. A number of the songs, while you probably noticed, from the record album are literally about wintertime. Plus some of those are concerning the cold weather of life. Therefore we sort of see plenty of the tracks that individuals sing not merely in regards to the vacations on their own but concerning the rounds that people undergo within our very own life.
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: (Singing in Bulgarian).
GARCIA-NAVARRO: i eventually got to inform you, it is like something profoundly thrumming and ancient. You understand, it comes down – it truly arises from this kind of important destination. It surely does. It is amazing. Kelly, you are understood by me have back ground as an indie rocker. Just just 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 also sat into the pews and merely wept. And I also could not determine what ended up being taking place if you ask me. Plus it simply rocked me on an extremely, extremely deep degree. And so I think that has been my gateway medication, even as we call it into the team. Just about everybody has our gateway medication of Bulgarian choir music.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) Shira, individuals additionally might be surprised to discover that there is really numerous vocal teams right right here in the us devoted to Eastern European music. There Is Kitka. There is Planina located in Denver. There is the Yale Slavic Chorus, that has been around very nearly 50 years. exactly What do you consider makes.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: . The songs so irresistible to vocalists that are female?
CION: Well, i do believe for anyone of us whom I would personally say recognize as liberal US feminists, there is one thing concerning the quality of effective ladies’ sounds joined up with together in this really physical, extremely 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 typically split by sex. And females had been familiar with producing in community and music that is creating in community. We had been really just referring to this within the greenroom previous today – exactly exactly how many of us who sing in Kitka are a lot more oriented towards kind of collective and harmony performing than individualistic, soloistic singing. And I also think it kind of counters the kind of highly trend that is individualistic America values a great deal. It really is, like.
CION: . Everybody else to.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: The solo musician.
CION: . Themself (ph).
CION: The solamente musician. And also this is truly a public kind that really can just fly whenever there is a residential district of men and women playing it.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: let us pay attention now to A ukrainian carol from 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 season’s. And also you really traveled there some time straight straight back and met up having A ukrainian team. Think about your other travels to execute in Eastern Europe? What’s 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 first-time with Kitka traveling abroad and performing Serbian music to Serbians. And I also genuinely had been stressed going. I happened to be thinking, whom have always been We as a us to go and sing these tracks right in front of the individuals where, you understand, they will have these deep origins with these tracks? However in reality, we had been gotten extremely warmly. Plus it really was a cathartic experience for both the viewers as well as for us.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: therefore, Kelly and Shira, this will be to the two of you. What is your favorite track regarding the record?
CION: Oh, that is a tough one.
CION: What do you believe about maybe mail order bride “Blazentsv”?
ATKINS: Perhaps “Blazentsv.”
CION: Yeah. This is not theoretically a cold temperatures track. But it’s 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, 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 true contentment actually originates from type of going from the grain of greed and egoism and materialism and physical violence and residing carefully, residing kindly to ensure 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.” Thank you both quite definitely.
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 net summary listed a incorrect record name. Kitka’s showcased record is named Star, not Harmonies of Heaven and Earth evening.