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. People Shira Cion and Kelly Atkins speak about the group’s brand new record 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 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 record record album “star” features harmonies unique to Balkan, Slavic and Caucasian lands evening. But listed here is the twist – they may be offered up by Kitka, an ensemble that is vocal of years standing located 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 around, Lulu. Many thanks.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: additionally with us is Kelly Atkins. She is another Kitkat – i do believe that is what you call yourselves, appropriate?
KELLY ATKINS: It’s, yes. Hi.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Hi. Shira, i will begin with you. You are quoted into the press records saying this music springs from a, quote, “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’s really been interesting. You understand, a lot of studies are now actually being released about kind of the real and cognitive and social great things about harmony performing and choral performing. And i believe all of the science is simply demonstrating a thing that Eastern European villagers have actually recognized for hundreds of years, which will be that whenever times are tough, whenever climate are cool, where just surviving through a hard period actually calls upon communities in the future together, it’s a time to sing. And I think singing does carry spirits. It does kind of synchronize our organisms together. I must say I do think it will help us endure through attempting times.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Kelly, that image regarding the deep, dark heart of wintertime can also be a metaphor, i suppose, regarding the variety of music that this will be. Let me know exactly exactly what – exactly how it is seen by you.
ATKINS: Well, we additionally utilize the metaphor associated with the rounds of life. A number of the tracks, while you probably noticed, through the record are literally about cold weather. Plus some of those are concerning the cold temperatures of life. Therefore we sort of see plenty of the tracks that individuals sing not just concerning the vacations on their own but concerning the rounds that people proceed through inside our very own everyday lives.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: let us pay attention to a little bit of the name track. It is A bulgarian track – “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 profoundly ancient and thrumming. You understand, it comes down – it certainly originates from this type of crucial spot. It surely does. It is amazing. Kelly, i realize you have history being an indie rocker. Just 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 also sat when you look at the pews and simply wept. And I also could not determine just what ended up being taking place in my experience. And it also simply rocked me personally on a tremendously, extremely level that is deep. And so I think that has been my gateway medication, in the group as we call it. Just about everyone has our gateway drug of Bulgarian choir music.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) Shira, individuals additionally can be amazed to discover that there is actually numerous vocal teams right right 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, that has been around very nearly 50 years. Exactly exactly What do you consider makes.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: . The songs so irresistible to feminine vocalists?
CION: Well, i do believe for anyone 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 real, really harmony that is close often dissonant harmony designs that actually interests a modern American feminine sensibility.
(SOUNDBITE OF UNIDENTIFIED KITKA SONG)
KITKA LADIES’ VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (Singing in language).
CION: And they are countries where work had been usually split by sex. And females had been familiar with producing in community and producing music together in community. We had been really and truly just speaking about this within the greenroom previous today – 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 type of counters the kind of highly trend that is individualistic America values a great deal. It really 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 can definitely just fly whenever there is a residential area of individuals taking part in it.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Why don’t we pay attention now 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 actually a carol that is ukrainian New season’s. And also you really traveled here a bit straight back and met up having A ukrainian team. Think about your other travels to do in Eastern Europe? What exactly 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 very first time with Kitka traveling abroad and performing Serbian music to Serbians. And I also truthfully ended up being stressed going. I happened to be thinking, whom am We as A us to go and sing these tracks in the front of those individuals where, you realize, they will have these deep origins with these tracks? However in reality, we had been gotten extremely warmly. And it also was a cathartic experience for both the viewers and for us.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: therefore, Kelly and Shira, this might be to the two of you. What is your favorite song from the record album?
CION: Oh, which is a difficult one.
CION: What do you believe about maybe “Blazentsv”?
ATKINS: Possibly “Blazentsv.”
CION: Yeah. This is not theoretically a cold temperatures track. But it is a track that people feel articulates qualities that people all you will need to ukrainian brides in bikini summon in ourselves through the festive season. It really is a musical environment of “The Beatitudes” by the composer that is russian Martynov. And, you realize, they are calling the listener to embody characteristics of generosity and compassion and kindness, residing just to ensure other people might merely live and simply because real contentment really arises from variety of going resistant to the grain of greed and egoism and materialism and physical violence and residing carefully, residing kindly to ensure that other people can have the kingdom of paradise right right here on the planet.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: That is a holiday message that is good. Shira Cion and Kelly Atkins from the Kitka female’s Vocal Ensemble. Their album that is new is “Evening Star.” Many thanks both truly.
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 net summary listed a incorrect record title. Kitka’s showcased record is named Evening celebrity, maybe not Harmonies of Heaven and Earth.