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 group’s brand new record album, Evening celebrity.
LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
The daylight is dwindling away. The solstice comes on Friday. So 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 album “Evening Star” features harmonies unique to Balkan, Slavic and Caucasian lands. But listed here is the twist – they are offered up by Kitka, a vocal ensemble of numerous 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 here, Lulu. Many thanks.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: additionally with us is Kelly Atkins. She actually is another Kitkat – i do believe that is what you call yourselves, appropriate?
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 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 now 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 showing a thing that Eastern European villagers have understood for hundreds of years, which can be that whenever times are tough, whenever climate are cold, where simply surviving through a hard period actually calls upon communities in the future together, it is an occasion to sing. And I think performing does raise spirits. It does kind 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 can also be a metaphor, i assume, associated with the sort of music that it is. Let me know exactly exactly just what – just exactly exactly how it is seen by you.
ATKINS: Well, we also utilize the metaphor associated with rounds of life. A number of the tracks, while you probably noticed, through the record album are literally about wintertime. Plus some of these are in regards to the cold temperatures of life. Therefore we sort of see plenty of the tracks that individuals sing not just in regards to the holiday breaks on their own but concerning the rounds that individuals proceed through inside our very own life.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Why don’t we pay attention 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 eventually got to let you know, it is like something deeply ancient and thrumming. You realize, it comes down – it surely originates from this type of important destination. It certainly does. It really is amazing. Kelly, you are understood by me have history as an indie rocker. Just just just What got you thinking about Eastern European music that is vocal?
ATKINS: Well, the very first time we 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 what ended up being taking place in my experience. Plus it simply rocked me personally on an extremely, extremely deep degree. And so I think that has been my gateway medication, in the group as we call it. Just about everyone has our gateway medication of Bulgarian choir music.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) Shira, people additionally could be amazed to discover that there is really numerous vocal groups right right here in the usa devoted to Eastern music that is european. There Is Kitka. There is Planina located in Denver. There is the Yale Slavic Chorus, that has been around nearly 50 years. Exactly just exactly What do you consider makes.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: . The music so irresistible to feminine vocalists?
CION: Well, i believe for all of us whom I would personally say determine as liberal US feminists, there is one thing concerning the quality of effective ladies’ sounds joined up with together in this extremely real, really close harmony, often dissonant harmony designs that actually attracts a modern American feminine sensibility.
(SOUNDBITE OF UNIDENTIFIED SONG that is KITKA
KITKA LADIES’ VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (performing in language).
CION: And they are countries where work had been usually split by sex. And females had been used to creating in community and producing music together in community. We had been really and truly just speaking about this within the greenroom previous today – just how most 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 trend that is individualistic America values a great deal. It really is, like.
CION: . Every person to.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: The solamente 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 area of individuals taking part in it.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Why don’t we listen now up to a carol that is ukrainian your record.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “V HOSPODARON’KA”)
KITKA LADIES’ VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (Performing in Ukrainian).
GARCIA-NAVARRO: and this is in fact a carol that is ukrainian New season’s. And also you really traveled here a bit straight straight straight back and met up by having a group that is ukrainian. Think about your other travels to execute in Eastern Europe? What exactly is 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 singing Serbian music to Serbians. And I also seriously had been stressed going. I happened to be thinking, whom am We being A us to go and sing these tracks right in front of those individuals where, you understand, they usually have these roots that are deep these tracks? However in fact, we had been gotten really warmly. Also it really was an experience that is cathartic both the viewers as well as us.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: therefore, Kelly and Shira, this is certainly to you both. What exactly is your song that is favorite on record?
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 temperatures track. But it is a track that people feel articulates characteristics that people all attempt to summon in ourselves throughout the holidays. 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 qualities of generosity and compassion and kindness, residing merely in order that other people might just live and seeing that contentment that is true originates from variety of going from the grain of greed and egoism and materialism and physical physical violence and residing carefully, residing kindly in order 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 album that is new is “Evening Star.” Thank you both quite definitely.
CION: many thanks a great deal for having us.
ATKINS: Thank you.
(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 album title. Kitka’s showcased record is named Evening Star, perhaps not Harmonies of Heaven and world.