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. Users Shira Cion and Kelly Atkins speak about the team’s brand new 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 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 located 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 do believe that is what you call yourselves, appropriate?
KELLY ATKINS: It Really Is, yes. Hi.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Hi. Shira, i’ll focus on you. You are quoted when you look at the press records saying this music springs from the, estimate, “instinct to get together and sing into the deep, dark heart of wintertime.” I enjoy that, by the way. 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, numerous studies are now actually being released about type of the real and intellectual and social advantages of harmony singing and singing that is choral. 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 cold, where just surviving through an arduous period actually calls upon communities in the future together, it really is an occasion to sing. And I also think performing does carry spirits. It does type of synchronize our organisms together. I truly do believe it will help us endure through trying times.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Kelly, that image associated with the deep, dark heart of wintertime can be a metaphor, i suppose, of this variety of music that this really is. Let me know what – just how it is seen by you.
ATKINS: Well, we additionally utilize the metaphor regarding the rounds of life. A number of the tracks, while you probably noticed, through the record are literally about wintertime. Plus some of these are in regards to 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: Why don’t we pay attention to a little bit of the name track. It is a song that is bulgarian “Evening celebrity.”
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “ZVEZDA VECERNICA”)
KITKA LADIES’ VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (Singing in Bulgarian).
GARCIA-NAVARRO: i got eventually to let you know, it feels as though something profoundly thrumming and ancient. You understand, it comes down – it certainly originates from this type of important destination. It certainly does. It is amazing. Kelly, i realize you have history as an indie rocker. Just exactly exactly What got you thinking about Eastern European music that is vocal?
ATKINS: Well, the time that is first saw the Bulgarian Women’s Choir, I became at Grace Cathedral. And I also sat into the pews and merely wept. And I could not determine what had been taking place for me. Plus it simply rocked me personally on a tremendously, extremely level that is deep. Therefore I think that has been my gateway medication, once we call it into the team. Just about everyone has our gateway medication of Bulgarian choir music.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) Shira, individuals additionally could be amazed to discover that there is really numerous vocal teams right here in the us focusing on Eastern music that is european. There Is Kitka. There is Planina situated 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 thereforengs so irresistible to vocalists that are female?
CION: Well, i believe for anyone of us who i might say determine 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 configurations that actually attracts a contemporary American feminine sensibility.
(SOUNDBITE OF UNIDENTIFIED KITKA SONG)
KITKA LADIES’ VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (performing in spanish).
CION: And they are cultures where work ended up being 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 dealing with this within 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 type of counters the type of highly individualistic trend that America values a great deal. It is, like.
CION: . Everyone else to.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: The solamente musician.
CION: . Themself (ph).
CION: The solo musician. And also this is truly a form that is communal can definitely just fly when there is a residential area of individuals playing 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 really a carol that is ukrainian New season’s. And also you really traveled here some time straight back and met up with A ukrainian group. Think about your other travels to execute in Eastern Europe? What is been the response 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 seriously ended up being nervous going. I became thinking, who have always https://asiandates.org been 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 reality, we had been gotten really warmly. Plus it was a cathartic experience for both the viewers and for us.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: therefore, Kelly and Shira, this will be to you both. What’s your song that is favorite on record?
CION: Oh, that is a challenging one.
CION: What you think about maybe “Blazentsv”?
ATKINS: Possibly “Blazentsv.”
CION: Yeah. This is not technically a cold temperatures track. But it is a song that people feel articulates characteristics that people all you will need to summon in ourselves throughout the yuletide season. It is a musical setting 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 ensure that other people might just live and simply because contentment that is true originates from variety of going from the grain of greed and egoism and materialism and violence and residing carefully, residing kindly to ensure other people can have the kingdom of paradise right right here in the world.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: This is certainly a holiday message that is good. Shira Cion and Kelly Atkins through the Kitka female’s Vocal Ensemble. Their brand new record album is called “Evening Star.” Thank you both truly.
CION: Thank you a great deal for having us.
ATKINS: many thanks.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “ZAPOVEDI BLAZENSTV/ THE BEATITUDES”)
KITKA LADIES’ VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (Singing in Russian).
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Correction Jan. 18, 2019
A past form of the internet summary listed a incorrect record album title. Kitka’s showcased record is known as Evening celebrity, perhaps not Harmonies of Heaven and world.