Kitka Brings ‘Powerful Women’s Voices, Joined Together’ From East To West
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 brand new record record album, Star evening.
LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
The daylight is dwindling away. The solstice arrives on Friday. Therefore why don’t we 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 truly are offered up by Kitka, an ensemble that is vocal of years standing situated in the San Francisco 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’s another Kitkat – i do believe that is just what you call yourselves, appropriate?
KELLY ATKINS: It Really Is, yes. Hi.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Hi. Shira, i’ll focus on you. You are quoted into the press notes saying this music springs from a, estimate, “instinct to come together and sing into the deep, dark heart of wintertime.” Everyone loves that, in addition. Performs this music help bring up the body’s temperature?
CION: they really think it probably does. And it is been interesting. You understand, plenty studies are now actually being released about kind of the real and intellectual and social advantages of harmony performing and choral performing. And i believe most of the science is simply demonstrating a thing that Eastern European villagers have actually recognized for centuries, that will be that whenever times are tough, whenever climate are cool, where simply surviving through a hard season actually calls upon communities in the future together, it really is an occasion to sing. And I also think performing does raise spirits. It does kind of synchronize our organisms together. I truly do think it can help us survive through attempting times.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Kelly, that image regarding the deep, dark heart of wintertime can also be a metaphor, i assume, associated with form of music that this is certainly. Let me know just just what – exactly just just how you notice it.
ATKINS: Well, we additionally make use of the metaphor of this rounds of life. A number of the songs, while you probably noticed, through the record are literally about cold temperatures. Plus some of those are in regards to the cold temperatures of life. Therefore we sort of see plenty of the tracks that people sing not merely concerning the breaks on their own but in regards to the rounds that people undergo within our very own everyday lives.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: let us tune in to a little bit of the name buy a bride online track. It really is a song that is bulgarian “Evening Star.”
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “ZVEZDA VECERNICA”)
KITKA LADIES’ VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (Performing in Bulgarian).
GARCIA-NAVARRO: i eventually got to let you know, it feels as though something profoundly thrumming and ancient. You understand, it comes down – it certainly originates from this kind of crucial destination. It surely does. It is amazing. Kelly, you are understood by me have back ground being an indie rocker. Just What got you enthusiastic about Eastern European music that is vocal?
ATKINS: Well, the very first time we saw the Bulgarian Women’s Choir, I became at Grace Cathedral. And I also sat into the pews and simply wept. And I also could not determine what had been occurring in my experience. And it also simply rocked me personally on an extremely, extremely level that is deep. Thus I think that has been my gateway drug, in the group as we call it. Just about everybody has our gateway medication of Bulgarian choir music.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) Shira, individuals also might be amazed to discover that there is really numerous vocal teams right right right here in the usa devoted to Eastern European music. There Is Kitka. There is Planina located in Denver. There is the Yale Slavic Chorus, which was around nearly 50 years. exactly What do you think makes.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: . The music so irresistible to vocalists that are female?
CION: Well, i believe for the people of us whom i might say determine as liberal US feminists, there is one thing concerning the quality of effective ladies’ sounds joined together in this really real, really close harmony, sometimes dissonant harmony designs that actually interests a contemporary American feminine sensibility.
(SOUNDBITE OF UNIDENTIFIED SONG that is KITKA
KITKA LADIES’ VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (performing in spanish).
CION: And they are countries where work ended up being typically split by sex. And ladies had been used to producing in community and creating music together in community. We had been really and truly just referring to this when you look at the greenroom previous today – exactly exactly just how many of us whom sing in Kitka are a lot more oriented in direction of kind of collective and harmony singing than individualistic, soloistic singing. And I also think it type of counters the type of strongly trend that is individualistic America values a great deal. It really is, like.
CION: . Everybody else to.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: The solamente musician.
CION: . Themself (ph).
CION: The solamente musician. And also this is truly a communal type that can definitely just take flight whenever there is a residential area of individuals taking part in it.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: let us listen 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 obviously a carol that is ukrainian New Year’s. And also you really traveled here some time straight back and met up by having a group that is ukrainian. How about your other travels to do 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 very first time with Kitka traveling abroad and performing music that is serbian 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 usually have these deep origins with these tracks? However in reality, we were gotten really warmly. Plus it really was a cathartic experience for both the viewers and for us.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: therefore, Kelly and Shira, it is to the two of you. What is your song that is favorite on record album?
CION: Oh, which is a tough 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 that people feel articulates characteristics that individuals all make an effort to summon in ourselves through the christmas. It really 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 merely to ensure other people might merely live and simply because contentment that is true originates from sort of going from the grain of greed and egoism and materialism and physical physical violence and living carefully, residing kindly to ensure that other people can have the kingdom of paradise right here on the planet.
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.” 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 type of the net summary listed a wrong record title. Kitka’s showcased record is known as Evening celebrity, maybe not Harmonies of Heaven and Earth.