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. Users Shira Cion and Kelly Atkins speak about the group’s brand brand new record album, Evening celebrity.
LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
The daylight is dwindling away. The solstice comes on Friday. Therefore why don’t we 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 album “Evening Star” features harmonies unique to Balkan, Slavic and Caucasian lands. But listed here is the twist – they truly are offered up by Kitka, a vocal ensemble of several years standing situated in the San Francisco Bay region. Shira Cion could be the team’s creative manager. She joins us from the studios of KQED. Welcome.
SHIRA CION: so excellent to be around, Lulu. Many thanks.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Also with us is Kelly Atkins. She actually is another Kitkat – i believe that is exactly what you call yourselves, appropriate?
KELLY ATKINS: It’s, yes. Hi.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Hi. Shira, i will focus on you. You are quoted into the press records saying this music springs from the, estimate, “instinct to get together and sing within the deep, dark heart of wintertime.” I enjoy 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 type of the physical and intellectual and social advantages of harmony performing 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 can be that after times are tough, whenever climate conditions are cool, where simply surviving through an arduous period actually calls upon communities in the future together, it is a period to sing. And I also think performing does carry 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 deep, dark heart of wintertime can be a metaphor, i assume, associated with types of music that this might be. Let me know just just what – just just how it is seen by you.
ATKINS: Well, we additionally utilize the metaphor for the rounds of life. A few 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 tune in to a little bit of the name track. It is a song that is bulgarian “Evening Star.”
(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 thrumming and ancient. You realize, it comes down – it truly originates from this kind of crucial spot. It certainly does. It is amazing. Kelly, i am aware you have back ground being 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 became at Grace Cathedral. And I sat when you look at the pews and merely wept. And I also could not find out exactly what had been taking place in my opinion. Also it simply rocked me personally on a tremendously, extremely level that is deep. And so 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 additionally might be amazed to discover dating asian that there is actually numerous vocal teams right here in the us devoted to Eastern music that is european. There Is Kitka. There is Planina located in Denver. There is the Yale Slavic Chorus, which was around nearly 50 years. Just just exactly What do you consider makes.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: . The music so irresistible to female vocalists?
CION: Well, I think for people of us whom I would personally state recognize as liberal US feminists, there is one thing in regards to the quality of powerful women’s sounds joined up with together in this really real, extremely harmony that is close sometimes dissonant harmony designs that actually interests a contemporary American feminine sensibility.
(SOUNDBITE OF UNIDENTIFIED KITKA SONG)
KITKA WOMEN’S VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (performing in spanish).
CION: And they are countries where work ended up being typically split by sex. And ladies were used to producing in community and producing music together in community. We had been really and truly just dealing with this into the greenroom previous today – just just how many of us whom sing in Kitka are much more oriented in direction of kind of collective and harmony singing 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 else to.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: The solo musician.
CION: . Themself (ph).
CION: The solamente musician. And also this is actually a form that is communal can definitely only fly whenever there is a residential area of individuals taking part in it.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: let us pay attention now to a carol that is ukrainian your record album.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “V HOSPODARON’KA”)
KITKA LADIES’ VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (Singing in Ukrainian).
GARCIA-NAVARRO: which means this is really A ukrainian carol for New season’s. And also you really traveled here a bit straight straight back and met up having A ukrainian team. Think about your other travels to execute 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: and it also had been my very first time with Kitka traveling abroad and performing Serbian music to Serbians. And I also actually had been stressed going. I happened to be thinking, whom have always been We as a us to go and sing these songs in the front of those individuals where, you realize, they usually have these deep origins with these tracks? However in reality, we had been received really warmly. And it also was a cathartic experience for both the viewers as well as us.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: therefore, Kelly and Shira, this can be to the two of you. What is your favorite song regarding the record?
CION: Oh, that is a tough one.
CION: What you think about maybe “Blazentsv”?
ATKINS: Maybe “Blazentsv.”
CION: Yeah. This is not technically 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 simply to ensure other people might just live and seeing that real contentment really originates from type of going contrary to the grain of greed and egoism and materialism and physical physical violence and residing carefully, living kindly to ensure other people can have the kingdom of heaven right 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 brand new record album is called “Evening Star.” Many thanks both quite definitely.
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 net summary listed a incorrect record title. Kitka’s featured record is named Evening celebrity, perhaps not Harmonies of Heaven and world.