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 team’s 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 record album “Evening Star” features harmonies unique to Balkan, Slavic and Caucasian lands. But listed here is the twist – they may be offered up by Kitka, an ensemble that is vocal of years standing situated in the san francisco bay area Bay region. Shira Cion may be the group’s artistic manager. She joins us through the studios of KQED. Welcome.
SHIRA CION: so excellent to be right here, Lulu. Many thanks.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: additionally with us is Kelly Atkins. She is another Kitkat – i believe that is what you call yourselves, appropriate?
KELLY ATKINS: It Really Is, yes. Hi.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Hi. Shira, i will begin with you. You are quoted within the press notes saying this music springs from the, quote, “instinct to get together and sing within the deep, dark heart of wintertime.” I enjoy that, in addition. Performs this music help bring within the body’s temperature?
CION: they really think it most likely does. And it’s really been interesting. You understand, a lot of studies are actually developing about type of the real and intellectual and social great things about harmony singing and singing that is choral. And i believe most of the science is simply showing a thing that Eastern European villagers have actually recognized for hundreds of years, which will be that whenever times are tough, when climate conditions are cool, where merely surviving through a challenging period actually calls upon communities in the future together, it is a period to sing. And I also think performing does raise spirits. It does type of synchronize our organisms together. I must say I do think it can help us endure through trying times.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Kelly, that image of this deep, dark heart of wintertime can be a metaphor, i suppose, for the sort of music that this really is. Tell me what – just exactly how it is seen by you.
ATKINS: Well, we additionally make use of the metaphor associated with rounds of life. A few of the tracks, while you probably noticed, through the record album are literally about cold weather. Plus some of these are in regards to the cold temperatures of life. Therefore we kind of see a lot 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 really is A bulgarian song – “Evening celebrity.”
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “ZVEZDA VECERNICA”)
KITKA LADIES’ VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (Performing in Bulgarian).
GARCIA-NAVARRO: i eventually got to inform you, it is like something profoundly ancient and thrumming. You understand, it comes down – it certainly arises from this kind of crucial spot. It certainly does. It is amazing. Kelly, i realize you have history as an indie rocker. Exactly exactly What got you enthusiastic about Eastern European vocal music?
ATKINS: Well, the first-time we saw the Bulgarian Women’s Choir, I happened to be at Grace Cathedral. And I also sat within the pews and simply wept. And I also could not find out just what ended up being taking place if you ask me. Plus it simply rocked me personally on an extremely, extremely level that is deep. Thus I think that has been my gateway medication, in the group as we call it. Just about everybody has our gateway medication of Bulgarian choir music.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) Shira, individuals additionally can be amazed to discover that there is really numerous vocal teams 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, which was around nearly 50 years. Exactly just just What do you consider makes.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: . The thereforengs so irresistible to vocalists that are female?
CION: Well, I think for all those of us whom I would personally state determine as liberal US feminists, there is one thing in regards to the quality of effective ladies’ sounds joined up with together in this extremely real, really close harmony, often dissonant harmony configurations 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 typically split by sex. And ladies had been used to producing in community and music that is creating in community. We had been really just speaking about this within the greenroom previous today – just exactly 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 kind of counters the kind of highly individualistic trend that America values a great deal. It is, like.
CION: . Every person to.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: The solamente musician.
CION: . Themself (ph).
CION: The solamente musician. And also this is actually a form that is communal really can just fly whenever there is a residential district of men and women taking part in it.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: let us pay attention now up to a carol that is ukrainian your record album.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “V HOSPODARON’KA”)
KITKA WOMEN’S VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (Performing in Ukrainian).
GARCIA-NAVARRO: and this is truly a carol that is ukrainian New season’s. And also you really traveled here a bit straight back and met up by having A ukrainian team. How about your other travels to do in Eastern Europe? What’s 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 music that is serbian Serbians. And I also truthfully ended up being stressed going. I was thinking, whom have always been We being a us to go and sing these tracks right in front among these people where, you understand, they usually have these roots that are deep these tracks? But in reality, we had been gotten really warmly. Plus it really was a cathartic experience for both the viewers as well as for us.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: therefore, Kelly and Shira, this can be to the two of you. What is your favorite track in the album?
CION: Oh, that is a challenging one.
CION: What do you consider about maybe “Blazentsv”?
ATKINS: Perhaps “Blazentsv.”
CION: Yeah. This is simply not technically a cold temperatures song. But it is 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 Russian composer Vladimir 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 form of going contrary to the grain of greed and egoism and materialism and physical violence and residing carefully, residing kindly in order that other people can have the kingdom of paradise right here in the world.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: This is certainly a good getaway message. 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 internet summary listed a wrong record album title. Kitka’s featured record is known as Evening celebrity, perhaps not Harmonies of Heaven and world.