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. People Shira Cion and Kelly Atkins talk 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 listen 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 “star” features harmonies unique to Balkan, Slavic and Caucasian lands evening. But here is the twist – they are offered up by Kitka, a vocal ensemble of numerous years standing located in the san francisco bay area Bay region. Shira Cion may be the group’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 believe that is just what you call yourselves, appropriate?
KELLY ATKINS: It’s, yes. Hi.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Hi. Shira, i will focus on you. You are quoted within the press records saying this music springs from a, estimate, “instinct to get together and sing within the deep, dark heart of wintertime.” I favor that, in addition. Performs this music help bring up 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 being released about kind of the real and intellectual and social advantages of harmony singing and choral performing. And i believe all of the science is simply demonstrating something that Eastern European villagers have actually understood for hundreds of years, that is that whenever times are tough, whenever climate are cool, where simply surviving through a hard period actually calls upon communities in the future together, it is a time 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 attempting times.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Kelly, that image associated with deep, dark heart of wintertime normally a metaphor, i suppose, of this sorts of music that it is. Let me know just just 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. And some of these are concerning the cold weather of life. Therefore we sort of see plenty of the tracks that individuals sing not just concerning the vacations on their own but in regards to the cycles that individuals proceed through within our very own everyday lives.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Why don’t we pay attention to a little bit of the name track. It’s a song that is bulgarian “Evening celebrity.”
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “ZVEZDA VECERNICA”)
KITKA LADIES’ VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (Singing in Bulgarian).
GARCIA-NAVARRO: i eventually got to inform you, it feels as though something profoundly thrumming and ancient. You understand, it comes down – it certainly arises from this kind of important spot. It surely does. It is amazing. Kelly, you are understood by me have history as an indie rocker. Exactly just exactly 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 exactly what had been taking place if you ask me. Also it simply rocked me personally on a tremendously, very level that is deep. 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, individuals additionally can be amazed to discover that there is really numerous vocal teams here in the usa 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 exactly What do you consider makes.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: . The music so irresistible to feminine vocalists?
CION: Well, i believe for people of us whom i might say determine as liberal US feminists, there is one thing in regards to the quality of powerful ladies’ sounds joined up with together in this really physical, extremely harmony that is close often dissonant harmony designs that actually attracts a contemporary American feminine sensibility.
(SOUNDBITE OF UNIDENTIFIED KITKA SONG)
KITKA LADIES’ VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (performing in language).
CION: And they are countries where labor had been typically split by sex. And females had been familiar with producing mail order brides catalogue in community and producing music together in community. We had been really just speaking about this when you look at the greenroom previous today – just exactly just how most of us whom sing in Kitka are a lot more oriented in direction of kind of collective and harmony singing than individualistic, soloistic performing. And I also think it kind of counters the kind of highly trend that is individualistic America values a great deal. It is, like.
CION: . Everybody else 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 when there is a residential district of individuals playing it.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: let us pay attention now to A ukrainian carol from your record album.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “V HOSPODARON’KA”)
KITKA LADIES’ VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (Performing in Ukrainian).
GARCIA-NAVARRO: which means this is clearly A ukrainian carol for New Year’s. And also you really traveled here a bit straight straight back and met up by having a group that is ukrainian. How about your other travels to execute in Eastern Europe? What exactly is been the reaction from audiences?
ATKINS: we had been in Serbia about – ended up being it 5 years ago?
ATKINS: and it also 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 became thinking, whom have always been We as A us to go and sing these tracks right in front of the individuals where, you realize, they will have these deep origins with these tracks? However in reality, we had been gotten extremely warmly. Plus it really was an experience that is cathartic both the viewers and for us.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: therefore, Kelly and Shira, that is to you both. What is your favorite track regarding the record album?
CION: Oh, that is a hardcore one.
CION: What do you believe about maybe “Blazentsv”?
ATKINS: Perhaps “Blazentsv.”
CION: Yeah. This is not theoretically a cold weather track. But it is a song that people feel articulates characteristics that individuals all make an effort to summon in ourselves through the festive season. It’s 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 in order for other people might just live and simply because real contentment actually originates from types of going from the grain of greed and egoism and materialism and violence and residing carefully, residing kindly making sure that other people can have the kingdom of paradise right right here on the planet.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: This is certainly a good getaway message. 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: 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 net summary listed a incorrect record album title. Kitka’s showcased record is named Star, not Harmonies of Heaven and Earth evening.