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 brand brand new record 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 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 record album “Evening Star” features harmonies unique to Balkan, Slavic and Caucasian lands. But listed here is the twist – they are offered up by Kitka, a vocal ensemble of several years standing located in the bay area Bay region. Shira Cion may be the team’s creative 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’s, yes. Hi.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Hi. Shira, i will begin with 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 within the body’s temperature?
CION: they really think it most likely does. And it’s really been interesting. You realize, many studies are now actually being released about type of the real and intellectual and social advantages of harmony performing and choral performing. 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, when climate conditions are cool, where just surviving through a hard period really calls upon communities in the future together, it is a time to sing. And I think performing does raise spirits. It does type of synchronize our organisms together. I truly do think it can help us survive through trying times.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Kelly, that image for the deep, dark heart of wintertime can also be a metaphor, i assume, associated with the sort of music that this will be. Tell me exactly just what – just exactly how it is seen by you.
ATKINS: Well, we additionally utilize the metaphor associated with rounds of life. A few of the tracks, while you probably noticed, through the record are literally about wintertime. Plus some of those are in regards to the wintertime of life. Therefore we sort of see plenty of the tracks that people go through in our own lives that we sing not only about the holidays themselves but about the cycles.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: let us tune in 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: (Performing in Bulgarian).
GARCIA-NAVARRO: i got eventually to inform you, it feels as though something profoundly thrumming and ancient. You understand, it comes down – it surely arises from this type of crucial destination. It certainly does. It really is amazing. Kelly, i realize you have history as an indie rocker. Just exactly just What got you enthusiastic about Eastern European vocal music?
ATKINS: Well, the very first time we saw the Bulgarian Women’s Choir, I became at Grace Cathedral. And I also sat when you look at the pews and simply wept. And I also could not find out exactly what had been occurring for me. 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 everyone has our gateway drug of Bulgarian choir music.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) Shira, individuals additionally might be amazed to find out 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, which was around very nearly 50 years. Just exactly exactly What do you consider makes.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: . The songs so irresistible to vocalists that are female?
CION: Well, i believe for everyone of us whom i might state recognize as liberal US feminists, there is something in regards to the quality of effective ladies’ sounds joined up with together in this extremely real, really harmony that is close often dissonant harmony configurations that actually attracts a modern American feminine sensibility.
(SOUNDBITE OF UNIDENTIFIED KITKA SONG)
KITKA LADIES’ VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (performing in language).
CION: And they are countries where labor ended up being usually split by sex. And females had been used to producing in community and music that is creating 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 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 kind of highly individualistic trend that America values a great deal. It is, like.
CION: . Everybody else to.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: The solamente artist.
CION: . Themself (ph).
CION: The solamente musician. And also this is really a public kind that really can just fly whenever there is a residential area of individuals playing it.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Let’s pay attention now up 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 truly a carol that is ukrainian New season’s. And also you actually traveled here a while straight straight back and met up with a group that is ukrainian. Think 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 Serbian music to Serbians. And I also truthfully ended up being stressed going. I became thinking, whom have always been We being A us to go and sing these tracks right in front among these individuals where, you understand, they usually have these roots that are deep these tracks? However in reality, we had been gotten extremely warmly. Also it really was a cathartic experience for both the viewers as well as us.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: therefore, Kelly and Shira, that is to the two of you. What is your favorite song regarding the record album?
CION: Oh, which is a difficult one.
CION: What you think about maybe “Blazentsv”?
ATKINS: Possibly “Blazentsv.”
CION: Yeah. This is not theoretically a cold temperatures track. But it is a track we feel articulates characteristics that individuals all attempt to summon in ourselves through the festive season. 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 that other people might merely live and simply because contentment that is true arises from sorts of going contrary to the grain of greed and egoism and materialism and physical physical violence and residing carefully, residing kindly making sure that other people can have the kingdom of paradise right here on the planet.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: This is certainly a good vacation message. Shira Cion and Kelly Atkins through the Kitka Woman’s Vocal Ensemble. Their brand new record is called “Evening Star.” Thank you both quite definitely.
CION: many thanks plenty 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 an album name that is incorrect. Kitka’s showcased record is named Star, not Harmonies of Heaven and Earth evening.