Kitka Brings ‘Powerful Women’s Voices, Joined Together’ From East To Western

Kitka Brings ‘Powerful Women’s Voices, Joined Together’ From East To Western

Kitka Brings ‘Powerful Women’s Voices, Joined Together’ From East To Western

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For four decades, the Oakland ensemble Kitka has sung intricate harmonies from Eastern Europe. People 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 comes on Friday. So 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 served 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 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 just 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 a, estimate, “instinct to get together and sing within the deep, dark heart of wintertime.” I favor that, by the way. Does 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 being released about kind of the real and cognitive and social great things about harmony performing and choral performing. And i believe most of the science is just demonstrating something that Eastern European villagers have understood for hundreds of years, that will be that whenever times are tough, whenever climate conditions are cool, where simply surviving through a hard period actually calls upon communities in the future together, it is an occasion to sing. And I also think performing does raise spirits. It does kind of synchronize our organisms together. I must say I do think it can help us endure through attempting times.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Kelly, that image regarding the deep, dark heart of wintertime can be a metaphor, i assume, for the types of music that this might be. Let me know just 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 are literally about wintertime. Plus some of those are in regards to the winter of life. Therefore we sort of see plenty of the songs that individuals sing not only in regards to the vacations by themselves but concerning the rounds that individuals proceed through within our very own life.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: let us pay attention to a little bit of the name track. It is A bulgarian song – “Evening celebrity.”

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “ZVEZDA VECERNICA”)

KITKA LADIES’ VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (Performing in Bulgarian).

GARCIA-NAVARRO: i got eventually to let you know, it feels as though something profoundly ancient and thrumming. You realize, it comes down – it surely originates from this type of crucial destination. It certainly does. It really is amazing. Kelly, you are understood by me have back ground as an indie rocker. Exactly just What got you enthusiastic about Eastern European vocal music?

ATKINS: Well, the time that is first saw the Bulgarian Women’s Choir, I happened to be at Grace Cathedral. And I also sat into the pews and simply wept. And I also could not determine what had been occurring if you ask me. Plus it simply rocked me personally on a extremely, extremely deep level. Therefore I think that has been my gateway medication, even as we call it into the group. Just about everybody has our gateway medication of Bulgarian choir music.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) Shira, individuals additionally might be surprised to find out that there is really numerous vocal teams right right here in the us devoted to Eastern European music. There Is Kitka. There is Planina located in Denver. There is the Yale Slavic Chorus, which includes been around nearly 50 years. Just just What do you consider makes.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: . The songs so irresistible to vocalists that are female?

CION: Well, i do believe for all of us whom i might state recognize as liberal US feminists, there is one thing concerning the quality of effective ladies’ sounds joined up with together in this very real, really close harmony, often dissonant harmony configurations that actually attracts a contemporary American female sensibility.

(SOUNDBITE OF UNIDENTIFIED SONG that is KITKA

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 just dealing with this into the greenroom previous today – just just how most of us whom sing in Kitka are much 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 trend that is individualistic America values so much. It really is, like.

CION: . Everybody to.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: The solamente artist.

CION: . Themself (ph).

CION: The solamente musician. And also this is actually a public kind that really can just 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: (Performing in Ukrainian).

GARCIA-NAVARRO: and this is obviously a carol that is ukrainian New season’s. And also you really traveled here some time straight straight back and met up by having a group that is ukrainian. Think about your other travels to execute in Eastern Europe? What is been the response 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 singing 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 in the front of those individuals where, you realize, they usually have these roots that are deep these songs? However in fact, we had been gotten really warmly. Plus it really was an experience that is cathartic both the viewers as well as for us.

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GARCIA-NAVARRO: therefore, Kelly and Shira, this can be to you both. What exactly is your favorite track regarding the record album?

CION: Oh, which is a hardcore one.

CION: What you think about maybe “Blazentsv”?

ATKINS: Possibly “Blazentsv.”

CION: Yeah. This is simply not theoretically a cold weather track. But it’s a track we feel articulates characteristics that individuals all make an effort to summon in ourselves throughout the yuletide 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 in order for other people might just live and simply because contentment that is true arises from form of going resistant to the grain of greed and egoism and materialism and violence and residing gently, residing kindly making sure that other people can have the kingdom of paradise 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: many thanks a great deal for having us.

ATKINS: many thanks.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “ZAPOVEDI BLAZENSTV/ THE BEATITUDES”)

KITKA WOMEN’S VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (Performing in Russian).

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Correction Jan. 18, 2019

A past type of the internet summary listed a wrong record album title. Kitka’s showcased record is named Star, not Harmonies of Heaven and Earth evening.