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 record 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 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 around, Lulu. Many thanks.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: additionally with us is Kelly Atkins. She actually is another Kitkat – i believe that is exactly what you call yourselves, appropriate?
KELLY ATKINS: It Really Is, yes. Hi.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Hi. Shira, i will focus on you. You are quoted when you look at the press records 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 the body temperature up?
CION: they really think it probably does. And it’s really been interesting. You understand, a lot of studies are actually developing about type of the real and cognitive and social advantages of harmony performing and singing that is choral. And i believe most of the science is just demonstrating a thing that Eastern European villagers have actually recognized for centuries, which can be that whenever times are tough, whenever climate are cool, where just surviving through a challenging period actually calls upon communities in the future together, it is an occasion 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 trying times.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Kelly, that image for the deep, dark heart of wintertime can be a metaphor, i assume, associated with the style of music that it is. Let me know just exactly exactly what – just just exactly how the thing is it.
ATKINS: Well, we additionally use the metaphor regarding the 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 concerning the cold temperatures of life. Therefore we sort of see plenty of the tracks that people sing not merely concerning the breaks on their own but concerning the rounds that people 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 Star. »
(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 surely arises from this type of crucial spot. It truly does. It is amazing. Kelly, i am aware you have a history being an indie rocker. Just just exactly What got you enthusiastic about Eastern European vocal music?
ATKINS: Well, the very first time I 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 just what had been taking place in my experience. And it also just rocked me personally on a really, very deep degree. Thus I think that has been my gateway drug, in the group as we call it. Just about everyone has our gateway medication of Bulgarian choir music.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) Shira, individuals additionally might be amazed to find out that there is really numerous vocal teams 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 nearly 50 years. Just exactly What do you consider makes.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: . The music so irresistible to vocalists that are female?
CION: Well, i do believe for people of us who I would personally state recognize as liberal American feminists, there is one thing in regards to the quality of effective ladies’ sounds joined up with together in this really real, extremely close harmony, often dissonant harmony designs that actually interests 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 females had been familiar with producing in community and music that is creating in community. We had been really and truly just referring to this within the greenroom previous today – 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 type of highly individualistic trend that America values a great deal. It really is, like.
CION: . Everybody to.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: The solamente musician.
CION: . Themself (ph).
CION: The solamente musician. And also this is actually a public kind that can definitely just take flight 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.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, « V HOSPODARON’KA »)
KITKA LADIES’ VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (Performing in Ukrainian).
GARCIA-NAVARRO: and this is in fact a carol that is ukrainian New season’s. And also you really traveled here a bit straight straight back and met up by having A ukrainian team. How 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: plus it ended up being my very first time with Kitka traveling abroad and performing Serbian music to Serbians. And I also genuinely had been stressed asian dates going. I became thinking, whom have always been We being A us to go and sing these tracks in the front of the individuals where, you realize, they will 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 audience as well as us.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: therefore, Kelly and Shira, this can be to you both. What is your favorite song in the record?
CION: Oh, which is a hardcore one.
CION: What do you consider about maybe « Blazentsv »?
ATKINS: Perhaps « Blazentsv. »
CION: Yeah. This is simply not technically a cold temperatures track. 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 composer that is russian Martynov. And, you understand, they are calling the listener to embody qualities of generosity and compassion and kindness, residing just making sure that other people might just live and simply because contentment that is true arises from variety of going resistant to the grain of greed and egoism and materialism and physical violence and residing carefully, residing kindly making sure that other people can have the kingdom of paradise right right here in the world.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: That is a holiday message that is good. Shira Cion and Kelly Atkins through the Kitka female’s Vocal Ensemble. Their album that is new is « Evening Star. » Thank you both greatly.
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 form of the net summary listed an album name that is incorrect. Kitka’s showcased record is known as Evening celebrity, perhaps not Harmonies of Heaven and world.