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. Members Shira Cion and Kelly Atkins speak about the team’s brand new record record record album, Evening celebrity.


The daylight is dwindling away. The solstice comes on Friday. Therefore let us pay attention to some warming songs from Eastern Europe that celebrate the summer season upon us.


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 truly are offered up by Kitka, an ensemble that is vocal of years standing located in the San Francisco Bay region. Shira Cion could 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: Also with us is Kelly Atkins. She actually is another Kitkat — i do believe that is what you call yourselves, right?

KELLY ATKINS: It’s, yes. Hi.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Hi. Shira, i will focus on you. You are quoted into the press records saying this music springs from a, estimate, «instinct to get together and sing when you look at the deep, dark heart of wintertime.» I enjoy that, in addition. Performs this music help bring up the body’s temperature?

CION: they really think it most likely does. And it is been interesting. You realize, a lot of studies are now actually being released about type of the real and intellectual and social great things about harmony performing and choral performing. 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, whenever climate conditions are cool, where just surviving through a challenging period really calls upon communities in the future together, it is an occasion to sing. And I also think performing does lift spirits. It does type of synchronize our organisms together. I must say I do think it will help us survive through attempting times.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Kelly, that image associated with deep, dark heart of wintertime can be a metaphor, i assume, regarding the types of music that it is. Let me know just just just what — just how the thing is it.

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 cold temperatures of life. Therefore we sort of see plenty of the tracks that people sing not just concerning the vacations by themselves but in regards to the rounds that people proceed through within our very own life.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: let us tune in to a bit of the name track. It is A bulgarian track — «Evening celebrity.»


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

GARCIA-NAVARRO: i eventually got to let you know, it feels as though something deeply thrumming and ukrainian bride ancient. You understand, it comes down — it certainly originates from this type of crucial spot. It certainly does. It is amazing. Kelly, you are understood by me have back ground being an indie rocker. just just What got you thinking about Eastern European vocal music?

ATKINS: Well, the time that is first saw the Bulgarian Women’s Choir, I became at Grace Cathedral. And I also sat when you look at the pews and merely wept. And I also could not determine what had been occurring in my opinion. Plus it just rocked me personally on a really, extremely level that is deep. Therefore 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 actually 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, that has been around nearly 50 years. Exactly exactly exactly What do you consider makes.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: . The thereforengs 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 one thing 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.


KITKA LADIES’ VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (Singing in spanish).

CION: And they are countries where work was typically split by sex. And females had been used to producing in community and music that is creating in community. We had been really just speaking about this when you look at the greenroom previous today — just just how many 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 type of highly trend that is individualistic America values a great deal. It is, like.

CION: . Everybody to.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: The solamente musician.

CION: . Themself (ph).

CION: The solamente musician. And also this is actually a public type that really can just fly whenever there is a residential district of men and women taking part in it.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Why don’t we pay attention now up to a carol that is ukrainian your record.


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

GARCIA-NAVARRO: and this is really A ukrainian carol for New season’s. And also you really traveled here a bit straight back and met up having a group that is ukrainian. Think about your other travels to do in Eastern Europe? What’s been the effect 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 really had been stressed going. I happened to be thinking, whom have always been We as a american to go and sing these tracks right in front of those individuals where, you understand, they will have these deep origins with these tracks? However in fact, we had been gotten really warmly. Also it really was an experience that is cathartic both the viewers as well as for us.

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

CION: Oh, that is a hardcore 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 that individuals feel articulates characteristics that people all you will need to summon in ourselves throughout the festive season. It really is a musical environment of «The Beatitudes» by the Russian composer Vladimir Martynov. And, you realize, they are calling the listener to embody characteristics of generosity and compassion and kindness, residing simply making sure that other people might just live and simply because contentment that is true arises from variety of going up against the grain of greed and egoism and materialism and violence and residing carefully, residing kindly to ensure that other people can have the kingdom of paradise here on the planet.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That is a holiday message that is good. Shira Cion and Kelly Atkins through the Kitka female’s Vocal Ensemble. Their brand new record album is called «Evening Star.» Thank you both quite definitely.

CION: many thanks a great deal for having us.

ATKINS: many thanks.


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

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Correction Jan. 18, 2019

A past type of the internet summary listed an album name that is incorrect. Kitka’s showcased record is known as Star, not Harmonies of Heaven and Earth evening.

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