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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The Oakland ensemble Kitka has sung intricate harmonies from Eastern Europe for four decades. People Shira Cion and Kelly Atkins speak about the team’s brand brand new record record album, Star evening.


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 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 situated in the San Francisco Bay region. Shira Cion may be the group’s creative director. 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 actually is another Kitkat – i do believe that is what you call yourselves, appropriate?

KELLY ATKINS: It’s, yes. Hi.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Hi. Shira, i will focus on you. You are quoted when you look at the press notes 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. Does this music help bring within the body’s temperature?

CION: They actually think it probably does. And it’s really been interesting. You understand, numerous studies are now actually developing about type of the real and intellectual and social great things about harmony performing and choral performing. And i believe all of the science is simply demonstrating a thing that Eastern European villagers have actually understood for hundreds of years, that is that when times are tough, whenever climate conditions are cool, where just surviving through a challenging period actually calls upon communities in the future together, it really is a period 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 suppose, associated with the form of music that this can be. Let me know just exactly just what – just exactly just how the thing is it.

ATKINS: Well, we additionally make use of the metaphor for the rounds of life. A number of the tracks, while you probably noticed, through the record album are literally about cold temperatures. Plus some of these are in regards to the wintertime of life. Therefore we sort of see plenty of the tracks that individuals sing not just concerning the breaks by themselves but in regards to the rounds that people undergo inside our very own life.

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


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

GARCIA-NAVARRO: i got eventually to let you know, it is like something profoundly thrumming and ancient. You understand, it comes down – it certainly arises from this kind of crucial destination. It certainly does. It is amazing. Kelly, i am aware you have history as an indie rocker. Exactly just exactly What got you thinking about Eastern European vocal music?

ATKINS: Well, the very first time we 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 find out just what ended up being taking place in my experience. Plus it simply rocked me on an extremely, very deep degree. And so I think that has been my gateway medication, once we call it within the team. Just about everybody has our gateway medication of Bulgarian choir music.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) Shira, individuals additionally might be amazed to find out that there is actually numerous vocal teams right right here in the us focusing on Eastern European music. There Is Kitka. There is Planina situated in Denver. There is the Yale Slavic Chorus, that has been around nearly 50 years. Just exactly What do you consider makes.

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

CION: Well, i do believe for everyone of us whom i might state determine as liberal US feminists, there is one thing concerning the quality of effective ladies’ sounds joined together in this really real, really close harmony, often dissonant harmony designs that really attracts a modern American feminine sensibility.


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

CION: And they are countries where work was typically split by sex. And ladies had been used to producing in community and music that is creating in community. We had been really and truly just dealing with this within the greenroom previous today – just just how most of us whom sing in Kitka are a lot more oriented in direction of kind of collective and harmony performing than individualistic, soloistic singing. And I think it type 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 this is actually a form that is communal can definitely just fly whenever there is a residential district of individuals taking part in it.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Why don’t we pay attention now up to A ukrainian carol from your record album.


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

GARCIA-NAVARRO: and this is really a carol that is ukrainian New season’s. And also you really traveled here some time straight straight straight back and met up by having a group that is ukrainian. Think about your other travels to do in Eastern Europe? What exactly is been the response from audiences?

ATKINS: we had been in Serbia about – ended up being it 5 years ago?

ATKINS: and it also had been my very first time with Kitka traveling abroad and performing Serbian music to Serbians. And I also seriously had been stressed going. I happened to be thinking, whom have always been I as a us to go and sing these tracks right in front among these individuals where, you realize, they’ve these deep origins with these tracks? However in reality, we had been gotten really warmly. Also it really was an experience that is cathartic both the viewers as well as us.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So, Kelly and Shira, this really is to you both. What is your song that is favorite on record album?

CION: Oh, that is a hardcore one.

CION: What do you believe about maybe “Blazentsv”?

ATKINS: Possibly “Blazentsv.”

CION: Yeah. This is not theoretically a cold temperatures track. But it is a track that people feel articulates characteristics we all attempt to summon in ourselves through the yuletide season. It really is 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 to ensure other people might just live and simply because true contentment really originates from type of going contrary 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 here in the world.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: This is certainly 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.” Many thanks both quite definitely.

CION: many thanks plenty for having us.

ATKINS: many thanks.


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

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Correction Jan. 18, 2019

A previous 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.