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 years, 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 album, Star evening.


The daylight is dwindling away. The solstice comes on Friday. So why don’t we pay attention to some songs that are warming 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 listed here is the twist – they may be offered up by Kitka, an ensemble that is vocal of years standing situated in the san francisco bay area 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: additionally with us is Kelly Atkins. She actually is another Kitkat – i do believe that is what you call yourselves, appropriate?

KELLY ATKINS: It Really Is, yes. Hi.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Hi. Shira, i will focus on you. You are quoted within the press records saying this music springs from a, estimate, “instinct to get together and sing within the deep, dark heart of wintertime.” I love that, in addition. Performs this music help bring the body temperature up?

CION: they really think it most likely does. And it is been interesting. You realize, numerous studies are actually being released about type of the real and intellectual and social great things about harmony performing and singing that is choral. And i believe most of the science is simply demonstrating a thing that Eastern European villagers have actually recognized for hundreds of years, which will be that after times are tough, whenever climate conditions are cool, where simply surviving through an arduous 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 type of synchronize our organisms together. I truly do believe it can help us survive through trying times.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Kelly, that image for the deep, dark heart of wintertime can be a metaphor, i assume, associated with the types of music that this can be. Let me know exactly what – just how it is seen by you.

ATKINS: Well, we additionally make use of the metaphor for the rounds of life. A few of the tracks, while you probably noticed, through the record are literally about cold weather. Plus some of those are concerning the wintertime of life. So we sort of see plenty of the tracks that people sing not merely in regards to the breaks by themselves but concerning the rounds that people proceed through inside our very own everyday lives.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: let us tune in 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 inform you, it feels like something profoundly ancient and thrumming. You understand, it comes down – it certainly originates from this type of crucial spot. It surely does. It is amazing. Kelly, i am aware you have back ground being an indie rocker. Just exactly What got you enthusiastic about Eastern European vocal music?

ATKINS: Well, the first-time we saw the Bulgarian Women’s Choir, I became at Grace Cathedral. And I also sat into the pews and simply wept. And I also could not determine what had been taking place in my experience. Also it just rocked me personally on a rather, extremely deep degree. Therefore I think that has been my gateway medication, in the group as we call it. single ukrainian women Just about everybody has our gateway medication of Bulgarian choir music.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) Shira, individuals also might be amazed to discover that there is actually numerous vocal teams right right right here in the usa devoted to Eastern European music. There Is Kitka. There is Planina situated in Denver. There is the Yale Slavic Chorus, which includes been around very nearly 50 years. Just What do you consider makes.

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

CION: Well, i do believe for all those of us whom I would personally state identify as liberal US feminists, there’s one thing concerning the quality of effective ladies’ sounds joined up with together in this extremely real, really harmony that is close often dissonant harmony designs that actually interests a modern American feminine sensibility.


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

CION: And they are countries where labor ended up being typically split by sex. And ladies were used to producing in community and music that is creating in community. We had been really just speaking about this within the greenroom previous today – exactly 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 kind of counters the type of highly individualistic trend that America values a great deal. It is, like.

CION: . Everyone else to.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: The solamente musician.

CION: . Themself (ph).

CION: The solamente artist. And also this is actually a public type that can definitely just fly when there is a residential district of men and women playing it.

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


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

GARCIA-NAVARRO: and this is actually a carol that is ukrainian New Year’s. And also you actually traveled here a bit back and met up by having a group that is ukrainian. Think about your other travels to do 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: also it ended up being my very first time with Kitka traveling abroad and performing music that is serbian Serbians. And I also truthfully had been stressed going. I became thinking, whom have always been We being a american to go and sing these songs in the front among these people where, you understand, they will have these deep origins with these tracks? However in reality, we had been gotten really warmly. Also it really was a cathartic experience for both the viewers as well as us.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: therefore, Kelly and Shira, this will be to the two of you. What is your favorite track from the record?

CION: Oh, that is a hardcore one.

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

ATKINS: Perhaps “Blazentsv.”

CION: Yeah. This is simply not technically a cold temperatures track. But it is a track that individuals feel articulates characteristics that people all attempt to summon in ourselves through the festive season. It really is a musical environment of “The Beatitudes” by the composer that is russian Martynov. And, you realize, they are calling the listener to embody characteristics of generosity and compassion and kindness, living merely to ensure that other people might just live and simply because real contentment actually originates from type of going resistant to the grain of greed and egoism and materialism and physical physical violence and residing carefully, residing kindly in order that other people can feel the kingdom of paradise here in the world.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That is a good getaway message. Shira Cion and Kelly Atkins through the Kitka female’s Vocal Ensemble. Their album that is new is “Evening Star.” Thank you both quite definitely.

CION: many thanks a great deal for having us.

ATKINS: Thank you.


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

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Correction Jan. 18, 2019

A past form of the internet summary listed a incorrect record title. Kitka’s showcased record is known as Star, not Harmonies of Heaven and Earth evening.