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, Star evening.
LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
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 season upon us.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MOMCI KOLEDARCI")
KITKA LADIES' VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (Performing in Bulgarian).
GARCIA-NAVARRO: The record record album "Evening brides-to-be.com review Star" features harmonies unique to Balkan, Slavic and Caucasian lands. But listed here is the twist - they may be offered up by Kitka, an ensemble that is vocal of years standing located in the bay area Bay region. Shira Cion may be the team's artistic 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 is another Kitkat - i do believe that is what you call yourselves, right?
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 notes saying this music springs from the, estimate, "instinct to get together and sing within the deep, dark heart of wintertime." I enjoy that, in addition. Performs 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 type of the real and intellectual and social advantages of harmony performing and singing that is choral. And i believe all of the science is simply appearing 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 simply surviving through a hard period actually calls upon communities in the future together, it is a period to sing. And I also think performing does raise spirits. It does kind of synchronize our organisms together. I truly do think it can help us endure through attempting times.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Kelly, that image associated with the deep, dark heart of wintertime can also be a metaphor, i suppose, associated with sort of music that this might be. Let me know exactly exactly what - just exactly how the thing is that it.
ATKINS: Well, we additionally make use of the metaphor associated with rounds of life. A number of the tracks, while you probably noticed, through the record are literally about cold weather. And some of these are concerning the cold weather of life. Therefore we sort of see plenty of the tracks that individuals sing not just concerning the vacations on their own but concerning the rounds that individuals proceed through inside our very own life.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: let us tune in to a little bit of the name track. It is A bulgarian track - "Evening Star."
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ZVEZDA VECERNICA")
KITKA LADIES' VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (Performing in Bulgarian).
GARCIA-NAVARRO: i got eventually to let you know, it is like something profoundly ancient and thrumming. You understand, it comes down - it surely arises from this kind of important destination. It certainly does. It really is amazing. Kelly, you are understood by me have back ground being an indie rocker. Just just What got you enthusiastic about Eastern European music that is vocal?
ATKINS: Well, the very first time we saw the Bulgarian Women's Choir, I happened to be at Grace Cathedral. And I also sat within the pews and simply wept. And I also could not determine exactly what had been occurring if you ask me. Plus it simply rocked me personally on a rather, very deep degree. And so I think that has been my gateway drug, even as we call it when you look at the team. Just about everyone has our gateway medication of Bulgarian choir music.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) Shira, individuals additionally could be amazed to discover that there is really numerous vocal teams right right here in the usa focusing on Eastern European music. There Is Kitka. There is Planina located in Denver. There is the Yale Slavic Chorus, that has been around very nearly 50 years. Exactly exactly just What do you consider makes.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: . The songs so irresistible to feminine vocalists?
CION: Well, i do believe for anyone of us whom I would personally state recognize as liberal US feminists, there is one thing in regards to the quality of effective ladies' sounds joined together in this really real, really harmony that is close often dissonant harmony designs that actually attracts a contemporary American feminine sensibility.
(SOUNDBITE OF UNIDENTIFIED SONG that is KITKA
KITKA LADIES' VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (performing in language).
CION: And these are countries where work ended up being typically split by sex. And females were familiar with producing in community and music that is creating in community. We had been really just dealing with this within the greenroom previous today - exactly exactly exactly 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 performing. And I also think it type of counters the kind of highly trend that is individualistic America values a great deal. It is, like.
CION: . Everybody to.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: The solo musician.
CION: . Themself (ph).
CION: The solo musician. And also this is actually a public type that really can just fly whenever there is a residential area of men and women taking part in it.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: let us pay attention now up to A ukrainian carol from your record album.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "V HOSPODARON'KA")
KITKA LADIES' VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (Performing 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 back and met up with 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: and it also 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, who have always been We as a us to go and sing these tracks right in front among these individuals where, you understand, they will have these deep origins with these tracks? However in reality, we had been gotten extremely warmly. Also it really was an experience that is cathartic both the viewers as well as us.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: therefore, Kelly and Shira, this might be to you both. What exactly is your favorite song regarding the record album?
CION: Oh, that is a hardcore one.
CION: What you think about maybe "Blazentsv"?
ATKINS: Perhaps "Blazentsv."
CION: Yeah. This is not theoretically a cold temperatures track. But it is a track that individuals feel articulates qualities that individuals 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 just to make certain that other people might simply live and simply because contentment that is true originates from variety of going from the grain of greed and egoism and materialism and physical physical violence and residing carefully, residing kindly to ensure that other people can have the kingdom of paradise right right right here in the world.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: This is certainly a good holiday 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: many thanks.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ZAPOVEDI BLAZENSTV/ THE BEATITUDES")
KITKA LADIES' VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (Performing in Russian).
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Correction Jan. 18, 2019