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


The daylight is dwindling away. The solstice comes on Friday. Therefore let us listen 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 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 region. Shira Cion could be the group’s creative manager. She joins us through the studios of KQED. Welcome.

SHIRA CION: so excellent to be here, Lulu. Many thanks.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: additionally with us is Kelly Atkins. She actually is another Kitkat – i do believe that’s exactly what you call yourselves, appropriate?

KELLY ATKINS: It Really Is, yes. Hi.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Hi. Shira, i will begin with 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.” Everyone loves that, by the way. Performs this music help bring the body temperature up?

CION: they really think it probably does. And it’s really been interesting. You realize, a lot of 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 just appearing a thing that Eastern European villagers have actually understood for hundreds of years, which can be that after times are tough, whenever climate conditions are cold, where just surviving through an arduous period actually calls upon communities in the future together, it is an occasion 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 of this deep, dark heart of wintertime can also be a metaphor, i suppose, associated with types of music that this really is. Let me know just exactly what – exactly exactly how it is seen by you.

ATKINS: Well, we additionally utilize the metaphor regarding the cycles of life. A few of the tracks, while you probably noticed, through the album are literally about cold temperatures. Plus some of those are concerning the cold weather of life. Therefore we sort of see plenty of the tracks that people go through in our own lives that we sing not only about the holidays themselves but about the cycles.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Why don’t we pay attention to a little bit of the name track. It is A bulgarian song – “Evening celebrity.”


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

GARCIA-NAVARRO: i got eventually to let you know, it is like something deeply thrumming and ancient. You understand, it comes – it certainly arises from this type of essential spot. It surely does. It is amazing. Kelly, i realize you have back ground being an indie rocker. just What got you thinking 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 in the pews and simply wept. And I also couldn’t find out exactly what ended up being taking place for me. And it also simply rocked me personally on a tremendously, 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 could be astonished to discover that there is really numerous vocal teams right right here in the us focusing on Eastern European music. There Is Kitka. There is Planina located in Denver. There is the Yale Slavic Chorus, which was around very nearly 50 years. Just just What do you consider makes.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: . The thereforengs so irresistible to feminine vocalists?

CION: Well, i do believe for all of us whom I would personally state determine as liberal US feminists, there is one thing in regards to the quality of effective ladies’ voices joined together in this extremely real, really close harmony, often dissonant harmony designs that actually attracts a modern American feminine sensibility.


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

CION: And they are countries where work ended up being usually split by sex. And females had been familiar with producing in community and producing music together in community. We had been really and truly just speaking about this into the greenroom previous today – just exactly exactly how most of us who sing in Kitka are much more oriented towards 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 really is, like.

CION: . Every person to.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: The solamente musician.

CION: . Themself (ph).

CION: The solamente musician. And also this is truly a form that is communal really can just fly whenever there is a residential district of individuals taking part in it.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: let us pay attention now up to A ukrainian carol from your record album.


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

GARCIA-NAVARRO: which means this is really a carol that is ukrainian New season’s. And also you really traveled here some time straight back and met up with a group that is ukrainian. How about your other travels to execute in Eastern Europe? What is been the effect from audiences?

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

ATKINS: also it had been my very first time with Kitka traveling abroad and performing music that is serbian Serbians. And I also genuinely had been stressed going. I happened to be thinking, whom am We as a us to go and sing these tracks right in front of those individuals where, you understand, they will have these roots that are deep these tracks? But in reality, we had been gotten extremely 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 is certainly to you both. What exactly is your song that is favorite on record?

CION: Oh, that is a difficult one.

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

ATKINS: Possibly “Blazentsv.”

CION: Yeah. This is simply not theoretically a wintertime track. But it is a track during the holiday season that we feel articulates qualities that we all try to summon in ourselves. It really is a musical environment of “The Beatitudes” by the Russian composer Vladimir Martynov. And, you understand, they are calling the listener to embody characteristics of generosity and compassion and kindness, residing just to ensure other people might just live and simply because real contentment actually arises from type of going resistant to the grain of greed and egoism and materialism and physical physical violence and residing carefully, residing kindly to make certain that other people can have the kingdom of paradise here in the world.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That is a good vacation message. Shira Cion and Kelly Atkins from 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.



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Correction Jan. 18, 2019

A past form of the net summary listed an album name that is incorrect. Kitka’s featured record is known as Evening celebrity, perhaps not Harmonies of Heaven and world.

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