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 group’s brand brand new record record album, Evening celebrity.
LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
The daylight is dwindling away. The solstice comes on Friday. Therefore let us pay attention to some songs that are warming Eastern Europe that celebrate the summer season upon us.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “MOMCI KOLEDARCI”)
KITKA LADIES’ VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (Performing in Bulgarian).
GARCIA-NAVARRO: The record album “star” features harmonies unique to Balkan, Slavic and Caucasian lands evening. But here is the twist – they may be offered up by Kitka, a vocal ensemble of several years standing situated in the bay area 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 around, Lulu. Many thanks.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Also with us is Kelly Atkins. She is another Kitkat – i believe that is just what you call yourselves, appropriate?
KELLY ATKINS: It Really Is, yes. Hi.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Hi. Shira, i’ll focus on you. You are quoted when you look at the press records saying this music springs from a, quote, “instinct to get together and sing into the deep, dark heart of wintertime.” I favor that, by the way. Performs this music help bring the body temperature up?
CION: they really think it most likely does. And it’s really been interesting. You realize, a lot of studies are actually being released about type of the real and cognitive 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 recognized for centuries, which can 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 an occasion to sing. And I also think performing does carry 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 regarding the deep, dark heart of wintertime can be a metaphor, i suppose, regarding the variety of music that this is certainly. Let me know just exactly what – just exactly how it is seen by you.
ATKINS: Well, we additionally make use of the metaphor regarding the rounds of life. A few of the tracks, while you probably noticed, through the record album are literally about cold weather. Plus some of these are concerning the cold temperatures of life. So 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: let us tune in to a little bit of the name track. It’s a song that is bulgarian “Evening celebrity.”
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “ZVEZDA VECERNICA”)
KITKA LADIES’ VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (Performing in Bulgarian).
GARCIA-NAVARRO: i eventually got to let you know, it https://rose-brides.com/asian-brides feels as though something profoundly thrumming and ancient. You realize, it comes down – it certainly originates from this kind of crucial spot. It surely does. It really is amazing. Kelly, i am aware you have back ground being an indie rocker. Just just What got you thinking about Eastern European music that is vocal?
ATKINS: Well, the time that is first 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 what had been taking place if you ask me. And it also just rocked me personally on a tremendously, extremely deep degree. Therefore I think that has been my gateway medication, once we call it into the team. Just about everybody has our gateway medication of Bulgarian choir music.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) Shira, individuals additionally can be amazed to find out that there is really many vocal teams right here in the us focusing on Eastern music that is european. There Is Kitka. There is Planina based in Denver. There is the Yale Slavic Chorus, that has been around nearly 50 years. Just What do you consider makes.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: . The songs so irresistible to feminine vocalists?
CION: Well, i believe for everyone of us whom I would personally state recognize as liberal US feminists, there is 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.
(SOUNDBITE OF UNIDENTIFIED SONG that is KITKA
KITKA LADIES’ VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (performing in spanish).
CION: And they are countries where labor ended up being usually split by sex. And females had been used to producing in community and producing music together in community. We had been really just dealing with this into the greenroom earlier today – just 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 kind of highly individualistic trend that 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 also this is actually a form that is communal can definitely just fly whenever there is a residential area of individuals taking part in it.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Why don’t we pay attention now up to a carol that is ukrainian your record album.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “V HOSPODARON’KA”)
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 straight back and met up by having a group that is ukrainian. How about your other travels to execute 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 was my first-time with Kitka traveling abroad and performing Serbian music to Serbians. And I also truthfully ended up being stressed going. I happened to be thinking, whom have always been We being a american to go and sing these tracks in the front of the individuals where, you understand, they usually have these deep roots with these songs? But in reality, we had been gotten really warmly. And it also really was an experience that is cathartic both the viewers as well as for us.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So, Kelly and Shira, this can be to you both. What is your song that is favorite on record?
CION: Oh, which is a challenging one.
CION: What do you believe about maybe “Blazentsv”?
ATKINS: Possibly “Blazentsv.”
CION: Yeah. This is not technically 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 is a musical setting of “The Beatitudes” by the Russian composer Vladimir Martynov. And, you understand, they are calling the listener to embody qualities of generosity and compassion and kindness, residing just to ensure that other people might just live and simply because contentment that is true arises from sort of going resistant to the grain of greed and egoism and materialism and physical physical violence and living carefully, residing kindly in order that other people can have the kingdom of paradise right right here on the planet.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: This is certainly a good vacation message. Shira Cion and Kelly Atkins through the Kitka female’s Vocal Ensemble. Their brand new record is called “Evening Star.” Many thanks 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).
Copyright © 2018 NPR. All liberties reserved. See our site terms of good use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for more info.
NPR transcripts are manufactured for a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced utilizing a transcription that is proprietary developed with NPR. This text may possibly not be with its form that is final and be updated or revised in the foreseeable future. Accuracy and accessibility may differ. The respected record of NPR’s development may be the record that is audio.
Correction Jan. 18, 2019
A past form of the internet summary listed a wrong record album name. Kitka’s showcased record is named Star, not Harmonies of Heaven and Earth evening.