Kitka Brings ‘Powerful Women’s Voices, Joined Together’ From East To Western

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 new record album, Evening Star.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

The daylight is dwindling away. The solstice comes on Friday. Therefore why don't we listen 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 album "star" features harmonies unique to Balkan, Slavic and Caucasian lands evening. But listed here is the twist - they are offered up by Kitka, an ensemble that is vocal of years standing located in the San Francisco Bay region. Shira Cion may be the team's creative manager. She joins us from 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 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 will begin with you. You are quoted within the press notes saying this music springs from the, estimate, "instinct to get together and sing into the deep, dark heart of wintertime." I enjoy 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, many studies are now actually being released about type of the real and intellectual and social advantages of harmony performing and choral performing. And i believe all of the science is simply demonstrating a thing that Eastern European villagers have understood for hundreds of years, which can be that whenever times are tough, whenever climate conditions are cool, where just surviving through a challenging period actually calls upon communities in the future together, it is an occasion to sing. And I also think performing does carry 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 for the deep, dark heart of wintertime can also be a metaphor, I guess, for the form of music that this is certainly. Let me know exactly exactly what - just exactly exactly how the truth is it.

ATKINS: Well, we also utilize the metaphor regarding the rounds of life. A number of the tracks, while you probably noticed, through the record album are literally about cold weather. Plus some of those are in regards to the cold weather of life. Therefore we sort of see plenty of the tracks that people sing not merely in regards to the holiday breaks on their own but in regards to the rounds we undergo inside our very own everyday lives.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Why don't we pay attention to a little bit of the name track. It really is a song that is bulgarian "Evening Star."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ZVEZDA VECERNICA")

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

GARCIA-NAVARRO: i got eventually to inform you, it is like something profoundly thrumming and ancient. You realize, it comes down - it certainly arises from this kind of crucial destination. It truly does. It's amazing. Kelly, i realize you have history as an indie rocker. Exactly exactly 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 into the pews and simply wept. And I also could not determine what had been taking place for me. Also it simply rocked me personally on a really, extremely deep degree. Therefore I think that has been my gateway medication, even as we call it within the team. 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 here in the usa devoted to Eastern music that is european. There Is Kitka. There is Planina situated in Denver. There is the Yale Slavic Chorus, that has been around very nearly 50 years. Just exactly What do you consider makes.

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

CION: Well, i believe for all of us whom i might state determine as liberal US feminists, there is one thing concerning the quality of powerful women's sounds joined up with together in this really real, extremely close harmony, often dissonant harmony configurations that actually interests a modern American female sensibility.

(SOUNDBITE OF UNIDENTIFIED KITKA SONG)

KITKA LADIES' VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (performing in language).

CION: And they are countries where labor had been typically divided by sex. And females had been used to creating in community and producing music together in community. We were really and truly just speaking about this when you look at the greenroom previous today - exactly just 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 trend that is individualistic America values a great deal. It really is, like.

CION: . Everyone 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 men and women taking part in it.

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

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "V HOSPODARON'KA")

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

GARCIA-NAVARRO: which means 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 ukrainian team. Think about your other travels to execute in Eastern Europe? What https://asiandates.net 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 genuinely had been nervous going. I became thinking, whom have always been We being a us to go and sing these tracks right in front of those individuals where, you understand, they usually have these deep origins with these tracks? But in reality, we had been gotten extremely warmly. Plus it really was an experience that is cathartic both the viewers as well as us.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: therefore, Kelly and Shira, that is to the two of you. What exactly is your song that is favorite on record?

CION: Oh, which is a difficult one.

CION: What do you consider about maybe "Blazentsv"?

ATKINS: Perhaps "Blazentsv."

CION: Yeah. This is simply not theoretically a cold weather 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, living merely to make certain that other people might merely live and seeing that real contentment actually arises from type of going up against the grain of greed and egoism and materialism and physical physical violence and residing carefully, residing kindly to ensure others can have the kingdom of paradise right right here in the world.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That is a good vacation 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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NPR transcripts are manufactured on a rush due date by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced utilizing a proprietary transcription procedure developed with NPR. This text may possibly not be with its final kind and might be updated or revised as time goes by. Accuracy and access might differ. The respected record of NPR’s development could be the sound record.

Correction Jan. 18, 2019

A past type of the internet summary listed an album name that is incorrect. Kitka's showcased album is named Evening celebrity, perhaps not Harmonies of Heaven and world.

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