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

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

12 Agosto 2019

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

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

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Flipboard
  • E-mail

For four decades, the Oakland ensemble Kitka has sung intricate harmonies from Eastern Europe. Users Shira Cion and Kelly Atkins talk about the team’s brand new record record record album, Evening celebrity.


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 summer season upon us.


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

GARCIA-NAVARRO: The record album “Evening Star” features harmonies unique to Balkan, Slavic and Caucasian lands. But here is the twist – they are offered up by Kitka, a vocal ensemble of several years standing located in the san francisco bay area Bay region. Shira Cion may be the team’s creative 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 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 when you look at the press records saying this music springs from a, estimate, “instinct to get together and sing within the deep, dark heart of wintertime.” I enjoy that, in addition. Performs this music help bring up the body’s temperature?

CION: they really think it most likely does. And it is been interesting. You realize, a lot of studies are now actually being released about kind of the real and intellectual and social advantages of 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 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 really is a period 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 survive through attempting times.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Kelly, that image of this deep, dark heart of wintertime can be a metaphor, i assume, of this types of music that this can be. Tell me just exactly just what – just exactly exactly how the truth is it.

ATKINS: Well, we additionally make use of the metaphor associated with the rounds of life. A number of the songs, as you probably noticed, through the record are literally about wintertime. And some of those are concerning the cold weather of life. So we sort of see plenty of the tracks that individuals 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 title track. It’s 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 profoundly thrumming and ancient. You understand, it comes down – it truly arises from this type of crucial destination. It certainly does. It is amazing. Kelly, you are understood by me have history as an indie rocker. Just What got you enthusiastic 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 into the pews and simply wept. And I also could not determine what ended up being occurring in my opinion. Also it just rocked me personally on an extremely, very level that is deep. Thus I think that has been my gateway medication, even as we call it into the team. Just about everyone has our gateway medication of Bulgarian choir music.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) Shira, people additionally could be astonished to discover that there is really numerous vocal groups right here in the us devoted to Eastern European music. There Is Kitka. There is Planina situated in Denver. There is the Yale Slavic Chorus, which was around nearly 50 years. exactly What do you consider makes.

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

CION: Well, i do believe for everyone of us whom I would personally state recognize as liberal American feminists, there is something in regards to the quality of effective women’s sounds joined up with together in this extremely real, really close harmony, sometimes 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 had been usually split by sex. And females had been used to creating in community and music that is creating in community. We had been really just speaking about this when you look at the greenroom previous today – exactly just how most of us whom sing in Kitka are much more oriented in direction of kind of collective and harmony singing 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: . 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 only fly whenever there is a residential district of men and women taking part in it.

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


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

GARCIA-NAVARRO: which means this is clearly a carol that is ukrainian New Year’s. And also you really traveled here some time straight back and met up having a group that is ukrainian. Think about your other travels to do 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: plus it had been my very first time with Kitka traveling abroad and performing Serbian music to Serbians. And I also seriously foreign brides had been stressed going. I happened to be thinking, whom have always been We being A us to go and sing these tracks in the front of the people where, you realize, they usually have these roots that are deep 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 for us.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: therefore, Kelly and Shira, this is certainly to the two of you. What exactly is your favorite track in the record?

CION: Oh, that is a tough one.

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

ATKINS: Possibly “Blazentsv.”

CION: Yeah. This is simply not technically 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 composer that is russian Martynov. And, you realize, they are calling the listener to embody characteristics of generosity and compassion and kindness, residing just in order for other people might merely live and seeing that contentment that is true originates from style of going from the grain of greed and egoism and materialism and physical violence and living carefully, residing kindly in order that other people can have the kingdom of paradise right 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 album that is new is “Evening Star.” Thank you both quite definitely.

CION: many thanks plenty for having us.

ATKINS: many thanks.


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

Copyright © 2018 NPR. All liberties reserved. See our site terms of good use and permissions pages at for more info.

NPR transcripts are made for 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 form that is final and be updated or revised as time goes by. Accuracy and accessibility might vary. The respected record of NPR’s development may be the record that is audio.

Correction Jan. 18, 2019

A past version of the internet summary listed a wrong record album name. Kitka’s showcased record is named Star, not Harmonies of Heaven and Earth evening.

About the Author