Oakland Tribune, BEST of the BAY AREA this week >>
BEST of the BAY AREA this week
MUSIC, MUSIC, MUSIC
Put that clinking holiday Muzak aside – Kitka, the acclaimed local vocal ensemble, is on its “Wintersongs” tour.
The women in Kitka have a truly unique sound, blending contemporary stylings with vocal techniques from Eastern Europe that have been distilled over centuries. The group’s latest recording – also called “Wintersongs” (Diaphonic Recordings) – includes pieces from Bulgaria to Belarus and Georgia to Greece.
Kitka’s concert lineup features not just holiday tunes, but pieces of music that have pre-Christian origins celebrating the solstice.
“The music taps into something really essential and ancient,” says Kitka vocalist and executive director Shira Cion.
Using only the pure unaccompanied voice, Kitka – which is also a Bulgarian and Macedonian word for “bouquet” – creates a constantly shifting landscape of sound. The group’s material ranges from ancient village chants to complex contemporary works. The voices are exotic, both elegant eerie, and the melodies hauntingly beautiful. It’s “Christmas music” like you’ve never heard before.
“Wintersongs” concerts are at 8 p.m. Saturday at Mission Blue, 475 Mission Blue Drive, Brisbane, 4 p.m. Sunday at the Lake Merritt Church, 1330 Lakeshore Ave., Oakland, and 8 p.m. Dec. 10 at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 3 Bay View Ave., Belvedere. Call (510) 444-0323 for ticket prices and reservations or visit www.kitka.org. 12/03/04