Shira Cion

Thomas Pacha

Kitka is a women's singing ensemble based in Oakland. For 35 years, the group has been singing songs drawn from Eastern European vocal traditions. What began as an informal group of singers with a passion for those Eastern European harmonies and rhythms has grown into a critically-acclaimed professional ensemble. They sing in over a dozen languages, and they'll be performing their annual concert of Wintersongs this weekend in the Bay Area.

  

Uncovering a censored lesbian poet from Russia’s Silver Age. As Russia continues its anti-gay crackdown, Oakland-based women’s chorus Kitka performs "I will remember everything," a world premiere of a cappella music that gives voice to poems by Sophia Parnok, a censored lesbian poet from Russia’s Silver Age a century ago.  Some call Parnok “Russia’s Sappho.” Out in the Bay's Eric Jansen and Nora Elmeligy stopped by Kitka's rehearsal Monday night to capture some of the sumptuous music being prepared for the June 20-22 premiere, and to speak with Kitka director and singer Shira Cion and composer Eric Banks, who translated Parnok’s poems and set them to music, about their inspiration for this concert.  Broadcast: 7pm PDT Thursday, June 12, on kalw.org + 91.7 FM SF Bay Area. [photo: Myles Boisen]