The third CD release from internationally-renowned women's choral group KITKA, The Vine represents a further excursion into the musical traditions of Bulgaria, Russia, Hungary, Bosnia, Albania, Ukraine, Macedonia, Croatia and Georgia. This American 8-voice ensemble, based in the SF Bay Area,, performs the enchanting harmonies of the Balkan region "with flawless intonation, rhythmic precision and consistent beauty of tone...The melodies' unusual harmonies, rooted in village cultures ancient and earthy, include striking juxtapositions and rhythmic sophistication." (Jason Serinus, Bay Area Reporter)
Recorded in the sublime acoustic environment of Skywalker Ranch in Marin County, California, The Vine also features well-known instrumentalists Peter Maund (percussion), Shira Kammen (rebec and vielle), Linda Tillery (cajón and djembe) and Cheryl Ann Fulton (lever harp).
The Vine begins with a beautiful arrangement of a Bulgarian song Subrali Sa Se Subrali , which tells the mysterious story of a group of young women spinners who lie down to sleep. Upon awakening, they discover various pieces of clothing and jewelry missing. An interplay between the quotidian and the symbolic, the particular and the universal, haunts many of these songs, bringing a poignancy that is heightened by KITKA's haunting harmonies. The songs express the range of women's experience, from love and heartbreak, healing, motherhood, a deep connection to nature and spirit, as well as women's particular experience of wartime strife, as in the Bulgarian lament Dor Tri Mi Pushki Pukama:
Three rifles fired, three heroes fell.
Three heroes fell, three mothers wept.