SVITANYA (svee-TAH-nya), which means "the light at sunrise" in Croatian and Ukrainian, is a seven-member women's vocal ensemble that specializes in music from Eastern Europe. "First Light" includes songs from Bulgaria, Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Croatia, Lithuania, Serbia, Macedonia & Georgia. Most of the songs are a capella vocals, joined by musicians on traditional instruments on a few tracks.
"First Light" includes songs that exude the spirit of traditional village music. Some songs are modern arrangements, some from village source recordings, and all songs are sung in their original languages. They range from strong and strident field-working songs to traditional dance tunes to lush and emotive arrangements, evoking the timbres, rhythms, and harmonies indigenous to the region.
Most every song tells a story; some songs celebrate the mundane events of daily life, like cutting wheat in the fields or strolling in the street with musicians, and others depict life's more poignant moments, such as losing a loved one to war or being married off while too young.
What people are saying about SVITANYA:
"Pure, unaccompanied voices rising and resounding as one. It's angelic." -- Philadelphia City Paper (December 8, 2004)
"Combining flawless intonation and inspired interpretation, Svitanya brings the traditional vocal music of Eastern Europe to life. As an on-air radio producer, I can attest that playing their music always results in enthusiastic audience response. As a listener, the greatest compliment I can give to a performer of World Music is 'the music takes me there.' The range of Svitanya's wonderful voices TAKES ME THERE." -- Chuck Elliott, host of "Sleepy Hollow," WXPN radio
"A word to the wise: Svitanya sings like a gathering of angels. To attend a performance by them is a blessing." -- Ret Turner, Heritage Dance Festival
"Svitanya gives us what Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares cannot: intimacy. Whether in concert, in recording, or in the middle of a circle of dancers, they make us feel like part of their musical family." -- Bill Wadlinger, Coordinator, Beaver Folk Dance