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A Ukrainian Winter Solstice Offering from Kitka


Its an absolute pleasure filming Kitka this year! It presents a challenge holding focus and frame while your spirit is ascending to the heavens. This was a challenging shoot operating 4 camera simultaneously. Two cams were automated, one operated the old fashioned way and the 4th operated remotely and wireless. Quite a juggling act.

Here is one of more videos to come!


A Ukrainian Winter Solstice Offering from Kitka

Oh, how it was, Vika (Oh, how it was before time began)

Gruzky village, Kyiv-Svyatošinskyi district, Ukraine from the repertoire of Žyvytsia arr. Kelly Atkins, inspired by an interpretation by the Eteria Choir of L’viv

In pre-Christian Ukraine, the holiday of Koliada was celebrated at the Winter Solstice before its rituals were absorbed into festivities surrounding Christmas. Koliada marked and celebrated the mystical birth of the world. This beloved creation carol is still sung around Ukrainian Christmas Eve feast tables.

Oh, how it was forever - Oh, God forbid Oh, how there was no heaven and earth And only there was a blue sea There were lights on that sea Around those lights sat the saints Advising Radonka who to send to the sea Oh, how there was no heaven and earth And only there was a blue sea There were lights on that sea Around those lights sat the saints Advising Radonka who to send to the sea Oh, go, Petro, to the bottom of the sea And get petro the yellow sands And sow all over the world For heaven and earth to be born Sky with stars, Earth with flowers

English translation of Ukrainian text:

Oh, how it was before time began Refrain: Oh, God, let it be... When there was no sky and earth When there was only the blue sea Lights burned on that sea And the holy ones sat around the lights Holding a council to decide whom to send into the sea. 'Oh, go, sister, to the bottom of the sea And bring back some golden sand. Let us sow it all over the world So that the sky and Earth will be born. The sky full with stars, And the Earth covered with flowers'

Heartfelt thanks to Nadia Tarnawsky for translation assistance.

Recorded live on December 17, 2022 at St. Paul's Church, Oakland, California

Performed at WINTERSONGS by KITKA WOMEN'S VOCAL ENSEMBLE: Kelly Atkins (soloist), Stacey Barnett, Barbara Byers, Shira Cion, Erin Lashnits Herman, Hannah Levy, Janet Kutulas, Maclovia Quintana, Katya Schoenberg

Video by Kent Kessinger Live audio by Greg Kuhn and Guy Brenner Mixed by Matt Palmer

Glory to Ukraine!!! May PEACE come soon!

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