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I will remember everything

A collaboration between Kitka and composer Eric Banks that gives voice to the long-censored love poems of "Russia's Sappho", Sophia Parnok.

The Latest Update

Seattle’s Esoterics perform I WILL REMEMBER EVERYTHING

Posted on March 14, 2016 by Kitka, Inc.

The Esoterics, directed by Eric Banks announces:

PARNOK: In that infinite moment
A concert-length “lyric biography” of poems by Russia’s first openly-lesbian poet,
two works composed by Eric Banks: I will remember everything, and On this disappearing day.

Please join The Esoterics for one of these performances of PARNOK:

Friday | 8 Jul 2016 | 800 pm | Seattle | St Stephen’s Episcopal Church | 4805 NE 45th St
Saturday | 9 Jul 2016 | 800 pm | West Seattle | Holy Rosary Catholic Church | 4210 SW Genesee St
Sunday | 10 Jul 2016 | 300 pm | Bainbridge Island | Grace Episcopal Church | 8595 NE Day Rd

General admission ticket prices are $25 at the door ($22 in advance).
Discounted admission ticket prices are $18 at the door ($15 in advance)
for students, seniors, the un(der)employed, and the differently-abled.
Active singers in other choral groups may also attend for $15.

The Esoterics’ SEASON 23 has been sponsored with generous support from: 4Culture
ArtsWA | The Aaron Copland Fund | Classic KING-FM | The Horizons Foundation
The Lutheran Community Foundation | Nikko Media Center | The Renaissance Foundation
The Seattle Foundation | Seattle Office of Arts & Culture

More Updates ▼

Vox Femina Los Angeles performs Eric Banks’ I WILL REMEMBER EVERYTHING in their March 2015 “Forbidden Voices” Program

Posted on March 9, 2016 by Kitka, Inc.

Excerpts from Eric Banks’ epic lyric biography of Sophia Parnok, I WILL REMEMBER EVERYTHING, commissioned and premiered by Kitka with generous support from New Music USA received a repeat performance in Los Angeles by Vox Femina, directed by Iris Levine last March.

I WILL REMEMBER EVERYTHING CD Released on Terpsichore/Diaphonica Record Labels

Posted on March 9, 2016 by Kitka, Inc.

We are pleased to announce that Eric Banks’ I WILL REMEMBER EVERYTHING: A LYRIC BIOGRAPHY OF SOPHIA PARNOK is now available on CD from Terpsichore/Diaphonica Records. CDs can be ordered directly from Kitka (http://www.kitka.org/store). The disc is also being distributed internationally by Naxos.


Kitka requests support for the commissioning, premiere performances, and recording of I will remember everything. An evening-length work, I will remember everything will be composed and directed by Eric Banks. The piece will premiere June 20-22, 2014 at St. Gregory’s Church, San Francisco and The Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland as part of the 17th National Queer Arts Festival, and New Music Bay Area’s Annual Garden of Memory. Following these performances, Kitka and Banks will record the work, to be distributed by Naxos. Negotiations are underway for a Bay Area CD release concert, co-presented by the Jewish Music Festival during Women’s History Month 2015. Additional engagements for the work are being pursued as part of a CD release tour, and three other ensembles (Vox Femina, LA Lorelei, Boston; and The Esoterics, Seattle) have committed to repeat performances.


I will remember everything gives voice to the long-censored love poems of “Russia’s Sappho”, Sophia Parnok. Born to a Jewish intellectual family, Parnok was Russia’s first openly lesbian poet. Parnok authored five volumes of poetry, numerous translations, and the libretti of several operas, one of which became a major hit at The Bolshoi Theater. Parnok was also, for a time, the lover of Marina Tsvetaeva, one of Russia’s most cherished poets. Their passionate affair is recorded in Parnok’s first book of verse, published in 1916. It took 12 more years of frankly drawn love before Soviet censors deemed Parnok’s voice unlawful. Unable to publish after 1928, and without the support of Russia’s literary establishment, Parnok fell into oblivion.


I will remember everything tells Parnok’s story through the poems she wrote to the women she loved, including Tsvetaeva. Banks writes: “I chose 28 poems and verse fragments to stand as the libretto. Together they form a chronological narrative of the poet’s writing between 1903 and 1933. I also translated the poems, which will be sung in both Parnok’s mother tongue and in English. As a nod to Parnok’s heritage, I chose to set her poetry in four Russian Jewish musical modes. With this piece I hope to convey something of the beauty, intensity, and tragedy of Parnok’s life—and to give long-overdue recognition to the poet’s substantial literary gifts.”


Kitka has deep ties to the Black Sea region where Parnok lived, having traveled there to perform and collect traditional repertoire. Over the past decade and a half, Kitka has also demonstrated a serious commitment to new music, having collaborated with more than 30 composers, including David Lang, Chen Yi, Pauline Oliveros, Mariana Sadovska, Richard Einhorn, and Meredith Monk.


On the occasion of the premiere of I will remember everything at the National Queer Arts Festival, Kitka and Banks also stand as devoted allies of the rights of women and sexual minorities. Russia’s recent anti-LGBT propaganda law and the surge in hate crimes against the LGBT community are a disturbing reminder of the vital work that remains to be done before Parnok’s example of free and unabashed expression is embraced instead of punished.

Project Media

“Voyage of the Beagle” from Richard Einhorn’s “The Origin”
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Features: Kitka, Inc.

This is a movement of an evening-length work co-commissioned by Kitka and ArtsWego at SUNY Oswego. THE ORIGIN (2009) is an oratorio by Richard Einhorn (with film by Bill Morrison) about the life and work of Charles Darwin. THE ORIGIN is scored for soprano, baritone, symphony orchestra, symphony chorus, and features Kitka as “the voice of Charles Darwin.” This work commemorated the 150th Anniversary of the publication of Darwin’s “On The Origin of Species”. This recording showcases Kitka’s vocal range and command of extended vocal techniques.

“Zablejalo mi e agunce” (The bleating lamb) by Krasimir Kjurkchijski
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Features: Kitka, Inc.

This recording shows Kitka singing a work by Bulgarian composer Krasimir Kjurkchijski (1936-2012). This piece showcases a contrasting side of Kitka’s ensemble sound, employing Balkan folkloric text and vocal production in a contemporary music setting. The soprano soloist is Tzvetanka Varimezova. This recording was made at the World Festival of Sacred Music Los Angeles at First Lutheran Church of Venice on October 1, 2012.

Movements XI-XV from Eric Banks’ “I am among them”
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Features: Eric Banks

“I am among them” is a double-choral stream-of-consciousness cantata, composed by Eric Banks. The piece sets to music excerpts from 18 poems by Eric Slocum, from his blog, “The eternity door.”

This work was premiered by The Esoterics in the concert series ÆONIA
and at the Seattle Sings Choral Festival on 20 21 22 Sep and 12 Oct 2013. The work was recorded on September 10 and 15, 2013 at Queen Anne Christian Church in Seattle.

Start and End Dates



San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, California

3 updates
Last update on March 14, 2016

Project Created By

Oakland, California
Kitka is an American women’s vocal arts ensemble inspired by traditional songs and vocal techniques from Eastern Europe and Eurasia. Dedicated to developing appreciation for music rooted in Balkan, Slavic, and Caucasian women’s vocal traditions, Kitka also strives to expand the boundaries of folk song as a living and evolving expressive art form. Kitka’s activities…

In Collaboration With

Composer, guest music director
Seattle, Washington
Premiere performance co-presenter
San Francisco, California
Ensemble committed to repeat performance in Los Angeles


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