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Blog

New Jersey video production blog of Yeti Nest Films

Stepping Up to the Challenge

Nick Patrick

First project I had a blast just being the editor of. Thanks to Christopher King at Endless Echo. Props extended to him for producing this project and making it back home with all is toes and fingers:

 

Brilliant Musician’s First Music Video

Nick Patrick

Among travelers, there is a simple understanding that every day you wake up in the morning not exactly knowing what today may bring.

On assignment in Kenya with Kiwimbi Global last August, it was my job this particular day to film and document a group of family members and friends demonstrating their craft of traditional clay pottery. Their location, a two hour 4x4 ride to a far-out-from-rural community in the Teso tribe region of Kenya. My group showed up and after brief handshakes and introductions I noticed instruments placed to the side. They were unlike any instruments I had ever seen before; I could tell they were handmade. Most impressive was the drum set; its drum heads were made out of either a cow or goat canvas. The “cymbals” were simply designed from a dozen or so bottle caps threaded together on a string, and then the whole piece was colored with local pigments. Their use and repurposing of the elements in their environment was clever, creative, and impressive! The main descriptive word I’d like to use, however, is respectable. Respectable because that is a cultural facet most of us Americans lost sight of long ago. All of this was so cool, but the most memorable part was the sound and energy of these potters, now I’ve learned musicians, as they performed! It was my goal to record some local music during my stay in Kenya to complement the Kiwimbi Documentary, but the amazing music these guys were playing, the setting of their village, the visuals of the instruments, AND a whole group of backup dancers created a scene that was just screaming MUSIC VIDEO! The South Teso Jazz Band was ALIVE and performing a set potentially for the first time to people outside their area and certainly the first time to Americans and Europeans. In addition, this is the first time EVER they are being recorded.

As a huge music lover I’ve been to a ton of concerts of all scales, however I can't think of a more pure live music experience then what happened that day: villagers coming together, building their own instruments, crafting them out of found and local materials, self-teaching and learning from one another, and then hearing the full, deep, and reverberating sounds of what all of that produces.. Amazing!

I woke up this day thinking I was going to see and film pottery, and then I fell into such a cool and memorable music experience. I had a blast creating what is, from a technical view, a simple music video, but the value here is much much larger. This video is the first time their music is being shared to the entire world, thanks to the internet, and that is beyond a cool thing in general, but especially to them individually.  

It was a beautiful exchange of gifts. I am honored to have been a part of that exchange and I’d like to thank Kiwimbi for organizing the logistics to make that opportunity happen. I hope you enjoy their music and please do share. With the help of this exposure, it would be so cool to see The South Teso Jazz band get the chance travel and be invited to world fairs, festivals, and similar events. Not only to share their magical talents, but to have the opportunity to carve out a livelihood from their music. That would mean the world to them. Many thanks.    
The excitement of the daily unknowns is the whole reason we venture out. This was the first project edited in the mobile studio of the Yeti Nest. Excited to see what the next day, adventure, and project will bring.

The Spirit of Helping One Another

Nick Patrick

Our friend Nancy has the biggest heart and a firing spirit. I first met Nancy two years ago when I had just finished a 340 mile bike tour in Alpine, TX.  That day I had an Amtrak train ticket to the El Paso Airport where I was then going to fly home back to New Jersey. The train was a dreadful few hours late, and subsequently so, I was certain to miss my flight home. Nancy overheard my story at the local cafe and offered to give me (and another stranger from Alaska, now our good friend named Feldman) a ride to the airport. The airport was 4 hours round trip! I'll never forget that act of kindness. 

We’ve kept in tough since then. I of course had to pay her a visit when we were back in the Big Bend, TX area, it was so great to catch up with her. She offered her home as a safe base for a couple days while we finished the solar electrical work on the Yeti Nest and some truck repairs before heading deeper into the desert. 

When traveling you meet some great people, and Nancy is one of the GREATEST of greats. She donates much of her time to her community and is very active in issues she is passionate about. When I was visiting her, she was leading a committee focused on elephant rights. Their aim was to have legislation release them from the repressive and destructive lives they live in the traveling circus. Throughout my travels, I feel energized to “pay it forward” whenever I see or hear a person in need. Thanks to Nancy for cultivating that human spirt that seems to be fading from our world, and spreading it out like wildfire!

First Stop - Harrisonburg, VA at Dana's

Nick Patrick

Dana is a friend I met back home a handful of years ago. She has the sweetest personality and is just a freaking blast to be around. I was so excited to see her and she was equally happy to host me on the first night. It was a late night so we mainly caught up over coffee and bagels in the am. I showed her the Yeti Nest, well, she jumped in and got all cozied up before I could give her the grand tour. Our time was short, but it felt wonderful to have a piece of home away from home the first night. Thanks Dana, you're amazing and wish we could have spent more time together, you're one of my favorites! Now, I head straight for Texas!       

...The Adventure Begins!

Nick Patrick

It was a hectic lead-up to the nest's launch date. I was up till 4:30 am packing. Kessiah and I worked on the rig right on up to the final minute the next day. She placed all the bedding and made it all cozy looking. She also hand wove some great handles things such as the silverware drawer and hanging plant vase. It was an overwhelming feeling of seeing the nest all come together for the very first time and having to get on the road. Nothing can prepare you for leaving your home for a long tour, especially having to say goodbye to the ones you love. I wanted to get together with my friends and family to show them the Yeti Nest and see them before I left. Unfortunately, time didn't allow. I was really bummed about that, however I was just happy Kessiah was there. We took some photos of us together, and then said our goodbyes. I hate goodbyes, they are never easy. I realized how lucky I am to have someone that makes saying goodbye so hard. "Goodbyes are not the end. Goodbyes are not forever. They simply mean I'll miss you until we meet again." ...And here we go!