It's so great to be back in Timiskaming First Nation! It's a brand new Wapikoni mobile studio that has arrived in TFN, just in time for spring! Almost as soon as our driver/technician Jean-François parked the trailer, in the same spot as last year's stopover, the good people of TFN Public Works arrived with their trusty backhoe to help us level the ground, and proceded to connect the electricity. We would like to extend a sincere miigwetch to them and to the Band for their since legendary hospitality.
Last year's sensation Bryan Chief got word of our return and paid us a visit. He wants to record a song in hommage to all the nurses that have taken care of him over the years, but he didn't know any guitar player who could accompany him. Well, a quick stop to the local radio took care of that; Dominic, the radio host, whom we met for a quick interview promoting the stopover, is also a veteran guitarist, more than willing to accompany Bryan's singing and Q-chording. Turns out Dominic is also interested in recording a music video for one of his murderballads, reminiscent of Nick Cave and Johnny Cash.
Nicholas Rodgers, last year's director of the film Taysashay, feels right at home in Wapikoni's mobile studio. This year, he wants to focus on his passion for movie props, costumes and cosmetics. He is already very knowledgeable in this domain and only needed the right project to let his creativity soar. His good friend Darrell McBride (Kill the Mosquitoes) took care of that with his new and more ambitious than ever music video project, for his band Friendly Fire and their song Residential School Syndrome. This punk song written by his sister/drummer Kelly McBride and cousin/bassist Alison McBride holds no prisoners in its critique of the federal government's cultural assimilation initiative towards First Nations. Darrell wants to illustrate the impact that residential schooling has had on the Native children who were the innocent victims of this sad episode of Canadian history. Period film aesthetics will mix with horror movie visuals in order for the message to really hit home. Nicholas is actively working on building these visuals and Darrell has found local volunteer actors who will be dressed in 1940's apparel.
More projects are on the way. The Timiskaming Youth Council, a new initiative since last year, want to make a video to promote youth leadership, and one of its members, Dayna, has mobilized her entire family for a film project revolving around their love of music. We will share more details as these projects evolve.