Todd Kitchens ’06 and Hannah Tarkinson, who make up the musical duo Port of Est, are coming out with their first album, featuring the single “Valentine in My Headphones.”

Recognizing that any pop song needs a video, they approached COA faculty member Nancy Andrews to be the director, and suggested involving students in its creation. Nancy
recognized that the students in her Intermediate Video course could treat this as a real world project, and Port of Est as a realistic client. They prepared pitches, shot footage, and edited the work to shape a video which would meet the musicians’ esthetic and vision. The product included scratch animation created by students in Nancy’s animation course.

Film professor Nancy AndrewsFilm professor Nancy AndrewsStudents in the video class collaborated on shooting segments, worked as a crew, learned green screen and chroma-keying, shot footage based on the story from their client, layered the work, and made edits. Port of Est chose from a half dozen edits as the class worked toward the final product. Nancy found that her role was not one of a director in the traditional sense, but rather one of coordinating students.

While alumnus Todd Kitchens spends much of his time working as an Osteopathic Physician, he also collaborates with musicians. In 2013, he and vocalist Hannah Tarkinson formed Port of Est, an experimental/electronic pop duo.

“We want people to feel like they stumbled upon a sonic landscape that is both subtle and blindingly intense,” the duo said.

Moody and luminous, Port of Est transposes their cinematic nature in their debut tracks, “Transparent,” “Valentine In My Headphones,” and “Kamikaze,” precursors to the duo’s forthcoming full-length release.

“This was a great chance to work with an alumnus to continue to build our vibrant COA community. Students get to connect to others who are practicing their own brand of human ecology.”

She was most impressed by the levels of collaboration, she said.

“I found it remarkable that students could come together and produce a piece that feels quite singular,” Andrews said.  

The Strange Eyes of Dr. Myes, by COA film prof. Nancy Andrews, is the Imagine Science Outstanding Feature for 2015.The Strange Eyes of Dr. Myes, by COA film prof. Nancy Andrews, is the Imagine Science Outstanding Feature for 2015.