El Laudero

Building the instruments awaking music within us.

El Laudero is part of the Rhythm Archaeologies series curated by Miguel Buenrostros, a contemplative look at the musical life of different cultures. With El Laudero, renowned musician Jose Luis Fuentes from Oaxaca, Mexico shares his knowledge of instrument making and traditional South Mexican music.

El Son Mazateco, Son Mixteco and las Chilenas del Pacífico are musical traditions that carry Mexican folklore through the southern villages and towns of the country. But while we immediately recognize musicians with sand-colored hats playing the small guitars, violins or harps as those who preserve musical traditions of the country, few people know who builds the various stringed instruments that are so typical of the distinctive sound of Oaxaca.

Lauderos are traditional stringed instrument makers who practice an almost forgotten craft. In "El Laudero" Miguel Buenrostro accompanies José Luis Fuentes through a day in his life. He shows the making of characteristic instruments such as Arpa Veracruzanas, Requintos and Jaranas. His passion for music and his love for his craft and cultural heritage are captivating as he tells the stories that have shaped his life as much as the culture of one of the most diverse regions in the world. The film takes us to a wedding procession, to a stringed instrument workshop and to José's home, allowing us to share in a life filled with music.

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