Son Títere is a puppet project created by Cecilia Cackley and Francisco Benavides. A unique fusion of street puppetry and Mexican folk music, it immerses audiences in different styles of traditional music through three caja lambe-lambe shows. One box features a son jarocho song, another is a mariachi ranchera and the third box introduces audience to cardenche, a music style from Durango that maybe be less familiar to audiences. Read more about each of the tiny shows below and stop by to take a look on one of our performance dates!
Monday, September 2
Page to Stage New Play Festival
The Kennedy Center, Washington DC
More Information About Mariachi
Mariachi is probably the style of Mexican music that is most well-known in the United States. After the Mexican Revolution in the early part of the twentieth century, the government promoted mariachi as a symbol of Mexican identity, although the music originally developed in the 18th and 19th centuries from regional music in what became the states of Jalisco, Colima and Michoacán. Mariachi music uses European instruments, including violin, vihuela, guitarron and trumpet. Mariachi songs can use different numbers of musicians, including singers and may take different forms, including boleros, rancheras and huapangos.
Our mariachi show is inspired by the golden age of Mexican cinema in the 1940’s and actresses such as Maria Felix and Dolores del Rio. Singers like Jorge Negrete and Pedro Infante starred in these movies and sang mariachi songs. Many ranchera songs in particular are sad and introspective, so we wanted to reflect that with the dressing room mirror and the single character.
Built by Cecilia Cackley and Francisco Benavides
Puppeteer: Cecilia Cackley
Music performed by Los Gallos Negros and Elena Lacayo
Song Title - Que te vaya bonito
Author - Jose Alfredo Jimenez
Arrangements - Los Gallos Negros and Elena Lacayo
Benito San Miguel - Guitarron
Juan Flores -Violin
Elfego Felix -Vihuela, Guitar
Elena Lacayo -Vocals
Recorded and mixed by Raciel Suarez
Recorded and mixed at Lucumi Studios in Washington DC - March 2019
Produced by Cecilia Cackley
More Information About Son Jarocho
Son jarocho is a regional folk music style from the southern coastal state of Veracruz. It is a combination of influences from Spanish, Indigenous (Huastecan) and African cultures, all of which came together in the Veracruz region during colonization. Some of the characteristics of son jarocho are percussive rhythms, rhyming lyrics and call and response structure, as well as dance steps, performed on a small wooden platform called a tarima. Most of the instruments are stringed, including the jarana, an eight-stringed guitar like instrument, the requinto which is a little larger and the arpa jarocha, a large wooden harp. Son jarocho gatherings are called fandangos.
For us, the jarocho music brings to mind images of community, communal work and gatherings of friends and family. Since those gatherings usually include food, we decided to focus this show on the preparation and sharing of food. Mexican food is one of our primary points of connection to our culture and memories of tamale-making parties
Built by Cecilia Cackley and Francisco Benavides
Puppeteers: Sandra Tapia and Nicole Magliari
Music Performed by Son Cosita Seria
Song Title - La Morena
Author - Son Jarocho Traditional
Arrangements - Son Cosita Seria
Cecilia Behgam - Voice
Diego Gonzalez - Voice, Jarana Segunda
Zaira Gonzalez - Voice
Gustavo Vargas - Voice, Bumburra (Leona), Jarana Tercerola Nohely Alvarez - Voice
Pavel Trujillo - Guitarra Requinto
Israel Rodriguez - Quijada, Zapateado en Tarima
Produced, Recorded and Mixed by Gustavo Vargas
Recorded and Mixed at EL CUCHITRIL, Washington DC, March - April 2019
Executive Producers - Cecilia Cackley, Francisco Benavides
More Information About Cardenche
Canto Cardenche is an informal style of acapella music that was typical to the “Comarca Lagunera” region of northeast Durango in the 18th and early 19th centuries. It was the music of the peasants, who would come together after their long, arduous workdays and, with their alcohol of choice -- Sotol -- in hand, they would improvise together with the only instruments they had: their voices. Although it has long been in decline Cardenche has been kept alive by singers in the town of Saporiz. The music is usually sung with three singers, each in a different register. The middle singer leads, determining the length of the phrase, and then pauses to give space for the embellishments and improvisations of his companions, before launching into the next verse. Technical prowess is not the goal of this sorrowful and melancholic music, rather it comes out of a depth of feeling and the need to express it. The name “Cardenche” comes from the Cardenche Cactus. To be stung with one of its thorns is said to be very painful but because the thorns are barbed to remove them hurts even worse. Likewise to sing Cardenche is to express pain and to sting the listener with it so you may share the feeling with them.
Our show is inspired not only by the same cactus that gave cardenche its name but by the beautiful flowers that bloom on top of them. The wandering of our lone figure echos the lyrics of the music as he searches for relief from his longing unsuccessfully. Even so his pain gives way to beautiful music and is a powerful metaphor for the importance of expressing the difficult emotions we confront in life.
Built by Francisco Benavides
Puppeteer: Francisco Benavides
Music performed by Los Cardencheros de Sapioriz
Song Title - Yo ya me voy a morir a los desiertos
Author - Traditional