Producer / Director. 2013
In the hills and plateaus of Southeast Asia Laurent Jeanneau has found music which speaks
to him like no other. Travelling to these hard-to-reach places, amongst people for whom the
thread of tradition has not been broken, in search of new discoveries became his passion. A
passion which has become his work and his life.
Recently played : Immagini e Suoni del Mondo Film Festival - Florence, Italy.
Available on DVD released by Sublime Records
Small Path Music takes us travelling in the field with Laurent, exploring the lesser-travelled mountains of Northern Laos and into the borderlands of Yunnan, China. With his fiercely independent spirit as his compass we follow the hints and information garnered from locals along the way. Experiencing the practicalities of his work as we accompany him on his quest to record "old-style" traditional music and songs.
From shamanic rituals to love songs, historical epics to lamentations, his microphones become our ears - and through the window of his work we glimpse the artists he records, their lives, and the world they live in. Recorded in their natural setting we witness these performances as part of the living, breathing cultural life of the communities he visits.
Laurent recounts experiences of a decade recording in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and China and we gauge his perspective on the musical traditions of this area. We see how he relates to them and how his work has led his life in new directions. Through his work he met his wife, Tanding and together they established a recording label (Kink Gong) to release their field recordings.
In an area with such ethnic and cultural diversity there is still plenty of recording work to be done. However with the increasing interaction of these regions beyond the social horizons of old, Small Path Music frames the changing situation in which Laurent finds these arts today. And the urgency of this work becomes apparent.