Written by Ben Mason – Composer

It was a privilege and honor to score Los Traficantes and work with the team of producers and editors who all are consummate professionals.

From seeing the film for the first time, I knew this was something I had to score because of its powerful message of not only the suffering that is going on in Mexico, but more importantly the hope that we can all have in Christ and the change that can happen in us if we put our trust in Him. That is really what this film is about and that is what I love most about it; the Gospel is more powerful than anything we can say or do, and it will bring change and hope to all that believe.

When I first came on the project the film had a "temp score" that was quite good—one of the best I have heard, in fact. That was daunting at first, but I was soon excited about the challenge. Of course there were several composers whose music influenced me when writing for this film. The first was Gustavo Santaolalla. I enjoy how folk-like and organic his music is, while still being far from simplistic. Other composers who inspired me were Marco Beltrami and Christopher Young. All of these are sensitive in how they do not overwrite for a scene.

After reviewing the temp score and spotting each scene, we spent a considerable amount of time trying to find the right sounds and feel. I tried to use music and instruments that are authentic to the Mexican culture. I used acoustic guitars, electric guitars, and percussion, as well as the charango, accordion, castanets, and maracas. We also did a lot (an understatement) of sound editing, programming, and creating new sounds. To add warmth and depth, we had a full string orchestra recorded live in Los Angeles. I believe we came away with something that sounds unique and complements the picture well, and I am excited to see how Los Traficantes will be used to change lives and bring hope to people.