La Fortaleza

The album La Fortaleza is part of a audiovisual music project that will be released on Pantopia Music throughout the year by Miguel Buenrostro, an artist and curator for interdisciplinary art. He is collaborating with international artists to promote transcultural exchange.


La Fortaleza was created in association with Facundo "Kunt" Vargas Jimenez, musician, archaeologist and indigenous visual artist from Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec, Mexico. It is named after a traditional mezcal distillery in Oaxaca, which serves as the backdrop for the film.



As Mixe, or Ayuujkor - person who speaks the mountain language, Kunts background and identity is rooted deep in the local land and the Sierra Mountains. His music fuses with his surroundings and his performances are based on local landmarks like La Fortaleza, a mezcal distillery that is also an archeological site located in the ancient town of Mitlawhere Facundo. The jazz improvisations, that make up most of his artistic work, are reminiscent of archaeological excavations. His sound fuses with the mountains of the area, and he pays close attention to the traditions of Mixe people, asking and answering questions about his heritage. He uses field recordings and redefines them as archaeological relicts in his work, creating a contemporary sound of Mixe people and the highlands of Oaxaca.


Studying archaeology has helped Kunt gain a better understanding of his heritage and ultimately of who he is. The indigenous people of different towns in Oaxaca have a deep connection to nature and the circle of life. This understanding is reflected in the field recordings used by Kunt. The noise of the forest, the rain, and all living beings make up the fundation of his improvisations.

It's not that romantic idea of pre-Hispanic music, it's the current sounds of the Mixe culture: Rain, air, sounds of daily life, trombone effects, funeral music, even the Holy Week, what Tlahuitoltepec is today.
Kunt Vargas

Participating artists

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