Concept Album ‘Futuro Conjunto’ Merges Music Genres And Unease Through A Futuristic RGV Lens

The Sounds of Texas.

By Kristen CabreraJuly 21, 2020 4:03 pm,

Futuro Conjunto‘ is the brain child of Rio Grande Valley natives Jonathan Leal and Charlie Vela. These music-minded storytellers managed to funnel the feeling of unease and worry about the future into a story of agency, curiosity and expression. It’s a story woven together through song, art and culture – Valley culture.

This futuristic concept album is housed at The site is built as a portal to archives of the future and includes an interactive timeline of imagined events to come, original art, animation and videos designed to immerse the audience deeper into this world. It was created with collaborations by more than 30 Valley-area artists.

The music takes listeners though a future reality of the RGV using archival footage of a live-streamed concert in 2120. It’s held at an abandoned rocket facility in fictional Boca Chica, Texas – presumably, a possible future of the currently unincorporated area in Brownsville with the same name. The stream is corrupted so only the audio is in tact – leaving room for the audience to imagine what life could be like in the Valley 100 years from now through several fictional bands and varying futuristic musical genres.

Listen to the complete story in the player above.

Jonathan Leal (left) and Charlie Vela in April 2019.

“The fun challenge for us was to try and find out what these genres would sound like. One of the bands Simonada – their genre was ‘Palmwave.’ … One of the things I loved about it, was it just reminded me what it feels like to be in the Valley when it’s hot – which is all the time. That was my first entrance into what ‘Futuro Conjuto’ could sound like and that’s when I really fell in love with it.” – Jonathan Leal

“A lot of these songs went through this processes of creating them, breaking them apart and rebuilding them. One of the later tracks by the band XXochitl, they are playing a polka almost but it’s done in this stadium synth-rock language. When we finally hit on it, it was just transcendently amazing.” – Charlie Vela

“If people come away from this album with anything, I would hope that it would be a renewed sense of their own agency. That the future is something they have a right to. Something the best speculative fiction and literature can do for us is get us to imagine ourselves in the future, that we have a say in our own destinies.”  – Jonathan Leal

Correction: An earlier version of the story was unclear that the ‘Boca Chica’ referenced within the world of Futuro Conjunto is fictional and not a real city in the Rio Grande Valley. The present-day area which holds the same name is part of Brownsville, Texas and not it’s own separate municipality.

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