Montopolis Chamber Ensemble

7:00pm Friday 6/24/2016

A suite inspired by the Central Texas landmark known as Enchanted Rock, “Monolith” is the latest project by composer Justin Sherburn and his Montopolis Chamber Ensemble.  Modern classical compositions for string trio, pedal steel, and piano evoke the sheer mass and magnificence of the southwestern landscape.  Western themes are slowed to a geologic tempo and wrapped in layers of slowly morphing harmony, paying homage to the mythological and the sacred. Interviews with Austinites revealed a treasure trove of stories about the rock, from personal accounts to native american legends.  These recorded stories are woven into the compositions and complete this sonic tribute to the mysterious granite dome.  Performance features a projected photo essay by photographer Leon Alesi.

Justin Sherburn is a composer, producer, and musical director based in Austin, Texas.  He recently received the Austin’s Critic’s Table 2015 Excellence in Composition Award for his work with Brent Baldwin and the Convergence vocal ensemble.  His scores for the films “Above All Else” and “Yakona” premiered at the SXSW film festival in the spring of 2014 and continue to show at festivals across the nation.  His music can be heard on PBS programming and appears regularly on Austin radio station KUT.  Justin has composed for television, theater, and dance performances and is the resident composer for Austin’s Troublepuppet Theater Company.  His chamber ensemble “Montopolis” performs live scores to silent films.   Justin arranged the “Sanctus” Movement of Mozart’s Requiem for the Golden Hornet Project’s presentation “Mozart Undead” in spring 2014.  He has had a long and varied career as a touring musician, working with Okkervil River and the 8 1/2 Souvenirs, sharing the stage with legends such as Willie Nelson, Roky Erickson, Brian Setzer and Wilco, appearing on the David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, and Jimmy Fallon television shows, and performing at festivals around the globe from Coachella to Primavera Sound in Barcelona to the Laneway Festival in Australia.  He currently records and performs with Okkervil River, Ethan Azarian, and Glovertango, a traditional Argentine tango ensemble.  Awards include the audience award at SXSW Film Festival for Yakona, “Best Music” at the Ocean Blue Film Festival for Yakona, the B Iden Payne award for best musical director and best original score for “The Red Balloon”.