Music for Enchanted Rock
The Music for Enchanted Rock multi-media performance features a slideshow of Rip Shaub's stunning landscape photography, legends of Enchanted Rock as told by Chickasaw storyteller Amy Bluemel, and the music of Montopolis that Texas Monthly calls "the great long-lost collaboration between Ennio Morricone and Phillip Glass that we didn't know we were missing."
While composing Music for Enchanted Rock, Sherburn recorded interviews that inspired the piece and eventually became part of the performance. Tales of camping trips, ghost stories, Native American legends and stories about the Texas Rangers are interlaced throughout, guiding the audience on a visual and musical journey.
"Music for Enchanted Rock" modulates between expanses of drone and noise sculptures to counterpoint and melody driven songs featuring strings and pedal steel. Western themes are slowed to a geologic tempo and wrapped in layers of slowly morphing harmony, paying homage to the mythological and the sacred. Field recordings taken at the site itself are woven into the compositions and complete the sonic tribute. This is a uniquely Texan approach to modern classical music with influences ranging from Bob Wills to Arvo Part.
Rip Shaub is a sought after motorsports photojournalist that took a break from shooting 200 mph race cars at Circuit of the Americas to capture the stillness of the Texas hill country. On excursions to Llano County, Shaub and composer Justin Sherburn collaborated on creating the imagery that accompanies the Montopolis performance, exploring the massive granite dome and the surrounding area. The photographs capture the intense variety of life around Enchanted Rock and the beauty of central Texas. The result of Shaub's work is a stunning portrait of a regional treasure and a brilliant accompaniment to the music of Montopolis.
For the last decade, Justin Sherburn has toured with renowned indie rock group Okkervil River, composed for feature films, and produced music for local theater and dance companies, all while refining the uniquely Texan approach to modern classical music presented on “Music for Enchanted Rock”. His awards include the audience award at SXSW Film Festival, "Best Music" at the Ocean Blue Film Festival, the B Iden Payne award for best musical director and best original score, and the Austin Critics Table award for Music Composition. His most recent soundtrack work on “The Power of Pearl”, a documentary about the Pacific Ocean pearl industry and climate change, premiered in 2018.
Montopolis is sponsored by the Austin Cultural Arts Division, Austin Creative Alliance, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.