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Yakona pairs a chamber music performance with an award-winning documentary about the San Marcos River in central Texas.

Yakona Live Performance


The word “Yakona” means “water rising” in the language of the indigenous people of the San Marcos River in Texas. This award winning film is a visual journey through the crystal clear waters of the San Marcos River and its headwaters at Spring Lake, which is home to seven threatened or endangered species. The story takes you from prehistoric times, through the modern era, on an impressionistic journey from the perspective of the river.  Justin Sherburn composed the original score for the film and performs it live with Montopolis in a unique event billed as "Yakona LIVE".   

The Yakona LIVE performance engages communities and highlights the need for stewardship of water resources by giving audiences a new perspective on rivers and an up- close look at the wildlife within their ecosystems. 

The film follows the river from source to sea, through the changing seasons, interpreting the river’s time and memory by documenting the relationship between the natural world and humanity. Yakona speaks directly with its beauty while appealing to a higher nature. You begin to understand this is a river that yearns to remain unchanged despite everything that is changing around it.


While filming, many extraordinary changes occurred surrounding the springs and river, including the removal of the Aquarena Springs theme park, the restoration of Spring Lake and the uncovering of ancient human remains. 

For more information about the film visit YAKONA.ORG 

Past Performances

  • UT Hydrogeology Summit, Austin, 2018 

  • Earth Day Texas, Dallas, 2018

  • 72 Degrees Festival, San Marcos, 2017 

  • Ozark Film Festival, Batesville, Arkansas, 2017

  • Texas Theater, Dallas, April 2017

  • Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, November, 2016. 

  • 72 Degrees Festival, San Marcos, May 2016

  • Texas State University, San Marcos, September 2015

  • Northwest Film Forum, Seattle, April 2015

  • Texas Wild Rice Festival, March 2015

  • The North Door, Austin, November 2014

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