Montopolis programs are audience-engaging, multi-media events that combine musical performance with film, photography, animation, and sometimes academic lectures on esoteric topics.  Below is an introduction to each show.   Please email us for booking inquiries or more information about a specific program.    


   “Monolith” is the latest project by composer Justin Sherburn and his Montopolis Chamber Ensemble.  This suite inspired by the Central Texas landmark known as Enchanted Rock was recently nominated for the 2016 Austin Critic's Table award for best composition.  These 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.  This show features a projected photo essay of Enchanted Rock by photographer Leon Alesi and a presentation by hydrogeologist Rebecca Smyth.     

The documentary film Yakona is a visual journey through the crystal clear waters of the San Marcos River.  The story takes the viewer from prehistoric times, through the modern era, on an impressionistic journey from the perspective of the river.  With live accompaniment by Montopolis, Yakona becomes a truly unique and unforgettable cinema experience. for more information about the film.  Soundtrack available on iTunes and most streaming services.                

We replaced the original dialogue cards in this classic silent western with new, hilarious dialogue cards that reinvent the live score experience.  To accompany this new story, Justin Sherburn adapted the popular themes of composer Ennio Morricone for an 11 piece ensemble. The result is a truly memorable and entertaining performance.  


This critically acclaimed original score to the seminal Russian film falls somewhere between instrumental indie rock and the avant-garde.  The musical performance superimposes a new narrative, converting a documentary about Soviet life in the 20's into a celebration of the human experience.  Soundtrack available on iTunes.