Listen up Austin: The cinematic sounds of Justin Sherburn

Alt classical, indie classical, hybrid classical  — Austin composer Justin Sherburn describes his style as ambient classical.

Sherburn’s had a long and varied career, playing with bands like indie folk Okkervil River and the Django Reinhardt-ish 8 1/2 Souvenirs. Theater scenesters know Sherburn for his award-winning scores to several Trouble Puppet Theatre shows, Tongue and Groove Theatre and Sky Candy.

Listen to Sherburn’s “Music for Puppets” free compilation CD.

Sherburn’s been burning it up lately.

This spring his valentine to Enchanted Rock — a piece for strings, piano, pedal-steel and live laptop effects with Leon Alesi’s poetic photographs of the Texas geological wonder screened large — proved so popular Sherburn and his Montopolis Ensemble had to stage an encore performance.

composer Justin Sherburn. Photo by Leon Alesi
Austin composer Justin Sherburn. Photo by Leon Alesi

This weekend, Sherburn and Montopolis are featured in “Loop Mass,” an immersive concert staged by Austin Museum of Digital Art that’ll have looping video by 50 artists projected onto onto a massive floor-to-ceiling, suspended sculpture. Audience members can roam during the show.

Sherburn will be featured Friday night. On his set list is music from “Enchanted Rock” and also selections from his score for the 1920s silent film masterpiece “Man With a Movie Camera.”

Info on “Loop Mass” here:

Listen up to three movements from “Enchanted Rock” and a long section of “Man With a Movie Camera.”




“Listen Up Austin” is an occasional blog series featuring Austin music makers.



Outside movies: Murakami’s “Jellyfish Eyes” at Laguna Gloria

This weekend, the Contemporary Austin begins its Green Screen Film Series in the Laguna Gloria amphitheater with the feature film debut of renowned contemporary artist Takashi Murakami.

Murakami’s “Jellyfish Eyes” is a Pokémon-influenced coming-of-age story that follows a boy, Masashi, who in the wake of his father’s death, journeys to a most unusual small town. Once there, Masashi and his new friends can summon and control a menagerie of monster companions, a flying, jellyfish-like sprite that he nicknames Kurage-bo.

Gates 7 p.m. on Friday and the film starts at 9 p.m.  Admission is $10. Info here.



Check out the film’s trailer.

BYO picnics are welcome with food and frozen treats also available for purchase from Hand Helds and Pop Art.

In Japanese with English subtitles. Not recommended for children younger than 8.

The Contemporary Austin, Laguna Gloria, 3809 W. 35th St.

Laguna Gloria and its historic Driscoll Villa turns 100 this year, and its story is fascinating and its impact on Austin is indelible.

Films about vaudeville, Frida Kahlo on Ransom Centers free summer series

The Harry Ransom Center is hosting a three-movie free film series this summer.

The films dovetail with the center’s collections from Samuel Beckett’s experimental film, to the whackiness of 1920s vaudeville and even a biopic of Frida Kahlo, whose “Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird,” is currently on view in the Ransom Center’s lobby.

Fort Worth Majestic Program. Hoblitzelle-Interstate Collection. Ransom Center.

Screenings happen in the center’s 125-seat Prothro Theater. Doors open 30 minutes in advance of the 7 p.m. screenings.

The Ransom Center is located at 21st and Guadalupe streets on the edge of the UT campus.

“Film” and “Notfilm”
7 p.m. June 16

  • Samuel Beckett’s sole film project, “Film” (1965), stars Buster Keaton and was directed by Alan Schneider. Recently restored, “Film” will be followed by “Notfilm,” a feature-length experimental essay on “Film.” Runtime of “Film” is 22 minutes, and “Notfilm” run time is 128 minutes.

“Vaudeville and Vitaphone”
7 p.m. June 30

  • In the early days of talkies, Warner Brothers hired some of the top variety stars of the day to create “living sound” recordings of their acts. This “Vaudeville and Vitaphone” series of rarely-seen short films breathes life into the extensive vaudeville collections at the Ransom Center.

7 p.m. July 14

  • Salma Hayek stars as Frida Kahlo in the 2002 film “Frida,” directed by Julie Taymor. Run time is 123 minutes, rated R.