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.
Yakona’s composer, Justin Sherburn, performs the musical score live with the modern classical chamber group, Montopolis. This live performance of the score transforms the screening into a dynamic and entertaining experience. Montopolis is a hybrid of musicians from renowned indie rock groups, country bands, and the Austin Symphony that has been called “transcendent” and “stunning” by the Austin Chronicle.
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.