Masollan (live on the Llano River)

by Balmorhea

Balmorhea (pronounced Bal-more-ay) is a six-piece instrumental group from Austin, Texas. Founded by Rob Lowe and Michael Muller in 2006, the band has produced five full-length albums, including Stranger, which was released in October 2012.

Inceptually influenced by the band’s namesake, a tiny West Texas town of 500 people, Balmorhea’s early work reflected motifs of the American Southwest: the folklore of Texas settlers, the emotive proclamations of the mountainous setting, and intimate studies on solitude, nature, and night. Slowly adding more members to the band over the years, including a string section and full percussion, Balmorhea’s rich and layered music continues to be simultaneously concise and complex, uniting a collection of ideas, textures, and sounds into one genre-defying landscape.

Balmorhea, called “an exemplary experiment in restraint” by The New Yorker, has toured the US and Europe six times each, including shows with Tortoise, Fleet Foxes, Mono, Bear in Heaven, Sharon Van Etten, Damien Jurado, Efterklang, and others. Additionally the band has performed at Austin City Limits Music Festival, SXSW, Fun Fun Fun Fest, and the Hopscotch Festival. Their music has been featured and reviewed by Pitchfork, BBC, MOJO, NME, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, and many more.

Based on a series of art videos by filmmaker and photographer Joe Tomcho, the idea for the video was a simple one: Tomcho wanted to make something that was almost exactly the opposite of a music video. The song “Masollan” was written on that property along the Llano River, and Tomcho wanted to let the natural element and the music be the main focus of the piece. You couldn’t be blamed for not knowing that they are actually in the video until the end.

A film by Joe Tomcho —

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