A vapid hipster band that has somehow gone viral, a quantum physics PhD student who seeks life cues from the late Stephen Hawking, and a concert that may or may not occur are all elements of Flute Loops – A Sub-Atomic Rock Opera, playing Friday, Aug. 31 at Shuswap Theatre.
Musician, storyteller and Theatre on the Edge alumni Devon More returns to Salmon Arm with Flute Loops, a performance that was named CBC Critic’s Pick at this year’s Winnipeg Fringe Festival, and earned best runner-up nods at the 2018 Hydra Festival in Kamloops and Montreal Fringe’s Frankie Awards.
The show is set at a rock concert of an up-and-coming band, the Flute Loops, who have just gone viral. More plays the girlfriend of one of the band members who finds herself running the merchandise table. She’s also a quantum physics student who is working on her thesis which involves soundwaves being able to freeze time.
“She sort of finds herself as a fish out of water at this rock show…,” explains More. “At the show she finds a window to play with her theory out loud. She’s very playful, but she’s quite an awkward character, especially in the context of this really cool, hip rock show with a bunch of music fans.”
Flute Loops ties in More’s musical prowess (she plays flute, guitar and glockenspiel, as well as uses a loop pedal to live mix the show’s soundtrack), along with a personal interest in quantum theory which, thanks to individuals like Hawking, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Brian Cox, has, in More’s words, “become this sort of unique, post-modern spirituality in a way.”
The play also has a little fun at the expense of modern pop music and how it “samples from itself, over and over again, somewhat incestuously.
“The show also touches on what we do to distract ourselves with mass media and these sort of viral flares that don’t really have any take away or substance, they just flare up again and again in some ways distract us,” said More
On top of all this, strangely enough, Flute Loops is also a comedy, albeit one with a decidedly cerebral appeal.
“It’s a very funny show, you will be surprised by the number of physics puns you can make in an hour,” said More. “Physicists are coming to see it and loving it, or nerds in general are loving it, nerds from all genres, physicists, chemists and also computer programmers, science fiction fans love it because it sort of plays with concepts, but also classical music fans, people with an interest in live music, because they get to see the instrumentation is very tactile the way it’s pieced together. The people with a background in classical music I think relate to her as well and appreciate the way the soundtrack is built.”
Flute Loops starts at 7:30 p.m. at Shuswap Theatre. Doors open at 6:30. Tickets are $12 and available only at the door. For more information, visit www.devonmoremusic.com.