In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is based on the example of a butterfly flapping its wings, then weeks later a hurricane forms a distance from the animal.
Creston High School Marching Band’s show, Butterfly Effect, takes that theory and creates a musical example using fast-moving formations and layers of music.
“One thing will happen on the field, then another thing will happen, then another thing will happen, then another thing will happen, which will create ripple effects throughout the whole band,” said Mike Peters, CHS band director. “And, that’s what the whole show is kind of based off.”
Peters explained the butterfly effect to his students by using the example of a gun maker who made pistols available to the common man.
A man in Sarajevo, located in Bosnia and Herzegovina, was able to buy a pistol, then shot Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The assassination was the beginning of World War I.
“There are a lot of bands that do shows like ‘Best of the Bee Gees,’ or ‘Earth, Wind and Fire.’ I’ve never liked those kinds of shows,” said Peters. “My style is, I want to get them into thinking more.”
The performance involves three pieces of music. The music builds on itself with different instrument groups adding layers of music at different times.
“Visually, you’ll see ripples. Musically, you’ll hear ripples,” Peters said. “And then, at one point, with a great big kick right in the middle of the show, the whole guard builds these huge butterfly wings. ... It’s really a pretty beautiful effect right at that point.”
The Butterfly Effect also involves movements and shapes from the band members.
“In the third tune, it’s just how fast can I make them run,” Peters said. “That is the chaos of the chaos theory.”
CHS Marching Band will perform their first competition show Saturday in Clarinda for the Southwest Iowa Band Jamboree. Then, they will perform at Valleyfest in Des Moines Oct. 12. The band will also perform in the Iowa High School Music Association’s State Marching Band Festival in Council Bluffs Oct. 19.