Creature Winds, Curious Theatre Branch, at the Lunar Cabaret. Called in the program a “zenjazzbuddhafreudsonicinstallation for four voices,” this is the tale of a complacent scientist who commits suicide after a moment of introspection irrevocably shakes his self-confidence. But audience members may be forgiven for not comprehending this story immediately, for composer Michael Zerang–credited in the playbill as arranger rather than director–is less concerned with the literal content of Bryn Magnus’s lush text than with the music of its presentation.

This does not preclude images of stunning originality: when the scientist is asked the source of his brilliant career, he replies, “Genius scrimshawed on my bones.” But what holds our attention for the 45 minutes of this a cappella oratorio are the intricate harmonies attained by its four performers: Virginia Montgomery, Beau and Jamie O’Reilly, and Magnus himself (substituting for Ned Folkerth on the night I attended). Whether speaking or singing, their expressive voices intertwine in patterns as complex and precise as those of a baroque cantata. True, the lines “You’re a bombastic wheeze / You’re an impotent comb-over,” caroled in Jamie O’Reilly’s exquisite soprano, may spark irreverent recollections of P.D.Q. Bach–and for that matter the later work of Maestro Subgum and the Whole, brother Beau’s art-rock band. Still, a show proposing to re-create the sound of a tear being carried by the wind more than justifies its existence. –Mary Shen Barnidge