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The Arts

Party for Somogyi’s watercolor show features music by Hart

Epsilon Spires is at 190 Main St., Brattleboro. Tickets are $18 and can be purchased at epsilonspires.org.

BRATTLEBORO—A celebration marking the end of “Luminous Bloom,” an exhibition of Brooklyn-based artist Erika Somogyi’s paintings at Epsilon Spires, will take place Friday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m.

The closing party features a performance by the solo synthesizer musician Annie Hart, whose music Somogyi listened to while she created the watercolors featured in the show.

“What I love about the music of Annie Hart are the layered, dreamlike sounds,” says Somogyi, whose pastel-hued watercolors combine figurative elements from memory with hypnotic, wave-like patterns. “Water moves the pigment to create atmospheric areas of color to fill the paper, much like [Hart’s] sounds fill the room.”

Somogyi received a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City in 1999, and since then has exhibited her work in solo and group shows across the country and internationally.

She said that some of her inspirations for the paintings in this show include her children’s excitement while viewing insects through a magnifying glass and the unexpected appearance of wildlife in New York City during the pandemic.

Annie Hart gained prominence in the early 2000s with her minimalist synth pop band Au Revoir Simone, which became a favorite of director David Lynch and was featured in several episodes of Twin Peaks: The Return.

Her solo project uses synthesizers run through a series of effect pedals to create a meditative sound that she describes as echoing the natural world, exploring everything from “the cycles of flora, fauna, and weather patterns to the orbits of celestial bodies.”

“A nice environment, whether aural or visual, is also a very strong motivator to create in the first place,” Hart says about the relationship between her music and Somogyi’s creative process. “A visual artist will likely feel and create calm work when listening to calm music just as a musician will have an easier time feeling comfortable enough in a space to create sound.”

The architecture of the Sanctuary of Epsilon Spires — designed to showcase the First Baptist Church’s historic Estey organ — will provide a “uniquely enhanced environment for Hart’s ambient sound,” event organizers describe in a news release.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #634 (Wednesday, October 13, 2021). This story appeared on page B4.

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