Epsilon Spires hosts Portuguese electronic music collective

BRATTLEBORO — On Saturday, Feb. 15, the Brattleboro arts venue Epsilon Spires will host “Phobos,” a performance of imaginative mechanical instruments designed by the Portuguese collective Sonoscopia.

Described by its creators as a “dysfunctional robotic orchestra,” the instruments used in the performance reconfigure familiar objects like telephones and electronic children's toys into complex contraptions that create a surprisingly pleasing cacophony.

According to Sonoscopia, the small robots and automatic music generation devices of “Phobos” were designed to critique attempts at human liberation through machines and technological utopias, as well as explore the advances and setbacks of freedom that technology provides.

“This event fits perfectly with our mission, which is to explore the intersection of art and science through innovative public events,” Jamie Mohr, Epsilon Spires' creative director, said in a news release. “We're very excited for this opportunity to bring internationally-acclaimed artists from Portugal to Brattleboro.”

Sonoscopia hails from Porto, a city on the northwestern coast of Portugal. The collective serves as a space for artists working with experimental and improvised electro-acoustic music to develop projects in a supportive, collaborative environment.

Since 2011, Sonoscopia has produced more than 600 events, art projects, educational activities, and publications that have been exhibited throughout Europe, Asia, and the U.S. Their performance at Epsilon Spires will be the first time they have visited Vermont.

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