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electronics, custom software, stainless steel

The Electromechanical Solenoid Orchestra (ESO) is a decentralized mechanical sound and music network driven by real time data pulled from the environment. The design of the ESO system stems from the concept of creating complex machine systems from simple mechanisms or components such as electromechanical actuators. When installed in a spatial matrix formation, the viewer can experience the installation from within it, where the soundscape transforms as audiences shift position and move spatially through the installation space. 


A total of 24 stainless steel cage were designed and built for the ESO, each cage a deconstructed xylophone with one octave controlled and activated through solenoid tapping. These custom-made and non-traditional instruments can be driven by data to generate complex musical soundscapes that go beyond the capabilities of human muscle movement. The first iteration of this work pulled environmental data collected by the Citizen Sensor kit developed Joseph Savaadra from multiple cities in Asia, Europe, and the United States

ESO in the "Weather Tunnel" at TransLife, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, 2011.

ESO, Weather Tunnel documentary, featuring Joe Savaadra, developer of the Air Quality Egg that supported the data collection of the Weather Tunnel Project.

Video by Michelle Calabro (4min 7sec)

Translife Exhibition, Weather Tunnel - Parsons School of Design (2011)

Video by Michelle Calabro (16min 59sec)

Detailed mechanism design for each octave cage, including how components fit together, stand design and matrix design. This spatial configurations of the pillars could potentially bring out the three dimensional nature of sound.

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