Tom Igoe

Eos Pods

Photo of Eos Pods, a lighted dome in the center of a dining table

Eos Orchestra, an experimental orchestra in New York from 1995 to 2004, worked to test the limits of orchestral performance. In 2003, Artistic Director Jonathan Sheffer commissioned David Bianciardi, Eric Singer, and I to create tools for a performance involving the attendees at the orchestra’s annual banquet. Sheffer wanted to create an event in which the banquet attendees performed Terry Riley’s minimalist work In C. The details of the event were left to our team’s discretion, as long as the audience was engaged and the performance remained faithful to the composer’s intent.

We created a series of networked table centerpieces which the audience could trigger by tapping on them. The centerpieces contained lights which changed color according to the conductor’s direction: green indicated that the table should play, red indicated silence, and flashing blue and white indicated that the table was playing. Speakers were positoned throughout the banquet so that the audience heard the piece as they might when in the center of an orchestra.

The piece was built in late 2002 to early 2003 and presented in January 2003.

System diagram of Eos Pods

The piece was also presented in minimal form at Fifth International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing in 2003 in Seattle, Washington as well.

2005        Bianciardi, D., Igoe, T., and Singer, E. EOS pods: Wireless devices for interactive musical performance. ACM Fifth Annual Conference on Ubiquitous Computing Adjunct Proceedings: pp. 13-16.