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Radioactive Orchestra 2.0 takes the music live, makes sweet photonic melodies (video)


Sweden's Kollektivet Livet took a step towards demystifying the invisible energy around us last year through its Radioactive Orchestra, which turned isotopes into beats and beeps. To our relief, the Orchestra isn't content to record in the studio. Version 2.0 of the music project is all about going on tour, so to speak, through live instruments: in a first prototype, a photon detector translates every radiation hit from nearby materials into its own audio pulse. The invention results in an imprecise art based on distance, but aspiring cesium rock stars can tweak the sensitivity or transpose the notes to generate their own distinct tunes. Orchestra manager Georg Herlitz tells us that the initial setup you see here, played at TEDx Gotëborg, is just a "sneak peek" of both a finished instrument and more work to come. We might just line up for the eventual concerts if the performance video after the break (at the 11:00 mark) is any indication.

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