Every second in your body, thousands of tiny isotopes are bursting with radioactive decay. And, all around you, imperceptible gamma rays explode in a brilliant but invisible lightshow. And they've just formed a live band. Yes, you read that correctly. But it's all for science: The Radioactive Orchestra 2. is part of a Swedish project to help us understand how low-energy radiation works, by showing the energy patterns of nuclear isotopes.
The music sounds like a techno-version of your science curriculum … if Moby were involved. Swedish musician Kristofer Hagbard conceived of the orchestra about a year ago and released an album last spring, but the new 2.0 version of "the band" allows him to perform live in front of an audience.
The artist and composer uses a small, low-activity sample of radioactive material such as uranium on stage. He moves the sample close to a gamma spectrometer and then farther away, creating a pulsating rhythm. He can quickly create repeating loops from the live isotope signatures and form a complete song that wouldn't be out of place on a modern alternative radio station.