RADIOACTIVE ORCHESTRA is an attempt to interpret gamma radiation, which has its origin in the nuclei of atoms, and translate it into sounds and music.

Gamma radiation consists of photons and is, in essence, the same kind of radiation as light and radio waves – electromagnetic radiation – but with a very high energy level.

It is present in everything around us, all the time, even in our own bodies, sometimes naturally occurring and sometimes from man made sources.

An isotope is a specific configuration of the atomic nucleus of an element. Each element, for example copper, can have many different isotopes, all behaving differently on a physical level. This is due to the number of neutrons in the atomic nuclei.

Some isotopes are naturally radioactive but every isotope can be made to emit gamma radiation if it is put in a higher energy state and thus becoming “excited”.

Every isotope emits radiation in its own unique patterns. These patterns tell the physicists what the innermost part of the atom “looks like” but like everything on this scale these processes cannot be seen or heard but only inferred from experiments and modelled in mathematics.

RADIOACTIVE ORCHESTRA is concerned with these models and measuring results. Not so much to understand them as to use them artistically. We want to find new ways of representing the world of the very small. The world of photons with energies so high our eyes can’t see them. The world of quantum phenomena. A world hardly well known to anyone but physicist, and imperceptible to everyone.

We try to make this world ours, not just intellectually, but artistically and emotionally – musically -.

We want to dramatise it’s structures with musical patterns and represent its spectra with sounds. We want to look for the beautiful or strange. To find the utterly alien or the surprisingly familiar.

We want to take the result of 50 years of labour by thousands of brilliant physicists and make simple silly melodies out of it.


Production and management: Kollektivet Livet
Musical concept: Ideofon
Musical production: Axel Boman
Science and technical advisory: KTH
Record Label: Studio Barnhus
Video production: Art89
Flash programming: Illianced
Financial backing: KSU