Sweden's Kollektivet Livet began working on Radioactive Orchestra last year, turning isotopes into beats and beeps for all of us to hear in recordings. However, version 2.0 of the project is taking the show on the road, making sweet photonic melodies through a live instrument prototype.
Sounding rather alike the compositions of 1950s sci-fi, this instrument consists of a photon detector that translates any radiation hit from nearby materials into a sound. The creation leads to a rather imprecise construction of melody: kind of like a theramin, but uncontrollable in sound...and nuclear. However, implementations have been made to alter the sensitivity or transpose the notes. This doesn't make the instrument completely manipulable; but at least you can give your 'composition' a set tonality.
It's a really fascinating experiment into making sense of the invisible energy around us, and probably one of the more fascinating TED talks. I urge you to watch the whole thing; but skip to the 10:30 mark if you're impatient and want to see the live performance.
I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.