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Studio Barnhus unveils its Radioactive Orchestra

Swedish label Studio Barnhus have revealed details of their most esoteric release yet: a collaboration between label boss Axel Boman, nuclear physicists Bo Cederwall and Torbjörn Bäck and media artist Kristofer Hagbard.

Known as the Radioactive Orchestra, the project started as an awareness campaign spearheaded by the Swedish government; the primary aim, according to a Studio Barnhus press release, was “to interpret gamma radiation, which has its origin in the nuclei of atoms, and translate it into sounds and music”. The team of four went on to “create musical algorithms based on the scientists’ models of how radiation is emitted from various isotopes”. Of course even the best concept falls flat if the music doesn’t hold up: excitingly, the fruits of this project are nothing less than stunning. The above video explains the project in vivid, interesting detail.

Boman jokingly admitted in a recent interview with Juno Plus that the project resulted with him becoming involved with two of the “darkest forces in the world” (namely nuclear power and US TV network Fox News, who reported on the project) – something he never thought possible in his days as a student of Fine Arts.

Studio Barnhus will release Radioactive Orchestra by the Radioactive Orchestra featuring Axel Boman digitally on November 4, with a vinyl release set for later this month. You can listen to soundclips for each track via the Juno Download player below.


A1. γ-spectra of Barium-133, keV = Hz
A2. γ-decay patterns of Nickel-56 at E-level ξ and Calcium-48 at
E-level 8278 keV
A3. Three exited nuclei of Lutetium-167 and γ-spectra of Cobalt-60

B1. Two nuclei of Xenon-131 alternating E-level ξ and 1721 keV
B2. Technetium-89, Technetium-99 and Zinc-69 all at E-level ξ
B3. Three exited nuclei of Lutetium-167 at E-level ξ