Scientists working at the CERN created the so called cosmic piano. The machine is unlike other conventional music instruments because it uses particle data to produce live music.
The instrument, which was developed by Guillermo Tejeda Munoz and Arturo Fernandez as part of A Large Ion Collider Experiment (ALICE) project, transforms particles into musical notes.
The instrument has a detector pad that transforms passing particles into musical note. The charged particles are produced with the interaction of cosmic rays and molecules in the Earth's atmosphere. The piano also has a plastic scintillator that transforms particles into optical signals that are converted into bleeping notes and synchronized flashes of light.
"The Cosmic Piano has some features like producing light and sound only when n (n= 2, 3,...8) modules are hit at the same time ( coincidence events, technically named "cosmic showers") or generate a "random musical noise" when any of the eight detectors is impacted by a charged particle," the CERN website explains.
The instrument has been described as something that looks a bit like a fancy staircase. It also sounded like the robot R2-D2 from Star Wars. On its own, the piano may produce an odd sound but when it is played along with a pro jazz musician, the sound it produced was described as something more avant garde.
Last year, the instrument had its live musical debut at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland jamming with jazz pianist Al Blatter.
"The cosmos doesn't really have much of a rhythm," said physicist Steven Goldfarb, who was involved in the project. "So it's quite a challenge."
The cosmic piano has already proved to be a hit as several such instruments have already been sold since its debut at a CERN open house in 2013. One cosmic piano costs around $2500.
The instrument is just one of CERN's attempts at using its raw data to produce music. Last year, scientists at CERN performed a composition that was written based on data from major experiments conducted with the Large Hadron Collider. It is known as the LHC Chamber Music Project.
NASA also has a similar project. The U.S. space agency launched an online streaming broadcast called CRaTER, which stands for Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation. It allows people to listen to data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter that are constantly transformed into audio soundscapes.