Deadly Weapons Upcycled Into Working Musical Instruments

Music is the universal human language. While music can always be counted on to bring us together, weapons will always drive us apart. Though they seem to be polar opposites, Mexican artist Pedro Reyes has found a way to combine weapons and music into a new and beautiful art form that embodies peaceful rebirth.

Reyes’ newest collection, called Disarm, is a fully mechanized orchestra of instruments constructed from deadly weapons seized from the Mexican drug cartels. The instruments have a steam-punk quality that allows you to appreciate their rough past while realizing that they they can no longer cause death and destruction in their new form.

Pedro Reyes Disarm

Image via Pedro Reyes

Look closely at the upcycled instruments, and you’ll see almost full-intact rifles, pistols, and shotguns. The weapons were collected by the Mexican army during successful drug busts.

The upcycled harp, drum set, keyboard, modified xylophone and more are capable of playing without human musicians. “These machines are mechanical musical instruments; they can be programmed and operated via computers, making them capable of performing music concerts with compositions prepared beforehand,” explains Reyes on his website.

Pedro Reyes Disarm

Images via Pedro Reyes

In the video below, the Creator’s Project interviews Reyes to learn more about how he “transforms negative instincts into creative instincts” and records a demo of the instruments in action.

Many of the Disarm instruments will be at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh starting October 5, 2013.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog

1 Comment

  • Reply September 25, 2013


    Weapons drive us apart? Je#$% Ch@%#$%.

    Violence brought upon us from other people, has to be met with a response, and running away is not the response I’m speaking of. There are violent people, everywhere, and if you have loved ones, including kids who need to be protected you do so with a gun.

    “Gun Free Zones” are STUPID.

    If you love your family and friends, then protect them. Don’t rely on statistics to do the job. Whats the odds that something like this could happen to you? Don’t know, don’t give a crap. Never in the history of mankind has the ability to protect oneself been so viable.

    Why in America, do we protect all the assets with guns and weapons, but when it comes to protecting anything with a heartbeat, it only applies to the upper class and politicians? Once again, that is really stupid.

    Schools need to be safer than any other facility in the community, bar none. Let kids know the truth, there are sick minded people looking to cause havoc. For those wackos, a label such as “gun free” is like a neon light along the lonely highway they travel.

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