Upcycling (disarming) deadly weapons as 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.

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.

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, EarthTechling