Musical instruments from weapons make for a very interesting and unique upcycle. Mexican artist Pedro Reyes has created 47 musical instruments from over 6,000 seized weapons. The weapons were confiscated by the army and police in the dangerous Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez. The resulting musical instruments from weapons is called the “Disarm” project.

musical instruments from weapons

The background for the “Disarm” project began in 2007 when Pedro Reyes created a similar project called “Shovels for guns.” For that project Reyes began a voluntary weapons donation project in the violent Mexican city Culiacan. 1,527 weapons were donated and then melted down and recycled into shovels. These recycled shovels were then used to plant 1,527 trees. After this project, a friend of Reyes who works for the National Crime Prevention Comission told him about a massive weapon destruction that was going to happen in Ciudad Juarez. These weapons were seized from cartels. Reyes was inspired to make musical instruments from the weapons. The government liked the idea and agreed to send him the dismantled weapons.

musical instruments from weapons

This is the redemption of this metal, that could have taken my life or yours. So they are better as musical instruments.

musical instruments from weapons

The musical instruments from weapons are modeled after traditional musical instruments such as guitars, bass, saxophone, drums and xylophones. After making the musical instruments from weapons, Reyes decided to mechanize them. Reyes invited musicians to join the process of creating music from the former weapons. Musician Edi Kistler joined the team and began experimenting with the sounds that could be evoked from the weapons. Electronic music producer Julian Placencia then helped transform these sounds into music tracks. The musical instruments from weapons were then mechanized to play this music by themselves.

musical instruments from weapons

Overall Pedro Reyes believes that technology is neither good or bad and it all depends on how it’s used. By making musical instruments from weapons Reyes took something that had the ability to kill, and transformed it into something that creates beautiful music. An incredible upcycle, wouldn’t you agree?

Source: Pedro Reyes

2 Thoughts on Musical Instruments from Weapons

  1. Pingback: Design Gone Bonkers | Who'd Have Thought?
  2. What a sweet site. I upcycle something almost every day. Braided rugs from torn old sheets, shag rugs from Tee-shirts, plastic food containers as planters, fence and barn wood as painted signs for home decor, I believe many things can be reborn to serve extended needs.


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