The sound of a firearm can be one of the most unsettling, terrifying sounds in the world. One Mexican artist is aiming to change that. He is taking weapons and using them to make sweet music.
Pedro Reyes has done several installations in which he takes weapons seized by Mexican authorities, turns them into instruments and has people play music with them.
Reyes and his team take different firearms seized from drug cartels in Mexico, and turn them into instruments ranging almost every possible category from woodwind to percussion.
They're first dismantled, so they can never be fired again, and then mechanized using technology developed Cocolab, a Mexico City media workshop.
The lab “has created a series of mechanisms that allow musicians to use software to make music. It's complicated and incredible, and there's something to be said for turning a killing machines into a something positive,” writes Gizmodo.
Last winter, Reyes worked with a group of six musicians to turn weapons into 50 instruments, which they then used to play John Lennon’s “Imagine.”
"The task was challenging but they succeeded in extracting sounds," Reyes wrote on his website. "It’s difficult to explain but the transformation was more than physical. It’s important to consider that many lives were taken with these weapons; as if a sort of exorcism was taking place the music expelled the demons they held, as well as being a requiem for lives lost."
In this video, you can see how Reyes is working on his next project, “Destroy.”