Mexican Artist Pedro Reyes Made Music With Guns [Video]

Mexican artist, sculptor Pedro Reyes fabricated musical instruments from dismantled gun parts as part of an anti-violence statement he calls “Disarm.” The work is indicative of his prior projects as Reyes typically aims to increase awareness in social and environmental issues.

Reyes was supplied 6,700 segmented weapons from authorities in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico for his project, rendering nearly 50 musical instruments in the end. Normally these guns would be buried or destroyed.

Six musicians toiled for two weeks melting down, hammering, welding and transforming the “death metal” of magazines, revolvers, shotguns, and machineguns into “instruments of life” as seen in the video. The vague structure of the firearms can be recognized in xylophones, cymbals, guitars, and other instruments.

Reyes was inspired to create his “Disarm” series by his prior work with the “Palas por Pistolas” project in 2008. “Palas por Pistolas” (shovels for guns) was a campaign to curb the trade of small weapons. A voluntary weapon donation was organized in Culiacán, a city in western Mexico. 1,527 guns were melted and made into an equal number of shovels, distributed to art institutions and public schools to plant 1,527 trees.

The point behind recycling the confiscated and donated weapons is to inform and reinforce the consideration of the many lives these weapons have taken in the hands of criminals and drug-cartels. More than 70,000 people have been killed by drug-cartels over the last six years in Mexico.


At its worst, 10 people on average were being killed by firearms in Ciudad Juarez daily. In 2010, the murder rate in Ciudad Juarez was 230 killings to every 100,000 inhabitants. At the time the comparable rate in the US that was 4.8 killings per 100,000.

See pictures of the instruments here.

[Image via Shutterstock]