Turning Machine Guns Into Musical Instruments

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Woody Guthrie used to have written on the side of his guitar “This Machine Kills Fascists”—now that obviously wasn’t meant to be taken literally, unless Guthrie used it to bludgeon a Nazi to death, but maybe if his guitar was made from old machine guns it could’ve been a statement of fact.

Artist Pedro Reyes has done just that in his project Imagine, refashioning revolvers, shot-guns, machine-guns, and other weapons into musical instruments. It’s made all the more pertinent because the weapons were taken from the Mexican drug wars, donated to the artist by the government instead of being buried.

In total him and 6 musicians used 6,700 destroyed weapons and turned them into 50 different instruments, from percussion to wind, and string. The results are slightly sinister instruments that look like they’ve come from some kind of post-apocalyptic future, where guns are the only thing left in the world.

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