Pedro Reyes is a Mexican artist whose work – “Disarm” – highlights Mexico’s wave of drug-related violence and crime. Pedro transforms firearms into an orchestra of fully-workable musical instruments – from flutes to drum kits.
“Disarm” is a second series of instruments built using the remnants of weapons that the Mexican army had collected and destroyed. The second series is made up of eight instruments that were created in collaboration with a team musicians and Cocolab, a media studio in Mexico City. The work was shown in London March, 2013, and the exhibition featured 8 Machine Music paintings, 8 Disarm instruments – including a Xylophone, Rain Stick, Guitar, Banjo and Violin, and 9 mechanised Disarm instruments – instruments that would be continuously playing throughout the 6 week exhibition.
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.
While the instruments were in the UK music producer John Coxon was commissioned to produce a record using them. He called in 6 other musicians and they spent a day improvising on the instruments in RAK studios in central London. Several weeks later a beautiful Vinyl was produced featuring 12 tracks recorded on that day and album artwork taken from Pedro’s designs.
Here are some extracts from the ‘Disarm’ LP: http://soundcloud.com/dillonwork/disarm