Mexican artist turns guns into musical instruments
MEXICO CITY (AP) -- The guns that have caused so many deaths in northern Mexico are now making music.
Mechanical hammers ping against ammunition magazines from assault rifles. Gun barrels cut to different lengths ring like marimbas. Pistol parts strike metal plates, like cymbals, to create rhythmic, syncopated sounds.
"It's important to consider that many lives were taken with these weapons, as if a sort of exorcism was taking place," sculptor Pedro Reyes said in a description of his project emailed to The Associated Press.
When they were played, he said, "the music expelled the demons they held, as well as being a requiem for lives lost."
For the project titled "Disarm," Reyes said he was able to choose his instruments from about 6,700 guns that were turned in or seized by the army and police in Ciudad Juarez, a city of about 1.3 million people that averaged about 10 killings a day at the height of the violence. In 2010, Ciudad Juarez, across from El Paso, Texas. Juarez had a murder rate about 230 per 100,000 inhabitants. The nationwide rate for the U.S. that year was 4.8.