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The Gun Music Box

The Gun Music Box is a hand made all steel music box that produces the sound by firing real guns.

 

The Gun Music Box

The Gun Music Box is an artwork challenging the notion of musical composition by creating an instrument from a typically a-musical object. The intention of the project was to re-contextualise the use of firearms by placing them into a performative setting, and in doing so, removing the violent connotations associated with them.

 
 
 
 

The Making Of

The Gun Music box was built in collaboration with German YouTuber Jörg Sprave and Dutch craftsman Akko Goldenbeld. Performed and recorded by MC Mesijus and Napo.

 
 
 
 
 
 

We began our research online and sought out interesting people designing and building interesting musical machines. We first met Akko Goldenbeld, a Dutch craftsman who made a music box that plays a melody using a 3d map of Eindhoven and Amsterdam.

 
 

Akko Goldenbeld assembling his music box.

Which building in Eindhoven is it?

 
 

We visited the Museum Speelklok in Utrecht, which has a large collection of music boxes and automata – it was here that we learnt a great deal about the mechanics of music boxes. With all this new information we set out to try and make something different, something that hasn't been done before.

 
 

The old music box at Museum Speelklok in Utrecht.

The music box doll at Museum Speelklok in Utrecht.

 
 

Our first main challenge was to trying to figure out the mechanism, which would trigger the guns. Jörg Sprave, the man behind the Slingshot Channel, kindly offered to help us, and produced a prototype using a cap gun.

 
 

Jorg Sprave making the prototype in his studio.

Testing the prototype with a cap gun.

The prototype. Close-up.

 
 

Jörg’s prototype provided the basis for the mechanism, and we were able to scale up the initial design, fabricating the finished music box entirely from steel.

 
 

Tadas Maksimovas and Algimantas Slapikas making the bigger prototype out of wood.

Algimantas Slapikas finishing the prototype.

Testing the prototype with an air gun.

Tadas Maksimovas assembling The Gun Music Box.

All the guns are ready.

Tadas Maksimovas making the crank handle.

The crank handle almost done.

 
 

Once the music box had been made, it was time to some music with it. We wanted to write a song emphasizing the concept of using firearms for music instead of war. We worked with up-and-coming artist, MC Mesijus, to record vocals for the track, and produced a music video, featuring the Gun Music Box being played.

 
 
 
 
 
 

The Gun Music Box project was featured on Booooooom! and Vice.