What It’s Like To Perform With Yo-Yo Ma… on a Flute Made From a Gun

By Daniel Goldberg and Keegan Morris |

Share this Post

alexandria hoffman gunflute flute yo yo ma

Alexandria Hoffman performs on the Reyes Gunflute

This is no normal flute — the instrument you see in this video is made from a reclaimed gunbarrel by artist Pedro Reyes. It's part of a broader project by the Mexican artist called "Palas por Pistolas," or "Guns into Shovels," in which Reyes transforms guns and turns them into musical instruments and shovels for planting trees.

In June, as part of his Bach Project, renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma visited Unity Park in the North Lawndale neighborhood of Chicago's West Side. At the park, Ma used a shovel made by Reyes to plant a magnolia tree following a performance with Civic Orchestra of Chicago flutist Alexandria Hoffman, who herself performed on a flute that Reyes made from a rifle's barrel.

With pianist Pei-yeh Tsai, Alexandria Hoffman recorded Bach's Air on the G String on the Reyes gunflute in WFMT's Levin Performance Studio as part of the upcoming special 'Whole Notes: Music of Healing and Peace.'

Ahead of the premiere of 'Whole Notes' on December 13 at 8:00 pm, see an excerpt of this performance, and hear Alexandria share her experience performing on the Reyes gunflute with Yo-Yo Ma.

WFMT premieres Whole Notes: Music of Healing and Peace Friday, December 13 at 8:00 pm. Click here learn more.