Post War Orchestra

Transforming instruments of war to instruments of music. Photos by Chris Elliott.

Curated by Jason Kravitz
March 22, 2013

The Post War Orchestra was created by artist Hilary Champion and a group of musicians who imagine an era when all conflicts have been resolved and militaria is therefore redundant.

The PWO recycles the weapons, transforming them into musical instruments. Since their formation on 2009, their message of hope and optimism for the future has been a powerful voice for transformation.

Aminus3 photographer Chris Elliott was asked to document a sequence for a video that was being made for a Kickstarter appeal to raise funds for the PWO.

Tim Wheater is an internationally famous flautist, composer and sound healer. He has played for the Dalai Lama and Her Majesty The Queen.

The Post War Orchestra take instruments of war and make instruments of music from them. Here a Lee Enfield rifle has been turned into a flute.

Shot in the Kew Steam Museum, Tim Wheater plays a flute created from a Lee Enfield rifle, with Paul Foss playing a Hang. They hope to create an instrument sounding like a Hang from Tank Armour

Kit Woolley is playing a guitar made from two rifles. Creating a traditional single neck guitar is a challenge to adjust the tuning and playability, creating one from two rifles is not trivial.

The musicians are all ages, and from all backgrounds, brought together by the simple concept of making music with re-purposed militaria.

Shelley Tomas runs the forge, and is an amazing craftswoman, being able to build anything from a delicate ear-ring, up to a chassis for a truck.

Part of the Kickstarter video shoot was done in London’s oldest working forge. The Forge is being used to melt down old shell cases, and create brass plectrums.

The forge is also being used to cut, grind, hammer and melt to create the new instruments.

Jeff Boul, a highly talented cameraman and producer, is capturing Paul Foss talking about how he is going to create a Hang-like instrument from tank armour.

The Kickstarter project video took 2 days to shoot, and a week to edit. It required great collaboration from the musicians and production crew.

The passion of the musicians, and indeed everyone involved in the project, pervaded every sequence in the creation of the funding video.

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