The Last Gun is a mechano-robotic flute built out of a disabled shotgun and salvaged industrial components. The gun barrels have been transformed into a double-flute, which is played by compressed air. The mechanics are programmed and controlled through open-source electronics using an Arduino microprocessor and a Raspberry Pi board.
The installation graphically charts and then musically depicts the rise & fall of annual U.S. arms exports. The flute’s aural response is based upon a value judgment. It is programmed to play a somber melody for every rise in arms exports and an upbeat tune for every year the arms exports drop.
© 2012 Constantine Zlatev
Kostadin Ilov is a computer engineer and a systems administrator at UC Berkeley. He earned his Master’s degree in Computer Engineering at the Technical University of Sofia. He enjoys working with artists and solving the programming challenges of Constantine’s mechano-robotic installations.
Velina Ruseva is a professional pianist and a music teacher and wrote the musical notes for the mechano-robotic flute installations. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the Conservatory of Music in Plovdiv, Bulgaria and earned her Master’s degree from Veliko Turnovo University. Her love of music and geeky sense of adventure has led her beyond the bounds of the traditional and she greatly enjoys writing music for such experimental instruments.