James Murphy & The ‘Subway Symphony’

James Murphy, late of LCD Soundsystem, hates the sound the NYC subway turnstiles make when a Metro pass is swiped through them.

“They make this unpleasant beep and are all slightly out of tune from one another,” Murphy said, in an interview in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal. Murphy wants to turn the daily routine of people going through the turnstiles into an ambient ‘subway symphony’.

Murphy has devised a low-cost plan that would “tune” each group of turnstiles at each subway stop into a chorus of pleasing, compatible-sounding notes that sound each time a passenger swipes through the gate, a different pitch/note at each turnstile, and a different set of notes at each station. The busier the station, the more notes sound, the more rich the “subway symphony.”

Murphy has a website devoted to the project, Subway Symphony and a petition folks can sign, urging city leaders to incorporate the idea over the next several years as the city upgrades to a new turnstile system.

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