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James Murphy Proposes Plan for NYC's Subway Turnstiles

James Murphy Proposes Plan for NYC's Subway Turnstiles

For those dwindling numbers of city dwellers who don't pop on some earbuds for the morning commute, rush hour can provide its own dynamic audio soundtrack. In NYC, part of that AM ambiance has always been the pinging of the subway turnstiles. Though if James Murphy had his way there would be some order to the chaos. At a WNYC-currated talk at Yale last month, the former LCD Soundsystem frontman laid out his proposal to transform the subway's turnstiles into something a bit more harmonious:

So I thought, I love New York and I love its aggression, and I love that it doesn’t make it easier for you to be a member of the city…But, I wanted to change the sound of going through the turnstile to a series of notes - I could do a little program. I could be like, well, the dominant note is the root, this is the fifth, this is the third, have a couple of sevenths, throw a few sixths in there just to be crazy. And during rush hour it would make arpeggiated music. And each subway station could have its own key or tonal set. For me, for a new person going to work, I think it would just be nice. It would be hard not to like that more than “shut up, idiot, you’re walking so slow!


No word on whether the MTA is actually interested in the idea, but if it gets picked up this could be the biggest news for public transportation-based sound design since Brian Eno recorded Music for Airports.  Hear the whole talk here.  [via Spin]

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