RockArt: Subway Symphony

subway symphonyI came across this the other day when a friend shared a link on Facebook about James Murphy’s passion to bring some music to the subways of New York City or, as he says, “making the city a slightly nicer place to be” with a subway symphony.  Murphy is best known as the former frontman for LCD Soundsystem, but these days is a producer, record label co-owner and DJ in Brooklyn with an obvious love for his city.

The basic principle is that the subway, while being the such an integral part of New York, is also quite a harsh aural environment with lots of screeching and soulless beeps coming from the turnstiles. All Murphy wants to do is replace the beeps of the turnstiles with a series of tones from a scale – like a I, III, IV, V VII – that would randomly play as people swiped their Metrocards, and so create music! Each station or line would have a different key so you’d start to associate different stations with different sounds. It’s a fascinating idea and it would be great to hear how it would actually sound. Props to Murphy for have a dream and putting in the effort to bring it to life – I hope he succeeds.

You can read a bit more about the project on Murphy’s Subway Symphony website and even sign a petition to try and get the project realised.

RockArt is a series of posts that looks at the non-musical side of things: videos, photos, logos and artwork – or in this rare case, musical artistry! You can find more here.


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