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A vision of New York’s subways making music could become reality

James Murphy & musical subway turnstiles

New York City is famous for many things – the Statue of Liberty, the World Trade Center, the Empire State Building, to name a few. But the city runs on its subways. Former LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy has a dream: to turn the sound of New York’s subway turnstiles into music.After over 15 years of trying to bring the Subway Symphony to life,Danish beer giant Heineken has taken an interest and is helping turn this dream into reality.

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Inspired by soothing sounds in subway systems in Tokyo and Barcelona, Murphy envisions turning unpleasant turnstile “beeps” into musical notes. Each turnstile would feature a four-note sequence that would harmonize with other turnstiles. Entering the subway could then become almost a symphonic experience.The idea is that every subway station will feature its own unique piece of music.

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Murphy is working with various groups to find solutions to objections posed by the Metropolitan Transit Authority, the entity in charge of New York’s subway system. This weekend the project the public can experience this musical possibility.Opening in partnership with the Lowline Lab, this excitingly cool free demonstration will run through 2016.

Debra Atlas is a freelance environmental writer and eco-enthusiast based in Northern California, and is the Red Ferret’s Ecological Editor. Debra looks for the upside of eco-change – what’s positive, making a difference. She hunts down those interesting things cooked up by creative minds, especially if they’re strange and eccentric.

Debra Atlas – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.


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