A visit to http://www.subwaysymphony.org/about/ will open up a heartfelt plea from unexpected source, former front man to LCD Sound System - James Murphy.
The renowned musician, and New York City local, is asking people to support his vision - for the New York City subway commuter community to enjoy a more harmonious journey, via the implementation of his unique sonic solution.
Like many entrepreneurs before him, it seems Murphy has grown frustrated by a certain aspect of the current system. His admission of being a man who loves music and sound, I’m sure he’s not alone when he mentions the source driving his frustration.
… “by time you swipe your MetroCard, the turnstile emits a flat, unpleasant "beep”. Each turnstile emits its own beep, all of which are slightly out of tune with one another, creating a dissonant rubbing-styrofoam-on-glass squeak in stations all around New York City. It’s kind of horrible. “
According to Murphy, the alternative could be ‘less of a cacophony and one of music’ at peak subway times, if his well devised solution is adopted.
Murphy outlines his proposal to assign each subway station its own sequence of musical notes which would then be affected by commuters swiping in to take their trains.
"These sequences will be part of an intersecting larger piece of music, which would run from station to station, and cross one another as, say, the 4, 5, 6 line (one musical piece) intersects with the L, N, R, Q and W (another musical piece) at Union Square. At each turnstile in Union Square, as you tap your new tap and ride card, a pleasant bell tone will sound, in one of a set of possible notes, all related to that station’s note sequence. ”
Murphy’s motivations are underscored by his belief that the commuters of New York enjoy music and that from a legacy perspective, the ability of his idea to create memorable moments bathed in nostalgia for his fellow travellers and in some instances even may trigger some creativity flow-on.
“ I believe that a musician making beats for a rapper from a particular neighbourhood will use the melody of the station near their home as the hook for a song, and that every kid from that particular neighbourhood will instantly know that this song is about where they’re from.”
If by chance you’re a resident of New York City reading, you can sign his petition here to bring music to your subway.