james murphy

James Murphy’s Musical Subway

When James Murphy floated the idea via podcast a few months ago of incorporating a music element into the the mechanisms contained in the turnstiles in the subway, the execution was seemingly farfetched. But the former LCD Soundsystem frontman and DFA records chairman hasn’t given up on hope that we can “have something quite beautiful in a place where something beautiful seems impossible.”


Sign Petition HERE


Essentially, instead of hearing that unpleasant monotoned beep every time you swipe your metro card at a turnstile, you will hear a richly harmonic series of notes coming together to create a improvised musical piece. WSJexplains: “He has worked out a unique set of notes for every station, one of which would sound each time a passenger swipes his or her MetroCard to catch a train. The busier a station becomes, the richer the harmonies would be. The same notes would also play in a set sequence when the subway arrives at that stop. Each of the city’s 468 subway stations would have note sets in different keys.”


All in all this is a brilliant way to make the city experience just a little more pleasant and simultaneously implement an incredibly interesting musical experiment reinforcing the innate human capacity, for even those who have no musical training, to perceive pitch and key. If you would like to see this become a reality as much as we would take a second to sign the petition here.