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Music by VICE

Listen: James Murphy Previews His Musical Subway Vision

Hear a preview of Subway Symphony, and watch an interview with the artist.

by Zach Sokol
24 February 2014, 3:50pm

Lead image by Animal New York and Adam Fagen/Flickr

Apparently, James Murphy really isn't joking around when it comes to his musical subway idea, Subway Symphony, that would turn those annoying turnstile beeping sounds into sonorous notes. 

Last fall, we detailed an interview the former LCD Soundsystem frontman gave to a Chicago radio station, where he fleshed out his proposal to program subway turnstiles so every station in New York would have unique note sets in varying keys. During rush hour, thirds and fifth notes would be emitted on top of the subway's specific root note, so that foot traffic would turn into a beautiful piece of music. 

Today, the Wall Street Journal published an article and accompanying video piece where Murphy discusses his ideas, alongside a brief preview of what the musical project could sound like. 

The artist believes that now is the best chance to make his project a reality, as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is starting a $900,000-a-year project to enhance commuter flow at certain stations by adjusting the placement of turnstiles and emergency exits. Also, the MTA is working on plan to eradicate the MetroCard swipe in favor of a tapping process similar to some subway lines in Europe. This transition is expected to be completed by 2019. 

Watch Murphy's video interview and hear the Subway Symphony preview below. And look back at our suggestions on who the musician should collaborate with to help bring his beautiful (and feasible) idea to fruition. 

@zachsokol