Sonic Branding on the Subway by LCD Sound System

CBGB Music & Film Festival 2013 - Times Square Performances

Former LCD Sound System front man, James Murphy, continues to take music underground. Quite literally this time.

The Someone Great producer plans to shake up the monotony of the NY Subway by making it musical. Not just by treating commuters and tourists to songs via speakers in stations and on platforms, but by turning the turnstiles into music boxes. This could Murphy’s whackiest musical idea yet. Or maybe just the most expensive.

NY turnstiles ‘make this unpleasant beep and are all slightly out of tune from one another‘, Murphy told the Wall Street Journal last week. Which could have been the inspiration to LCD’s 2010 track, New York I love You, But You’re Bringing Me Down.  But Murphy’s proposal is to assign each turnstile a tone to harmonise with the rest in the station; thus at rush hour the station would be become a hum of glorious harmonies, with each station having a signature key and set of notes. The result sounding not unlike the Tenori-on.

The MTA have a budget of $900,000 a year to upgrade the system and while sonically branding the Subway sounds like a great idea (and would go down in the history of art installations), there probably just isn’t enough cash to make it happen.

You can support James Murphy’s plans by signing his petition.


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