You know that annoying beep sound you hear when you go through the turnstile at a subway station? Well, what if instead of a beep you heard a musical note, that was part of a symphony? That's the vision of former LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy. Murphy wants to create a "Subway Symphony" that will give travelers the gift of music during their daily commute.
If Murphy has his way, that beep will be changed to a melodic sounds, a symphony produced by millions of users each day. He's been working on this idea for years — decades actually — but he hasn't made much progress in convincing New York City's Metropolitan Transit Authority that it would be worth the time and effort.
It's a nice idea, the MTA's Adam Lindsberg told the Gothamist, but it's hardly worth the effort and expense required to take existing turnstiles out of service to upgrade them for the project. Not to mention that the annoying beep currently in use does serve a purpose. That beep makes the system compliant with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act by letting the visually impaired know that a card has been swiped. (Of course, a musical note would do the same thing.)
Still, Murphy is not to be deterred. He recently hooked up with Heineken for a campaign to build public support for his symphony idea. The team has produced a series of short videos, such as the one below, to explain the project.
According to the New York Times, Murphy has already created a few test turnstiles that he hopes to install by the end of the summer. Here's a sneak peek at what Murphy's Subway Symphony could sound like if the project gets the green light.
"I believe that music makes people happy, and it can make them reflective,” said Murphy in the video. "The turnstile has to make a sound. It might as well be beautiful.”
Check out the Subway Symphonies site to catch a sneak peek of the kinds of melodies that you might hear at NYC subway stations soon if Murphy has his way.