Pin It
james murphy

James Murphy wants to make NYC subways sing

The ex-LCD Soundsystem man's plan to turn turnstile beeps into harmonious music

Cue joke about the "underground" music scene in New York – James Murphy has unveiled a plan to turn the unpleasant beeps of New York subway turnstiles into sweet music. "They make this unpleasant beep and are all slightly out of tune from one another," he told the Wall Street Journal. Subway Symphony, his proposal, aims to change all that. 

Murphy has spent the last 15 years working on the comprehensive "musical solution": a system of harmonious notes unique to each of the city's 486 subway stops. When a passenger swipes their MetroCard at the turnstile, one of these notes would sound, building to a rich orchestra of complementary tones during busier periods.

An spokesperson from Metropolitan Transportation Authority has dismissed the idea as unworkable, describing his subway bosses as "not inclined to mess with anything that could get in their way". And while it might sound like an unachievably grandiose proposal, Murphy is convinced that he's got a shot: the MTA is about to embark on a $900,000-a-year project to improve passenger flow at stations, which will incorporate improving the turnstile system. The musician is also lobbying hard for a meeting with the new Mayor, Bill de Blasio, after failing to interest former Mayor Michael Bloomberg. 

The official site for Subway Symphony describes the plan as "making the city a slightly nicer place to be". If you're a New Yorker, you can sign the petition to implement the proposal here