The subway is one of the main characters of the stories of New York. So much so that, as a star of the show, it has its own music. But now, the brilliant musician James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem) has proposed translating those sounds, screeches, booms and all of those robotic noises of doors opening and closing, into its own melody. He seeks to make the noises of the underground into an electronic symphony that is pleasant to the passenger’s ear. Murphy imagines, for example, that the turnstiles play melodic notes instead of clicks and beeps.

“Rush hour, instead of being a nightmare, could possibly become the most beautiful hour on the subway,” Murphy says in his video for “Open Your City,” a campaign by Heineken to improve cities. When the producer, who has had this idea in his head for 20 years, found out that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) wanted to change the swipe card system to an electronic one, he saw the opportunity to intervene.

“New York City’s jewel in the crown is its subway system, Murphy told The Guardian. “And anything that shows its importance and makes it a little more friendly would not be a nightmare for people.”

However, despite the fact that, by all accounts, it is a brilliant gift to the thousands of users who travel daily on the subway, the transportation network rejected it. “It’s a very good idea,” the MTA said, “the problem is that the tones you hear in the turnstile are there as part of the ‘law for Americans with disabilities,’ so that our blind users know that their ticket was accepted.”

Murphy and Heineken said they are working with experts to deal with this issue and they think they have an even better solution for blind users. Meanwhile, other cities such as Tokyo and Barcelona have already included the sonic experience as part of their underground transport systems, although neither is as beautiful as Murphy’s.

Listening to music brightens our lives, as does James Murphy’s imagination. For now all we can do is hope that the project comes to fruition because, as he says, “subway users deserve a little sonic gift on their way home or to work.”

To hear what the Subway Symphony would sound like and how to help make it become a reality, visit here.

The subway is one of the main characters of the stories of New York. So much so that, as a star of the show, it has its own music. But now, the brilliant musician James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem) has proposed translating those sounds, screeches, booms and all of those robotic noises of doors opening and closing, into its own melody. He seeks to make the noises of the underground into an electronic symphony that is pleasant to the passenger’s ear. Murphy imagines, for example, that the turnstiles play melodic notes instead of clicks and beeps.

“Rush hour, instead of being a nightmare, could possibly become the most beautiful hour on the subway,” Murphy says in his video for “Open Your City,” a campaign by Heineken to improve cities. When the producer, who has had this idea in his head for 20 years, found out that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) wanted to change the swipe card system to an electronic one, he saw the opportunity to intervene.

“New York City’s jewel in the crown is its subway system, Murphy told The Guardian. “And anything that shows its importance and makes it a little more friendly would not be a nightmare for people.”

However, despite the fact that, by all accounts, it is a brilliant gift to the thousands of users who travel daily on the subway, the transportation network rejected it. “It’s a very good idea,” the MTA said, “the problem is that the tones you hear in the turnstile are there as part of the ‘law for Americans with disabilities,’ so that our blind users know that their ticket was accepted.”

Murphy and Heineken said they are working with experts to deal with this issue and they think they have an even better solution for blind users. Meanwhile, other cities such as Tokyo and Barcelona have already included the sonic experience as part of their underground transport systems, although neither is as beautiful as Murphy’s.

Listening to music brightens our lives, as does James Murphy’s imagination. For now all we can do is hope that the project comes to fruition because, as he says, “subway users deserve a little sonic gift on their way home or to work.”

To hear what the Subway Symphony would sound like and how to help make it become a reality, visit here.

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