Heineken, James Murphy Want to Reinvent NYC Subway Turnstile Tones

By Kiran Aditham 


Since essentially “retiring” his LCD Soundsystem project in 2011, DJ/producer James Murphy, who’s also the co-founder of DFA Records, has indulged in a variety of somewhat offbeat efforts related in some way to music. Now that he’s collaborated with IBM to create music out of tennis match data during last year’s U.S. Open and opened the DJ-driven wine bar Four Horsemen in Brooklyn earlier this month, Murphy is going underground.

The artist has teamed up with Heineken and Wieden+Kennedy New York to launch the #SubwaySymphony, which marks the next chapter in the beer giant’s ongoing “Cities” campaign. Murphy’s ultimate goal with this effort is to make NYC commuters happier by replacing the harsh beeps that normally emanate from turnstiles within New York City’s subway system with synth tones customized for specific stations.

Here’s the video:

Regarding this ambitious project, Murphy himself says,

“New York City is a beautiful, one-of-a-kind place, and the people who are willing to do what it takes to live here – deal with the crowds and the commotion and the noise – deserve a little sonic gift like this. I want to turn the cacophony of the subway into unique pieces of music. It might seem like a small thing, but that’s exactly the point. This is such an easy way to make this great place I call home even greater.”

While Murphy is trying to rally support for the campaign via social and the Subway Symphony hub, it appears New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority is ready to put the kibosh on the project before it even gets off the ground. Still, we appreciate Murphy’s hopeless idealism and give him an A for effort, even if the MTA never budges from its hardline stance. You can check out the campaign site for more info and upcoming episodes to follow the prologue clip you see above.

The campaign does, unfortunately, arrive at a somewhat awkward time as the client officially ended its relationship with W+K yesterday.

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