James Murphy enlists beer company for doomed-from-the-outset musical subway idea

New York's MTA say Murphy's plan to make subway turnstile beeps more musical "can't and won't happen", but that hasn't stopped Heineken getting involved.


Although relatively busy with that new wine bar, James Murphy is still plugging away at trying to make New York City's subway system more musical.

His Subway Symphony project, first floated last year, now has a partner in the form of Heineken (whether it's IBM, McIntosh, Canon, or Heineken, Murphy doesn't do anything without a corporate sponsor these days) in a hope to turn New York's subway turnstile bleeps into music.

Heineken have made a documentary that follows the project as it develops. They insist they can get their first station with notes installed, but New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) are still saying that it won't happen.

"We have heard from him, and as we’ve told him many times, we cannot do it," the MTA's Adam Lisberg told Gothamist pretty unequivocally, "The tones are an ADA element for the visually impaired, and we won’t mess with them—much less take turnstiles out of service and risk disabling them for an art project. (It would be a very cool project, don’t get me wrong, but we can’t mess with turnstiles that handle 6 million customers a day for it.)"

"As a condition of filming in the subway, we made them acknowledge that we can't and won't do it."