Heineken Helps James Murphy Realize His 'Subway Symphony' Dreams

Project Replaces Turnstile Beeps With Tuneful Notes

Published on Jun 18, 2015

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Heineken has teamed up with a man on a mission to make the New York City subway experience more melodic. As part of its "Open Your City" campaign, the brewer has partnered with James Murphy, musician and founder of LCD Soundsystem, to realize his ambitious project, "Subway Symphony," which turns turnstile beeping noises into pleasant, melodic notes that harmonize into music, giving each station its own "sonic identity."

As Mr. Murphy previously explained on the project's original site, "What I propose to do is to create a series of 3 to 5 note sequences, all unique, one for each station in the subway system. These sequences will be part of an intersecting larger piece of music, which would run from station to station, and cross one another as, say, the 4, 5, 6 line (one musical piece) intersects with the L, N, R, Q and W (another musical piece) at Union Square. At each turnstile in Union Square, as you tap your new tap and ride card, a pleasant bell tone will sound, in one of a set of possible notes, all related to that station's note sequence. The effect would be that at the busiest times, like rush hour, what was once cacophony would now be music. "

Now that he's partnered with Heineken, their efforts will be documented in a series of web films, the first of which is seen here and explains how Murphy came to Heineken with the idea. Meanwhile Heineken is encouraging fans to tweet "I support #SubwaySymphony" to show their support for the project.

The agency on the "Open Your City" campaign is Wieden & Kennedy New York; however, this week the Dutch brewer and Cannes Lions 2015 Advertiser of the Year announced it was parting ways with W&K globally.

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Jun 18, 2015
Wieden & Kennedy New York
Heineken/James Murphy

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