When LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy isn't DJing at London's Boiler Room, he's giving talks at Yale with fellow musician and Talking Heads frontman David Byrnes. The two took part in a Yale discussion series called "Art and Music" last month, where they discussed many aspects of New York, but most notably the city's noisy subway turnstiles. Here's what Murphy had to say on the matter:
All the subway turnstiles in New York City…make a beep. It’s a really unpleasant sound and the one that’s right next to it is slightly out of key with it. So, it’s like ‘ehhh….aehhh…uehhh’ Unless you get it wrong and it’s like, ‘No!’ Then it’s the sound of your bruised hip as you hit the thing… So I thought, I love New York and I love its aggression, and I love that it doesn’t make it easier for you to be a member of the city…But, I wanted to change the sound of going through the turnstile to a series of notes—I could do a little program. I could be like, well, the dominant note is the root, this is the fifth, this is the third, have a couple of sevenths, throw a few sixths in there just to be crazy. And during rush hour it would make arpeggiated music. And each subway station could have its own key or tonal set. For me, for a new person going to work, I think it would just be nice. It would be hard not to like that more than ‘shut up, idiot, you’re walking so slow!"
The entirety of the discussion is available to stream below (via WNYC).