Musician, performer and interactive artist Alexander Chen has started an ambitious project tentatively titled ‘Conductor’, which uses the lines on the New York City subway map as an instrument.
Conductor is still a work in progress, and in this version Chen based the map design on the Vignelli’s 1972 subway map noting that the 8 and 9 lines no longer exist. He hopes to develop a program that will input an actual MTA subway schedule and have the trains themselves trigger the music using the lines as tonal strings, much like the iPad app Sound Drop.
Watch and listen to the the somber tones of the piece and let us know what you think. We feel it has a similar sound to what’s in our head as we commute–dark, clunky and dissonant.