The Next Station: Remixing the London Underground

The website Cities and Memory has just published a sound map of the London Underground called The Next Station. Working with The London Sound Survey, the project collected and associated field recordings to specific Tube stops in a map. They also issued an open invitation for musicians and sound artists to choose a particular station and to remix the sounds. Nearly 100 artists hailing from across the world chose to participate, and the results are now available on the website as a playlist. Interestingly, there is a wide variety of interpretive strategies on display.

I submitted a piece based on the Edgware Road stop on the Bakerloo line and am pleased to see it on the website alongside a lot of quite compelling work. It’s available here and in the embedded player below.

I use a pretty rudimentary sound editing set up, which made it challenging working with a single raw recording. After isolating quotidian sounds particular to the time and place of a single person walking through the station, my goal became to find a way to navigate a new path through them. The result is a collage emerging from sounds in their original form, processed sounds, fractured sounds, and some additional guitar and synthesizer sounds that harmonize with the natural tone of the space. The results, I hope, constitute a different kind of movement, retaining something of the character of the original recording, while musically reconfiguring the experience of traveling beneath the city.

I would encourage you to spend some time with the playlist to hear what other people came up with as well. Thanks to Stuart Fowkes for organizing the effort.