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Escalator Music

Friday, January 21, 2011

Chris Richards, pop critic for The Washington Post, has a theory that the squeaky escalators in Washington D.C.'s metro system are "secret music." So, he recorded the squeals of the city's musical stairs -- and then, invited readers to submit remixes. He joins us to explain the project, and present some of the winning entries.


Chris Richards

Comments [5]

John Yaya from Space and Tyme

"Misty Businesswoman" by Travelers of Tyme!

Jan. 24 2011 04:37 PM
MC from Long Island City

There are definitely escalators in the NYC subway, despite what the guest just said. Guess he didn't live in the city for a very long time.

Jan. 21 2011 02:43 PM
cb in dc from washington dc

I'm happy to see this project! Before they fixed the escalators at Georgia Ave, I used to love how the sounds would sometimes integrate with whatever I was listening to on my iPod. By itself it's really annoying but then you realize its potential as real music.

Jan. 21 2011 02:39 PM
hugh hales-tooke from jersey city

I realized that the sound of the squeaking wheels as the subway leaves the station in New York is often the first three notes in Bernstein's 'Somewhere'. I don't know why the trains should produce these notes so consistently as the train leaves different stations - but it does. I always liked 'Somewhere' because of that leap of a minor seventh in the first two notes. Could Bernestein have got the idea from riding the subway? He probably never used public transport

Jan. 21 2011 02:38 PM
ted in atlanta from DC upon occasion

what a cool idea! unfortunately it does not bode well for the longevity of the escalators... but great complex found sounds. The raw audio reminds me of the sax player's electronic interlude from yesterday.

Jan. 21 2011 02:38 PM

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