James Murphy seems intent to prove that he’s not losing his edge by curating a range of innovative and experimental music projects. In February, Murphy proposed his ‘Subway Symphony’, a set of melodies and tones to replace the currently uninspiring soundtrack of the NYC subway system, with a range of sounds used to represent different stations and subways lines. The Metropolitan Transport Authority is yet to take him up on it.
His latest project has seen more success and comes with the backing of IBM. Working with creative developer Patrick Gunderson, who designs art using computer coding, Murphy has composed an electronic score to the matches of the US Open. Using a computer algorithm, sounds are assigned to aspects of a tennis match such as points, serves and sets, which Murphy then manipulates using a synthesiser-like interface.
The soundtrack for each match can be heard here. This is definitely experimental music and the tracks don’t particularly sound like songs as they are composed around the random rhythms of a tennis match. However, there is something compelling about Murphy’s creations (my favourite is the 3rd round Monfils vs. Gasquet match) and they would add an intriguing element if used as actual soundtracks to video footage of the games.
Match-point then, to Murphy. He looks to be in good form since LCD Soundsystem’s split and if he carries on in this vein should be a player to keep an eye on in the field of experimental electronic music.
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