Music within the machine

Have a look at this great article by Tom Vanderbilt for Design Observer on the Montréal Metro and the music within the machine… Tom is led to thoughts on early electronic music and the coincidences of design, but I’m really interested in the oddly banal/intriguing experiences of transportation and transiting in the everyday. I have recently been reading Marc Augé’s Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthology of Supermodernity, in which transit spaces are one of his major objects:

A world where people are born in the clinic and die in hospital, where transit points and temporary abodes are proliferating under luxurious or inhuman conditions (hotel chains and squats, holiday clubs and refugee camps, shantytowns threatened with demolition or doomed to festering longevity); where a dense network of means of transport which are also inhabited spaces is developing; where the habitué of supermarkets, slot machines and credit cards communicates wordlessly, through gestures, with an abstract, unmediated commerce; a world thus surrendered to solitary individuality, to the fleeting, the temporary and ephemeral, offers the anthropologist (and others) a new object, whose unprecedented dimensions might usefully be measured before we start wondering what sort of gaze it may be amenable. (78)