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Experience the Stop-by-Stop Sounds of the London Underground

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iStock

Thanks to a new sound project, you can have the sonic experience of taking the London Underground without ever leaving your house. As The Guardian reports, The Next Station—a site created by the international sound art project Cities and Memory and the London Sound Survey—is a tour of the city’s iconic transportation system in the form of audio recordings. With The Next Station, you can experience the crowds, the trains, announcers, musicians, and other aural ephemera heard by millions of commuters every day. 

Over the course of three months, the creators recorded audio in and around 55 London Underground stations, from people offering free hugs outside Brixton station to the hum of Bank station's escalators. Artists, sound designers, and musicians—not all of them from London or even the UK—then tinkered with the recordings to create 100 reimagined versions of the original Underground sounds. These remixed soundscapes are available for listening in an interactive map of the Tube, organized by the stations at which they were originally recorded. Though each has a title that explains the main sounds included, like “Bank station, passages, and escalators,” there’s often a bit of a surprise inside, like a subway musician’s killer guitar solo.

In New York City, sound artists have been more interested in adding soundscapes to subway stations than extracting them. LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy has lobbied for years to create an underground sound art project where turnstiles would be equipped with different beeping sounds to create electronic orchestras unique to each station. Alas, the city’s subway administrators have not been receptive. 

Joyful as subway soundscapes are, the sounds of underground transport are rarely pleasant. Subways are often so loud that, over time, they can damage your hearing, and the New York City system has had dangerous noise levels (over 90 decibels) for years. By contrast, San Francisco’s BART has average noise levels of 79 decibels within its train compartments, close to the maximum allowed by California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health, but still under the limit. While high noise levels are fine in the short-term, over long periods of time (such as every day on your commute for years), loud noise can permanently damage your hearing. Better to enjoy the sounds of city transit safely from your computer.

[h/t The Guardian]

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See the Secret Paintings Hidden in Gilded Books
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The art of vanishing fore-edge painting—hiding delicate images on the front edges of gilded books—dates back to about 1660. Today, British artist Martin Frost is the last remaining commercial fore-edge painter in the world. He works primarily on antique books, crafting scenes from nature, domestic life, mythology, and Harry Potter. Great Big Story recently caught up with him in his studio to learn more about his disappearing art. Learn more in the video below.

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Candytopia, the Interactive Art Installation Made of Sweet Treats, Is Coming to New York City
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A colorful exhibition is sharing some eye candy—and actual candy—with visitors. The sweet art pop-up, called Candytopia, is heading to New York City this summer following successful stints in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, Gothamist reports.

Candytopia feels a little like Willy Wonka’s chocolate room. More than a dozen rooms with psychedelic backdrops will be on view, as well as candy-inspired interpretations of famous artworks such as Mona Lisa and The Thinker. The installation is the brainchild of Jackie Sorkin, the star of TLC’s Candy Queen.

Many of the art installations are made from actual candy, but unlike Wonka’s lickable wallpaper, visitors will have to keep their hands and tongues to themselves. Instead, guests will be given samples of various sweet treats like gummies, chocolates, and “nostalgic favorites.”

Forbes named Candytopia one of the best pop-up museums to visit in 2018. New York City seems the perfect place for the exhibit, having formerly hosted other food-inspired pop-ups like the Museum of Pizza and the Museum of Ice Cream.

Candytopia will debut in New York City on August 15 at Penn Plaza at 145 West 32nd Street. Tickets must be purchased in advance, and they can be ordered on Candytopia’s website. Private events and birthday parties can also be arranged.

Keep scrolling to see some more installations from Candytopia.

A wing of the Candytopia exhibit
Mathew Tucciarone

An Egyptian-inspired statue made of candy
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A candy version of the Mona Lisa
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A shark statue
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[h/t Gothamist]

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