What Does Your Tube Station Sound Like?

By Zoe Craig Last edited 87 months ago

Last Updated 28 February 2017

What Does Your Tube Station Sound Like?
11019 — Pimlico. Photo: Jack Gordon.

Whether its a regular busker, the sound system of the phone shop next door, or the endless shout of the Standar' seller, most London tube stations have very familiar sounds.

You can listen to these individual soundscapes thanks to a collaborative sound project called The Next Station.

The first sound map of the London Tube network can be seen and heard here or you can click around the map below.


A fascinating project, The Next Station is far more than simple recordings of traffic noise, 'Mind The Gap' announcements and the murmur of bored commuters.

Cities and Memory worked with The London Sound Survey to collect field recording from 55 different tube stations, from across the London Underground network, over a period of three months.

These recordings have then been reimagined, remixed and reworked by a team of around 95 musicians, artists and sound designers.

Photo: Nigel Bewley

For instance, there's a three-minute audio clip containing the phrase 'The next station is Covent Garden' in 12 different languages.

The ambient beeps, murmurs, drips and musical hum woven around this everyday announcement has the quality of a film score: listen with your eyes shut and let your imagination provide the drama to accompany the growing cacophony.   

Photo: Robert

The resulting interactive map is a delight: you can waste hours enjoy listening to either the original field recordings, or the reimagined ambient music, full-on house, or banging techno tracks created by the artists in response.

About Cities And Memory

The Next Station is part of a wider, global project by Cities And Memory, which aims to present and remix the sounds of the whole world.

The Global Sound Map has two sounds for every location: a documentary field recording, documenting the current reality of a place, and a reimagining of that sound, providing an alternative counterpoint.

There are currently more than 1,300 sounds featured on the sound map at Cities And Memory, spread over 55 countries.