I can get stir crazy on a plane – the longer the flight, the worse it can get. I need something to do – listen, read – do something. But I also have trouble falling asleep on a plane. That experience can be particularly frustrating – when you have the need to get some sleep, but between the airplane noise, uncomfortable seats, pressurized environment, you can’t quite get there. I’m also not one for chemical sleep aids. I have found particular music that can do the trick. A few of my choices follow below.
A few years ago, I stumbled across a recording that worked wonders for me. Einstein on the Beach. This one comes in at around 3 hours, depending on the version selected. If you’ve not heard this work, you are in for an experience. It was, and remains, a revolution in sound. If you don’t venture beyond mainstream music, trust me, you’ll not have ever heard anything quite like this. Challenging, pulsating, boundary pushing stuff this is. And I have found, that on a plane, if I’m sufficiently tired, the music can aid knocking me about before the end of track two. It has since become my accompaniment when travelling in hotel rooms. Loaded on my iPad, ready for sleep, I’ll push play, and wah-lah, next thing you know, I am out.
This one almost begs for being taken on the airport ride. There are a few ambient recordings from Brian Eno that work well. This is a good one – I also like his “Discreet Music.”
Three hundred sixty eight minutes my friends. You won’t feel like dancing, you won’t be tapping your feet. A revolution in string quartet composition – this one will get you from coast to coast on an airplane ride. Recommended only with good noise cancelling headphones on the airplane. I use a set by Bose – you can try these Quiet Comfort headphones linked here.
Sometimes I need some pipe organ on the playlist. Messiaen stretches boundaries. His music also works for me as an airplane ride accompaniment. With the complete works downloaded on my listening device, I am good to go.
If you have tips for travel music, especially to get through the airplane ride, I’d love to hear your selections. If you’ve not heard any of the works above and are intrigued, please click on the links above to get these airplane music selections from the Azure Hills Music store on Amazon.
Art Dobrucki, CAGO
Azure Hills Music