Music to fly by

I was watching Getaway last week when they showed a segment about drifting down a Daintree rainforest creek. The background music was Enya’s Storms in Africa, last heard during the Ansett television commercials in the late 90’s. Those were the kind of airline advertisements that really made you want to fly, featuring aircraft flying through evening clouds to Enya’s dreamy music. I was quite sad when they replaced those advertisements. A search of the net has revealed that I’m not alone in my opinion, nor in my hope that someone will put the ad on YouTube.

I went ahead and purchased Storms in Africa online for the memories of the now defunct airline and to listen to on future flights as well. Music is an important component of my holidays, providing a soundtrack to the experience. Years later I can listen to the music again and recall what I saw and felt on the holiday when I played that music.

Music is a matter of personal taste. When it comes to flying I prefer “dreamy” music to anything too dramatic, although I do associate a number of Back to the Future movie themes by Alan Silvestri with flight. John Williams’ soundtracks to Catch Me if You Can and The Terminal have obvious connections with flight, but Jerry Goldsmith’s The Sum of All Fears is just something I listened to on a flight to Singapore. One more recent song that put me in the mood to fly is In Love Again by the Rogue Traders. Whenever I hear it I can imagine myself relaxing back in my seat gazing down at the world below.

I was pleasantly surprised that Jetstar’s individual entertainment unit contained a movie music category on the flight up to Osaka. Most times the music choice is lacking of my favourite genre. Many do have a “relaxation” channel with electronic music that is quite good for background sound if you are trying to sleep.

Another source of mood setting music is that played in cabin before take-off and in other situations. I found Jetstar’s Let’s Fly Away (or whatever the proper title is) relaxing in its repetitiveness during the taxi and take-off from Osaka. It’s just a pity that they switch it off once the cabin entertainment is underway. Cathay Pacific’s music, also used during the safety demonstration, is similarly pleasant. I’m not a big fan of Qantas’ and Peter Allen’s I Still Call Australia Home however.

Back to the Ansett again, I wish another airline would come up with a similarly inspiring television advertisements. It might be enough to convince me to fly with them if the music is good!