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Calming music for travel

Hi Fellow Travelers,

What calming music do you travel with?

Thank you for your help and safe travels to all!

Posted by
384 posts

J. S. Bach. Years ago when NASA sent its explorer out into the universe, I forget its name & year, they included a recording of people sending greetings in many, many languages, descriptions of Earth, plus some Bach. Someone said it should just be all Bach, "but that would be bragging."

Posted by
615 posts

Hi Carole -

Last night BBC Radio 3 broadcast Max Richter’s ‘Sleep’. I caught some of it, just before 3.00 am. Because I was only half awake and wasn’t the sure what I was hearing I found it oddly tense until it changed tack a little. Overall very soothing though. It’s up on BBC Sounds site for next thirty days. Give it a listen if you have a moment or two - all eight hours of it! (On the Radio 3 site there are snippets to give you a feel for it).

When I travel, I do like to listen to something like ‘Spem in Alium’ by Thomas Tallis as a chill out piece, or, on a Tallis related theme, Vaughan Williams’ ‘Variations on a Theme by Thomas Tallis’.

Ian

Posted by
103 posts

Harold Budd's album "The Pearl" has been our travel music for years. He has several other works that are just beautiful.

Posted by
167 posts

I don't really enjoy flying overseas to Europe which seems like a strange statement coming from someone who lived in Hawaii.
So, I have a playlist on my iPod titled "airplane." In it I have what many may call "elevator type music. One of my favorite performers is pianist Emile Pandolfi. His playing is very smooth, very calming. I also have instrumental sacred music and some classical music on it.
I find pieces by Mozart calming. Hope that's what you were looking for.

Posted by
160 posts

Thank you so very much for all your suggestions.
I will print these up, and I will definitely check them out.

Wishing everyone well.

Posted by
5429 posts

The plane usually has one track of classical music -- I listen to that in my noice-cancelling headphones, pull on my sleep mask and only wake up when the food arrives.

Posted by
160 posts

Thanks everyone!
Lots of terrific suggestions to try.
I appreciate your taking the time to respond and extend help.

Posted by
31111 posts

Carole,

I've been travelling with an iPhone for many years and before that an iPod. Those both have a good selection of music from my music library, which I've organized into a number of playlists such as classical, easy listening, 60/70's, 80/90's, country specific, etc. That way I can choose whichever type fits my mood at the time. I prepared a custom playlist for one of my trips and listening to that still brings back great memories, and also works well when I'm viewing a slide show of that trip.

Posted by
4458 posts

First Aid Kit’s cover of ”America”.

On my last trip (before the UK opened the e-gates to US citizens), I was waiting in a very long immigration queue at Heathrow. This song came on my Iphone and I immediately was transported to a ”zen” place. I kept repeating the song because it made me feel so calm and patient. If you haven’t listened to it, I highly recommend it. Their harmonies are so soothing.

https://youtu.be/Hy70q_awGUk

Posted by
3009 posts

Having been a musician for my working career ( classically trained , and spent thirty five years in Broadway orchestras ) I am also an inveterate listener . Spending some time yesterday going through my extensive collection of LP's and CD's , I noticed two recordings which would be a perfect fit for you . These are from the 1950's , and would often be pejoratively defined as " elevator music " . Quite unfair , the music is exquisitely melodic , and the orchestrations masterful . I listened to this genre often , growing up in the fifties , as my parents loved it . Fortunately , these are posted on youtube , and you might want to give them a try - https://youtu.be/2iSL7t9WRy8 and this - https://youtu.be/ofnOnI9uISk and , finally , - https://youtu.be/rifLK-1vsuw

Posted by
31111 posts

steven,

It sounds like we had similar experiences growing up in the '50s, as my parents listened to the same type of music you linked in the YouTube videos. I still enjoy it although I couldn't make a steady diet of that style of music, and prefer more variety these days. Both my parents were musicians, although not professionally (keyboards and vocals) so there was always music around my house. Despite my "advanced age", I've started to learn to play the instrument I always wanted to play (with some help from my sons), and I'm finding it quite enjoyable (albeit quite challenging). I suppose, "better late than never".

Posted by
3009 posts

Ken , certainly a steady diet of anything would become tedious . My personal tastes run to an encompassing range of musical styles and historical periods . From French impressionism to high romantic to second Vienna school and all manner of Theater , Ballet and opera , the variety is important . With which instrument are you involved ? I am principally a bassoonist , and also play flute , clarinets , and saxophones , as Broadway theater music frequently requires multiple instruments on woodwind section chairs . One last thought for you - Here are two selections from the pen of the composer Leroy Anderson , a New England composer from the fifties . Often dismissed ( by musical snobs ) as trite and unimportant , his short compositions are well known , and occupy a unique place in music . I often like to think of his work as the musical analog of the artist , Norman Rockwell . Rockwell's work was also often dismissed as not being considered " serious " . I'm sure you will recognize these charming pieces , particularly the second one . Enjoy them ! - https://youtu.be/EDRFmn_KqfA and this - https://youtu.be/22LlqemDFVI

Posted by
31111 posts

steven,

Thanks for the reply. I wasn't sure whether to comment here or via PM, but decided to reply here as some of the information may be of interest to others.

I also have a somewhat wide range of musical tastes, including Big Band music, jazz and some opera and theatre. I attended a concert of the Glenn Miller orchestra last year, and enjoyed it immensely! I've also been to Andre Rieu concerts and really enjoy those. There are a few genres that I don't enjoy and those include Rap/Hip-Hop, Ballet and to a lesser extent country. One piece of classical music that has been comforting during stressful times (and that includes the current Covid-19 situation) is from the Baroque era. I'm sure you'll recognize this piece - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlprozGcs80 .

You're very talented to be able to play such a variety of instruments. I'm not sure how musicians who play other instruments might view this, but the instrument I've chosen to play is drums. I've wanted to play drums since high school, but unfortunately the band teacher, in his infinite wisdom, decided that I should play Trombone but I never pursued that. A gentle nudge from my sons a couple of years ago finally allowed me to pursue my musical passion, and I've been taking lessons every week with an outstanding teacher (he's been drumming for over 50 years). While I don't have to deal with octaves on drums, I'm finding subdivisions and coordinating four limbs to be enough of a challenge.

Actually I am familiar with Leroy Anderson, and became reacquainted with his work a few years ago because of one of the songs you linked in the Youtube video. The reason I became reacquainted with that piece is somewhat interesting, as I heard it played in one of the large squares in Berlin by the Berlin Philharmonic. I couldn't remember the name of the song but fortunately I had the good sense to take a video of the performance. When I got home, I ran it through Soundhound and the mystery was solved in a few seconds. This is my favourite version of that song - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkYcKfqFNmM . I'm familiar with Sleigh Ride but didn't know he was the composer.

We have a symphony orchestra here in the Okanagan, and I got to see them in action a few months ago. They were performing with a group of top musicians from across Canada along with a full choir - https://www.summerlandreview.com/entertainment/symphony-shows-versatility-with-rock-odyssey/ . It's not surprising that these performances were all sold-out, as they were exceptional.

Posted by
3009 posts

Ken , Great performance of " Bugler's Holiday " , beautiful precision ! When it comes to the assessment of drummers ,and more broadly , percussionists , there is no caste hierarchy among musicians who play other instruments .The training and acuity for them is no different than anyone else , and the sense of ensemble is equally important . Many works in the classical literature call for massive complements of percussion , and an inadequate performer can grind the gears and upset a whole group . So , here are two further examples that address this - This performance of " Symphonic Dances from West Side Story " illustrates the importance of the expanded section required to perform this . Read the notes on the first few pages , when you listen to the music , the full score will scroll across the screen ( the percussion parts are in the middle of the page , the winds above , the strings ,below ) https://youtu.be/wvDX4aLP0QU AND , now this - This band from Berlin is a real favorite . Playing German and American Cabaret and show music from the twenties and thirties , they were to be in New York tomorrow , but the show has been cancelled . Having missed them in Europe , I'm sorely disappointed . But here they are online . I've been looking for an excuse to post this - https://youtu.be/FiaNQG7HPpc I hope you ( and anyone who watches ) enjoy this , My best !

Posted by
31111 posts

steven,

Thanks for posting those YouTube links. The music was wonderful. The Max Raabe orchestra sounds like something out of the '30s or '40s.

It's nice to hear that drummers are as much a part of the group as other musicians. There seem to be a lot of jokes about them, but perhaps that's limited to rock drummers. Here are some examples - https://www.musicradar.com/news/drums/the-best-drummer-jokes-ever .

Posted by
3009 posts

I'm still laughing ! I haven't heard those , but having spent a lot of time in symphony orchestras , these also made the rounds - https://www.classicfm.com/discover-music/instruments/viola/viola-jokes/ And come to think of it , back when you and I were kids , how about this - Jo Stafford , one of the best - https://youtu.be/nvq4OnhMEO4 AND here she is as her alter ego ( no one could do this as well ) -https://youtu.be/0m15vMrjsO8

Posted by
384 posts

Steven, thank you! The Jo-as-Darlene singing is a tour de force. We're pro singers & players, too, & what she did is hard!
Other hand, Florence Foster Jenkins, for whom it came naturally :)

Posted by
3009 posts

She really does get it just so . Her off pitch technique is just subtle to the point of credibility , without being slapstick . The thing she does that breaks me up the most , though , is the way she frequently enters on the wrong beat , and constantly turns the time around ! Ah , Florence , that's also terrific .

Posted by
67 posts

Right now my favourite music for travel is pretty much the kind of music I like to listen to at home, i.e. Japanese jazz and funk, easy listening, sometimes Vaporwave, and I'm also always in for some new-age / world music like Enya. I'm also a big fan of the French radiostation FIP and I keep a 80s playlist with personal favourites for transport to and from the airport: Leo Sayer, Christopher Cross, Chris de Burgh...

I love classical music but I can only listen to stuff like Erik Satie when trying to relax because I find many others to "invigorating".

Posted by
125 posts

This may sound silly but I downloaded Bob Ross videos for our total 30 hour trip to New Zealand.

I knew I would be hyped up and wouldn't want to sleep so I would listen to Bob Ross' calm voice describing "pretty little accidents" and it was really relaxing.

Posted by
17 posts

Yo Yo Ma plays Ennio Morricone is a great listen. Several hours of soft cello music played by the great Yo Yo Ma