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An Album Poised to Replace the Barf Bag

Pitiful airline travel? Don’t get mad, Get Songs For Fearful Flyers.

If you are of the one in five people who have a fear of flying, you might wanna check out Michael Hearst’s Songs for Fearful Flyers prior to your next boarding call. A composer, multi-instrumentalist, writer, and founding member of the lit-rock band One Ring Zero, the 41-year old Brooklynite has a knack for finding inspiration in curious places. In fact, his solo works include the albums Songs For Ice Cream Trucks and Songs For Unusual Creatures.

His latest work was inspired, natch, by Hearst’s own paralyzing fear of flying. Says Hearst:

As a musician, I travel a lot. And I hate it. I mean, I love to travel, but I hate to fly. For at least two years, all I listened to were Chopin nocturnes. It was almost like the plane would go down if I didn't listen to Chopin… I also took mental notes on what it was about the music that soothed me. Once I moved past Chopin, I started to listen to a lot of Philip Glass. Higher pitches, repetition, and long, mid-tempo music seemed to play a role. Ali Farka Toure was also a favorite. Simplicity with lots of repeats, but variations. Slow builds.

Assisted by fellow flight fearer Whoopi Goldberg (who provides narration on the album) and with songs like “Marshmallow Clouds,” “Ode To Eno,” and “Baggage Claim,” the record is both a courageous and a creative alternative to valium and a glass of wine.

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