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Memories, Dreams, and Songs. A Note About 2022

A couple of weeks ago, Spotify notified me about my best of 2022 artist and songs. It wasn’t a surprise that Alt-J was the top artist in my Spotify playlist. The algorithms did their job and came up with statistical evidence about my music habits. Then I asked myself, “What is this supposed to mean?” Not much unless I consider “why and in what context did I listen to all those artists and songs?” This piece is a reminder to myself, a snapshot of 2022 through songs.

The Dream (album) by Alt-J

When we (Odul, Su, Cansu, and I) decided to go to the Alt-J’s Toronto concert, we had no idea about baby Adia (or her name). While the concert day was approaching, Cansu and I heard that Adia was on the way. Those were the days when we were filled with both excitement and anxiety. And, a couple of weeks before the concert, we had our first encounter with Alt-J’s new album, The Dream (2022). During the concert, while watching Portugal. The Man on the stage, and waiting for Alt-J, I remember thinking, “Is this sound level harmful for the baby?” After checking with reliable sources on the Internet, we were ready for Alt-J. We always are…

Alt-J & Portugal. The Man, Toronto, 17 April 2022

Le Triomphe d’une Perruche by Daniel Belanger

One of the positive things that happened during the pandemic was that Cansu and I both started to work remotely. Since then, we’ve shared a lot of songs, but Belanger’s piece (2020) might be the best. It reminds me of the love, passion, and perseverance that brought us together in the first place and have helped us get t​​his far.

No Rituals by Cantek Batur

Cantek released his album Snowbird in March 2022. In late March, he invited us to a party at his place. That night, we had great time with our Toronto family and celebrated both the new album and Adia’s news. At some point, I told him, “No Rituals would make for a great soundtrack for an epic series.” I still think that way. No Rituals eventually became one of the top songs on my 2022 playlist.

Mediterranean Breakfast by Sue Foley

Randy and I met at the ISSRNC Conference organized in Gainesville, FL, in 2016. At that time, he was living in Edmonton, and I was an Istanbulite (in case you wonder, the distance between Edmonton and Istanbul is 8,899 km). Then, Cansu and I moved to Toronto, and Randy did the same. And on April 13, two years after the pandemic, we're at the Paradise Theatre, listening to Sue Foley's guitar with Randy and Cheryl. Of course, "Mediterranean Breakfast" has become my favorite as a symbol of celebrating the beauties of life with friends!

Daydream by Wallace Collection

I never heard of “Daydream” until I listened to its remix in the second season of Mr. Robot. Although I didn’t finish the series, it helped me think about technology, surveillance, and political activism, and the original 1969 version of “Daydream” was included in my playlist. I am still thinking about technology-related issues and listening to the Wallace Collection’s gift to us.

Kala Kala by Teke:Teke

In one of those rare moments, Spotify’s suggestion based on my psychedelic playlist worked well, and I was introduced to “Kala Kala” (2021), created by the Montreal-based Japanese group Teke:Teke. An interesting sound for interesting times...

Yo! My Saint (Film version) By Karen O. & M. Kiwanuka

Yo! My Saint (2018) triggers complex feelings with an immediate effect on my mood. Another good recommendation from Spotify’s ‘enhance’...

Les Ailes d’un Ange by Robert Charlebois

Cansu (and Adia) and I were in Montreal with Odul, Su, and Sevinc. While we were sitting on the patio of a French restaurant, a heavy summer rain hit the street, and we had to go inside. While we’re waiting for our dinner, I heard “Les Ailes d’un Ange,” another lovely song from 1969, playing. And it’s been on my playlist since then as a reminder of a wonderful trip with amazing people.

Running up That Hill (A Deal With God) by Kate Bush

While waiting for Adia with so much excitement, I started to watch Stranger Things in a different mood. It was fun dreaming about Adia’s future while watching the kids throughout the episodes. And “Running Up That Hill” (1985) accompanied those dreams...

TRON: Legacy (Soundtrack Album) by Daft Punk

Days were counting, and I was busy with teaching and research while Adia was only 2 months away from our world. Priyank’s recommendation from Daft Punk (2010) helped a lot with overcoming the concentration issue and completing the revisions of my paper. Hopefully, the new version will be accepted!

Cigarettes After Sex by Cigarettes After Sex

On New Year’s Eve, we received a gift from Su and Odul: a LP record of “Cigarettes After Sex” (2017). I wanted to add it to this list as a reminder that music is still not limited to digital platforms.


I am grateful for what 2022 has given us, for the amazing music—old and new—and memories with Cansu and our Toronto family, and for the precious moments we had with Adia.

Happy New Year, y’all! I wish you the best for 2023.

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