November comes with a bag full of surprises – winter is slowly approaching and with it the cold air of midterms week falls upon all Bilkenters. As the leaves turn from emerald green to mustard yellow, they substitute for familiar faces in the streets – all the people you have ever known are indoors, probably studying. Bilkent has quite lovely scenery – if one has the time to stop and appreciate such things, Bilkent has a lot to offer. But again, midterms and essays can take away from the enjoyment of the last month of autumn. To bring back that much-needed joy, I turn to music, not only as a comfort, but also as a path to return to work. As I read and underline and prepare study notes, these are the albums that help me get through the brutal midterms week – and I hope they become a solace for you too. The albums listed below are mostly instrumental music, with few to no lyrics, which I believe will help anyone to focus and get that much-put-off work done.
Air: “Talkie Walkie”
Just the centerpiece, “Alone in Kyoto,” is enough to make you fall into a profound state of contemplation – the rest of the album will do its magic by touching not only on feelings, but sensory experiences too. “Talkie Walkie” is a great sonic curation from the duo Air, which captures the subterranean ennui of the early 2000s. It will help you study; just be careful not to get lost in daydreams.
Brian Eno: “Ambient 1: Music for Airports”
Music has long been definitive of space – from music-dedicated clubs to elevators to cafés, music has shaped and redefined its site-specific environment. But not until Brian Eno’s conceptualization of modern compositional music has it attempted to understand a seemingly irrelevant space: the airport. Eno’s music not only defines the airport complex, but also understands and reflects the
way we are influenced by our environment. And, it helps you lose yourself in whatever you are immersed in – a quite appropriate feature for studying.
Beach House: “Teen Dream”
“Teen Dream” is aptly titled, for it exists in a transitional state between dreaming and being awake. Its soft, melodic touches soothe your soul like a deep current slowly rounding river stones. Perfect for a noon study session, this album will ease that exam anxiety and make you wonder why you were stressed in the first place, because you’ve definitely got this.
John Coltrane: “A Love Supreme”
A great – if not the greatest – conceptual jazz record, which will not only help you focus but also provide some much-needed mood lifting. It is contemplative yet humorous at the same time.
Not a lot of records contain as much as Rhye’s deeply influential debut “Woman,” for which the duo has been long praised on account of its sensuality. The album touches on every band of the emotional spectrum; from romantic to erotic, from tender to caring, “Woman” will make you appreciate your relationship with not just others, but yourself too. And along the way, it will help you easily pass every course of the semester.
The Whitest Boy Alive: “Rules”
A progressive take on jazz and electronic music, the sophomore record of the now defunct band is the perfect juxtaposition of calm wistfulness and upbeat vibrancy. The lively sound is exuberant, yet not distracting.