12 songs for another weekend in from Joanna Brouk, Philip Glass, and more

As we’ve all found out, there are a million different ways to try and get through life in quarantine. You might be impatient, longing for some sense of normalcy, or burrow into your own creature comforts. Pianist and producer John Carroll Kirby is doing a bit of both, with an eye on growth as well. In sharing a playlist he’s made, it’s clear that Kirby wants to come to some sense of acceptance with being cooped up, and to let it lead to metamorphosis. Joanna Brouk’s “Going Through the Veil – Becoming a Swan” sets the tone with warm and reverberant piano passages that are insular, yet spacious. Kirby has his “fingers crossed” that dealing with life inside leads to reemergence as swans, more in tune with ourselves and each other.

With that as a guiding principle, other piano-driven tracks like Harold Budd’s “Campanile,” recorded without his knowing, are paired with electronic affairs, like Yves Tumor’s “Limerence,” both tracks to get lost in. On Uakti, a Brazilian group covering music by composer Philip Glass, Kirby gushes, “this was the first time Glass’ work was arranged by someone else, and dare I say my favorite work of his. Uakti are rad, they made their own instruments: PVC pipes and bowls of water and stuff, but pre-steampunk!” Rounding out with a close collaborator of Joanna Brouk, flutist Maggie Payne, Kirby says, “It’s all a circle man!”