“Absorb the pain and react smoothly… don’t become distracted by the white noise of possibilities… experience a flow-like state, even an Ultra Instinct” — Platinum Mike Perry

Conflict is a new album from composer John Carroll Kirby. It arrives as a surprise release ahead of the album My Garden on April 24.

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1. A Pilgrims Trail (4:14)
2. Anthony Joshua In My House (Anthony Joshua At Home) (4:57)
3. Walking Through a House Where a Family Has Lived (6:20)
4. Iconic Portraits Mutilated During the Spanish Civil War (3:51)
5. Who Will Replace Brandon Lee (4:50)
6. Canyon (Waiting Alive in a Canyon) (5:00)
7. Inside a Ruin (6:07)
8. Wabi (4:28)

The collection of instrumental piano-based pieces, Kirby says, is the outcome of “trying to accept the duality of the world, and through that find peace”. Though he recorded Conflict about a year ago, Kirby decided to spontaneously release it in response to the escalating global crisis, with the hope that it might help fortify the listener and induce inner calm.

In the process of creating Conflict, Kirby imagined scenarios as a lens through which to examine his central concept, such as “the fallout from war, and how sometimes in the wake of its destruction it leaves a beautiful weathered silhouette of what came before it” (‘Iconic Portraits Mutilated During the Spanish Civil War’ and ‘Walking Through a House Where a Family Has Lived’). ‘Pilgrim’s Trail’ and ‘Inside A Ruin’ reflect on how “devotion comes at the cost of pain”, and ‘Waiting Alive in a Canyon’ and ‘Wabi’ revisit the natural themes of My Garden to explore the indifference of nature.

‘Anthony Joshua In My House (Anthony Joshua at Home)’ sees Kirby wondering, “What if heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua was in my house? I was thinking about the apparent ease and charm he possesses, juxtaposed with his potential for violence, and how he rises to his highest self in an atmosphere most find horrifying!” Finally, he asks how the next generation will embody virtue on ‘Who Will Replace Brandon Lee.’

Intended as a balm for this time of crisis, Conflict provides a welcome opportunity to step away from the breakneck pace and profound anxiety of the news cycle, and take a moment instead to listen and reflect.

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