Disability as a Creative Source with Molly Joyce

About Molly Joyce

Composer and performer Molly Joyce has been deemed one of the “most versatile, prolific and intriguing composers working under the vast new-music dome” by The Washington Post. Her music has additionally been described as “serene power” (New York Times), written to “superb effect” (The Wire), and “unwavering” and “enveloping” (Vulture). Her work is concerned with disability as a creative source. She has an impaired left hand from a previous car accident. The primary vehicle in her pursuit is her electric vintage toy organ, an instrument she bought on eBay that suits her body and engages her disability on a compositional and performative level. Her debut full-length album, Breaking and Entering, featuring toy organ, voice, and electronic sampling of both sources was released in June 2020 on New Amsterdam Records, and has been praised by New Sounds as “a powerful response to something (namely, physical disability of any kind) that is still too often stigmatized, but that Joyce has used as a creative prompt.”

Molly is a graduate of The Juilliard School (graduating with scholastic distinction), Royal Conservatory in The Hague (recipient of the Frank Huntington Beebe Fund Grant), and Yale School of Music. She holds an Advanced Certificate in Disability Studies from CUNY School of Professional Studies and is an alumnus of the National YoungArts Foundation. She has studied with Samuel Adler, Martin Bresnick, Guus Janssen, David Lang, Missy Mazzoli, Martijn Padding, Christopher Theofanidis, and has served on the composition faculty of New York University, Wagner College, and Berklee Online, teaching subjects including Disability and the Arts, Music Technology, Music Theory, and Orchestration. She is currently a Dean’s Doctoral Fellow at the University of Virginia, focusing on Composition and Computer Technologies.

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