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Breaking and Entering

by Molly Joyce

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are you my body are you my being are you my body or are you fleeing and so deceiving are you attached to me are you apart of me do you react to me or just retract from me are you the soul of me or the disgrace of me are you the whole of me or the reject from me are you are you are you my body are you my being are you my body or are you freeing are you controlling me or are you holding me are you my tragedy or just my victory are you i will deform i will deform for you i will reform i will reform for you i will transform i will transform for you and just conform to you just to deform for you for you
you are so physical you are so personal you are so clinical and so emotional you are me you are me you are me you are me you are me can you be oh so free one two three form and flee you are so critical you are so mythical you are so pivotal and so dysfunctional you are so minimal and oh so magical you are so visual and sometimes fictional you are me you are me you are me form and flee you are me can you be oh so free one two three you are me and so free you're not conformity but you’re complexity you’re not normality but you’re vitality you’re not uniformity instead diversity you are me and so free oh why did you form from me oh why did you fall from me and how did you shape from me oh why did you run from me form and flee with me form and flee one two three take me form and flee don’t leave me form and flee run with me oh please come back to me don’t shift away from me and break apart from me and take my hand from me absent from me elsewhere from me you are me you are me can you be so free one two three form with me
breaking and entering forming and fleeing breaking and entering forming and rendering my front and centering into the othering the one divergency oh break with me deform with me oh shape with me impair with me oh take for me your mystery and make for me your history my one deformity my true uncertainty my sense of urgency through one disorderly my own discovery a true delivery the one i want to see you are my figurine breaking and entering forming and rendering my pain is wandering and not surrendering shaping and severing my own recovery my truest fantasy my only unforeseen i will become you i will explore you i will embrace you and not ignore you i will not hide you i’ll try to find you and try to face you and just enjoy you my breaking my entering my escaping
Who Are You 08:22
who are you who made you who are you who formed you who released you let out the real you tried to complete you the tried and true you who are you who made you who reformed for you and just conformed to you who are you who made you who are you you took my hand from me and broke apart from me you were not made for me but unafraid of me you brought a world to me that was not built for me and was not formed for me yet unexplored in me who are you who made you who revealed you and just unnerved you the true and clear you oh who are you who made you who are you are you true near and new to move through my fluidity my identity my serenity is my futility my agility immobility my fragility is my stability who are you who made you what can you prove how do you choose what you can move try to refuse what you can lose who are you who made you who forced you to just pursue the other view your one debut
front and center form and figure and try to enter into the other the undiscovered the disconfigured the impaired features of your behavior try to remember your truest nature your front your center your form your figure front and center form and figure and try to render or reconfigure your truest nature your one behavior your light your color your final arm will you open up your veins for me will you amputate and break one of your nerves for me will you be the dexterity will you be the disability of my body and my being are you my body forming and fleeing are you my being breaking and entering are you my body my immobility are you my being my disability are you my body or are you fleeing are you my body my front and centering my one true figurine oh who are you


Composer and performer Molly Joyce will release her debut full-length album, Breaking and Entering, on June 5 through New Amsterdam Records. The album features Joyce cultivating disability within the human body through a series of electro-acoustic works written and performed by Joyce on her instrument of choice — the electric vintage toy organ. Breaking and Entering is part of New Amsterdam’s digital-only Windmill Series imprint and available exclusively to New Amsterdam Records Bandcamp subscribers starting April 8; all others can pre-order the album here.

Breaking and Entering is a highly personal album through which Joyce explores disability as a creative source. She was involved in a car accident at the age of seven that impaired her left hand. As Joyce grew older and pursued her love of music, she searched for an instrument that wouldn’t limit her body or creativity — and found it in a vintage Magnus electric toy organ purchased on eBay. The toy organ’s unique design of chord buttons on the left and keyboard on the right is “made for her body, made for her form, made for her deform,” says Joyce. It engages her disability on a compositional and performative level, allowing her to change from thinking about what notes won’t sound or keys won’t press, but rather the notes that will sound, keys that will press, and experience possibilities from that fundamental difference.

Joyce uses the toy organ to ask questions of herself, and of all of us, on Breaking and Entering: What does it mean to break and enter into a new body, new disability, and new identity? What does one lose and what does one gain? And when movement, sensation, and nerves leave one’s body, what emerges in their place — physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually? Joyce developed the music and lyrics that explore these questions over several years through grants, residencies and live performances, along with disability studies and engagement with disabled activists, artists, and scholars. She uses these works to push against stigma and celebrate a singular body instead of hiding it away, creating a new social imaginary that values body complexity instead of conformity, and vitality rather than normality.

The intimacy of Breaking and Entering is reflected in its recording process as well; the album was self-recorded by Joyce on a SM58 mic, and features her performing vocals, organ, and MIDI sounds from Sibelius 7 software. The works feature four different Magnus electric vintage toy organs, all from the 1960s and 70s and purchased from eBay. The album was produced and engineered by Michael Hammond (of No Lands), and mastered by Joe Lambert.

Joyce is also active in supporting other disabled artists, and has worked with Disability Arts Online and the National Institute of Art & Disabilities Center in Richmond, CA. She gave a moving talk on her experience with disability at TEDxMidAtlantic in October 2017, watch it here (

This album was made possible with a Lift Grant from the Pittsburgh Greater Arts Council and support from artist residencies worldwide, including Headlands Center for the Arts (California), AIR Niederösterreich (Krems an der Donau, Austria), De Link (Tilburg, Netherlands), The Watermill Center (New York), Villa Sträuli (Winterthur, Switzerland), Embassy of Foreign Artists (Geneva, Switzerland), Swatch Art Peace Hotel (Shanghai, China), and Halcyon Arts Lab (Washington, DC).

Joyce’s debut EP Lean Back and Release was also released on the New Amsterdam Records Windmill Series in 2017.


released June 5, 2020


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Molly Joyce Charlottesville, Virginia

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