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Perspective

by Molly Joyce

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  • Streaming + Download

    Pre-order of Perspective. You get 2 tracks now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it’s released.
    Purchasable with gift card
    releases October 28, 2022

      $10 USD  or more

     

1.
Access
2.
Care
3.
Control
4.
Weakness 04:01 video
5.
Strength
6.
Cure
7.
8.
Assumption
9.
Resilience
10.
Isolation
11.
Connection
12.
Darkness

about

On October 28, 2022, Molly Joyce, an artist motivated by and through and because of disability, an artist with “serene power” (The New York Times)—one of the “most versatile, prolific, and intriguing composers working under the vast new-music dome” (The Washington Post)—releases her new work, Perspective, on New Amsterdam Records. At the age of seven, Joyce’s left hand was nearly amputated in a car accident. After two decades of rejecting the label, Joyce now proudly identifies as disabled, using her impaired left hand to play her vintage toy organ, an instrument seemingly custom-built for her impairment, with “superb effect” (The Wire). On Perspective, Joyce moves beyond her own disability to highlight voices of the wider disabled community—both literally and figuratively.

“Perspective is an ongoing project featuring disabled participants who respond to what access, care, interdependence, and more means to them,” says Joyce. “Judith Heumann, the legendary disability activist known for her role in the Academy Award-nominated documentary Crip Camp and the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), once asked me why I refer to my impaired left hand as ‘weak.’ This question struck me personally and almost politically, as it became clear that I was categorizing my disability within narrow definitions of what weakness can and should be.”

Heumann’s question inspired Perspective, Joyce’s multidisciplinary work featuring 47 disabled interviewees, worldwide, whose impairments range from physical to visual to intellectual to auditory, and whose backgrounds span race, class, gender, religion, and sexuality—veterans, activists, academics, pageant models, and others. On Perspective, Joyce asks her disability community numerous questions: “What is weakness for you?” “What is access for you?” and other queries related to their disabilities.

“I wondered if rethinking ‘weakness’ might foster a broader understanding of the term, of related terms, and of terms central to disability culture,” says Joyce. “The aim was to highlight the diversity and plurality of the disability community and, hopefully, reframe collective perceptions about disability.” The composer recorded the disabled interviewees’ responses and underscored the audio with her voice and vintage toy organ. But unlike most albums, Perspective is more than an aural experience. In an effort to be all-inclusive, to highlight multisensory accessibility, the new piece is designed to be listened to alongside a series of open-caption videos.

Before Perspective, Joyce’s work explored her relationship with disability, though she’d been longing to widen her focus, to engage her community. “For a long time, I wondered how to authentically highlight voices and viewpoints of the disability community, an incredibly diverse yet unified identity, and experience,” says Molly Joyce. “I hope Perspective offers singular insights into these outlooks by valuing the disabled experience as one all can learn from and engage with.”

credits

releases October 28, 2022

Molly Joyce, composer and performer
Michael Hammond, producer, mixing engineer, mastering engineer

Halcyon Arts Lab, DC iteration commissioner
Surel's Place, Idaho iteration commissioner
Open Arms Dance Project, Idaho iteration producer and collaborator
Dr. Tom von Sternberg and Eve Parker, Minnesota iteration commissioners
The Great Northern Festival, Minnesota iteration producer

Metropolis Ensemble, Assistant Producer

Sandy Guttman, Project Curator

Perspective was produced with residencies at Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Halcyon Arts Lab, and Surel's Place.

Perspective was developed with presentations at Americans for the Arts, Ars Nova, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Gaudeamus Muziekweek, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, The Momentary, National Sawdust, and The Peace Studio.

Special thanks to: Rachel Adams, Megan Brandel, Nicole Dowd, Jodi Eichelberger, Marne Elmore, Greg Hahn, Judi and Ed Joyce, Michael Kaufmann, Cynthia Post Hunt, Emma Saperstein, Ben Swartz, and Aisha White.

First Iteration // Halcyon Arts Lab in Washington, DC
Day Al-Mohamed
Sabrina Epstein
JJJJJerome Ellis
Shannon Finnegan
Matthew Flanagan
David Furukawa
Jerron Herman
Nicole Kelly
Miso Kwak
Lachi
Robert McRuer
Michael Marceau
Diego Mariscal
Robin Marquis
Yoshi Nakamura
Adam Roberge
Tom Shakespeare
Stefan Sunandan Honisch
Peter Wehrli
Erin Weierbach
Alice Wong

Second Iteration // Open Arms Dance Project and Surel’s Place in Boise, ID
Kristen Beaver
Megan Brandel
Gail C. Hawkins
Hava Fisherman
Heather Marie
Cade Willes *interviewed with grandmother Kay Willis

Third Iteration // The Great Northern Festival in Twin Cities, MN
Katie De Leo
Richard Grimm
Arbdella Hudson
Katrina Jirik
Kevin Kling
Amoke Kubat
Gaelynn Lea
Chris Martin
Nicole Mary Milligan
Leslye Orr
Atlas O. Phoenix
Donna Ray
Gabriel Rodreick
Danny Roherty
Matthew Sanford
Andy Slater
Nathan R. Stenberg
Poppy Jean Sundquist
Mai Thor
Debbie Towey

Album cover image description: A black square with a grey/noise triangle facing to the right. Below the triangle is text that reads “Perspective” and “Molly Joyce.”

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Molly Joyce Charlottesville, Virginia

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