Today’s Four/Ten Media video premiere features composer and toy organist Molly Joyce performing her work Form and Deform. Here’s what she had to say about the piece:
Form and Deform represents a continuation in the composing and performing on my favorite instrument, the Magnus electric toy organ. Bought on eBay about five years ago, this instrument is completely vintage and has continued to provide me musical inspiration ever since.
Besides my love of the unique sound and tuning that the instrument produces, I also feel that it physically fits my body as a performer very well. I have a weak left hand, and thus the setup of the toy organ of chord buttons on the left and the keyboard portion of the instrument on the right personally feels very comfortable for me to perform on. Therefore with this work, I wanted to challenge the limits and interaction between my different hands to see what happens when the two supplant one another’s roles, thus forming and deforming over the course of the piece.
About Molly Joyce
Active as a composer and performer, Molly Joyce’s music has been described as “impassioned” (The Washington Post), written to “superb effect” (The Wire), and “vibrant, inventive music that communicates straight from the heart” (Prufrock’s Dilemma). Her works have been commissioned and performed by several distinguished ensembles including the New World Symphony, New York Youth Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and the New Juilliard, Decoda, andContemporaneous ensembles. Additionally, her work has been performed at the Bang on a Can Marathon and VisionIntoArt’s FERUS Festival, and featured in outlets such as Pitchfork, WNYC’s New Sounds, Q2 Music, I Care If You Listen, and The Log Journal.
As a performer, Molly often plays on her vintage Magnus toy organ, an instrument she bought on eBay and has performed on in multiple capacities; including solo, with beatboxer, and at TEDxMidAtlantic.