Molly Joyce: Perspective
Perspective (New Amsterdam Records) centers disabled voices as a multidisciplinary patchwork by composer-performer Molly Joyce. The album combines music, interview snippets, and open-caption videos as Joyce navigates the perspectives of physical, visual, intellectual, and sensory-based disability; speaking with people from a wide range in backgrounds and identities. Joyce nearly lost her left hand at seven, but now uses her impaired hand in performances with her vintage toy organ and “focuses on disability as a creative source.” Each track begins with a question, and centers on specific points of disability with titles like Care, Weakness, Cure, and Assumption. Joyce weaves in the voices of 47 disabled interviewees with minimalist but lively underscoring – rather than fragment, distort or otherwise manipulate their voices, Joyce presents their responses and reflections clearly though still crafting narratives around proposed topic(s). Utterances like “Creating access for each other is a form of love,” “I feel like disability takes away control,” and “Self-advocacy is the sprout of my resilience” cut across as bouncing synths, droney dissonances, floating strings, and/or swirling voices compliment the vulnerability, urgency, or introspection of the interviewees (as well as Joyce, whose voice also appears on every track). Perspective is an intimate and political work, engaging disabled communities while also inviting abled listeners to interrogate their own relationship(s) to their bodies, and to their (self-)perceived versus true intersectionality; all while we experience the third year of a global pandemic and mass-disabling event. – Yaz Lancaster
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