NMR Artist Spotlight: Composer Molly Joyce and the Dollhouse

Emerging New York-based composer Molly Joyce composes and performs regularly with the ensemble Fekta, an eclectic musical group that includes violin, keyboard, electric organ, and bassoon. Molly Joyce shares notes about her work Dollhouse, chats about the importance of networking and social media today, and tells NMR readers what's next for the exciting young composer.

NMR: What made you choose to pursue music? Who are your mentors?
I think when I first chose to pursue music seriously I didn't exactly know why or what exactly made me so attracted to it. 

However, the older I get the more and more I realize that I am truly and honestly addicted to music, sound...  

I am of course addicted to writing music, as it is the easiest and hardest thing I know how to do, which is how I realize now why I have chosen to pursue it as a career and life.

I have been very lucky to have had many amazing and encouraging mentors throughout my career so far. I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA and was very fortunate to be surrounded and mentored by great composers in that area such as Mathew Rosenblum, Nancy Galbraith, and Jack Stamp. Since I have moved to New York, I have also been very grateful to be mentored by such composers as Missy Mazzoli and Samuel Adler, and in addition since I have been working for New Amsterdam Records, many composers involved there such as William Brittelle, Judd Greenstein, and Sarah Kirkland Snider have always been very helpful to me.

NMR: Where do you find your inspiration?
I seem to find inspiration from everything and anything these days. I've lately been obsessed with dancing/dance floors and what that might mean musically. I also often find inspiration from other composers and musicians, but I also love all kinds of visual art, dance, and poetry. In addition, I feel that I get a huge source of inspiration from living and interacting with New York City everyday. 

NMR: What inspired your work Dollhouse?
I wrote Dollhouse during the summer after my first year of college, and thus I had many conflicting and reflective thoughts about myself and my choice of career as a composer. I began to think about my life and others' lives as all unique Dollhouses at the core, and how such crucial choices and decisions in our lives are perhaps predictable within our own structured environments while other aspects of our evolving lives aren't foreseeable at all. I reflected upon my journey as a composer, and how integral this creative art is to my daily existence yet how long it has taken me to accept this uncertain, enriching role that I never fully imagined for myself. Through this introspection, I became obsessed with the concept of a Dollhouse, in every implication of this word, and decided to write this piece as my interpretation of such a complex idea.

NMR: Any practical advice for emerging musicians today regarding creativity, performance, marketing?
First, I highly advise lots of networking whenever/wherever possible. You never [know] who is in the room and who can help make things happen for you. 

I feel that the field of music will only progress and advance when there is a community of musicians, composers, etc. advocating for each other out there, and one of the places this starts is with networking.

In addition, I feel that having a website with links for my music, upcoming events, etc. has helped me hugely. It is very effective to have one site where people can go and find out hopefully everything they need to know about a musician. Lastly, I feel that social media is very important in today's music world. It's a great way to network and connect with your fans, and therefore further get exposure for one's music.

NMR: What's in the future for Molly Joyce?
Hopefully lots of music making! I have recently started performing more on my vintage electric chord organ (out of tune, eBay bought - totally vintage) and my keyboard electric organ. I find it very liberating and artistically satisfying to perform my own music solo and with some of best friends. I feel that it helps break down the barrier of who exactly a composer is to an audience, and in addition I feel that it it helps me realize my musical ideas to a greater extent. My group's name is Fekta, and our instrumentation is violin, keyboard, electric organ, and bassoon. We had our first show about a month ago and we will hopefully continue performing in all sorts of venues and places. I also plan on completing commissions and projects for and with various collaborators and performers. As of now I have just finished a piece for members of The Declassified, and am moving on to write a solo violin and electronics piece for the wonderful violinist Adrianna Mateo and her project, {NUE|LUSH}.

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