Headlands Center for the Arts

Molly Joyce

new york | music/sound
Artist in Residence Program 2017

Artist Statement

I certainly feel that my artistic interests have consistently been altered with the new experiences and collaborations that I’ve had over the course of my career. However as these interests come into focus, I’ve realized that although I’m trained and have primarily practiced as a composer, I wish to create an artistic output which is not purely musical, but rather one which consistently engages different mediums and genres. This includes musical performances which bring visual and performative gestures into question, graphic design inspired by abstract musical expressions, and so on. One primary outlet for me to explore this artistic desire is through my vintage toy organ, an instrument which I feel allows me to properly express myself aurally as well as physically/visually. I hope through my work on the instrument and beyond that I am eventually able to properly engage other mediums such as visual art and dance/movement on my own terms.

While at Headlands

While at Headlands, I plan on working on my first full-length album, entirely composed for my vintage toy organ. Bought on eBay about five years ago, this instrument has quickly become a primary focus in my artistic work, not only because of the unique sound and tuning that the instrument produces, but I also feel that it physically fits my body as a performer very well since I have a weak left hand. Although the album will be purely musical, there will be many visual and cinematic elements involved, such as the album art, music videos, and the publicity material, and thus I would hope to engage other artists that I meet at Headlands in order to produce my full vision for the album. I additionally hope to explore how the album’s material fits into a live context through performing at many of the Headland’s events such as the Open Houses and performing opportunities throughout the Bay Area.

Selected Works


Molly Joyce. Toy Organ Trailer, 2016. Video by Cindy Ji Hye Kim.


Over and Under, 2016; Molly Joyce (toy organ), Weston Jennings (organ), David Yi, (conductor), Yale Philharmonia.

Glow, 2012; for vintage toy organ. Molly Joyce (toy organ).

Lean Back and Release, 2013; for violin and pre-recorded electronics. Adrianna Mateo (violin).

Rave, 2015; for piano and pre-recorded electronics. Vicky Chow (piano).

Personal Website

http://www.mollyjoycemusic.com