“Joyce writes vibrant, inventive music that communicates
straight from the heart.” — Susan Scheid, Prufrock’s Dilemma
Composer Molly Joyce will release her debut recording Lean Back and Release January 27 on New Amsterdam Records. The work is a digital EP featuring two tracks for solo violin with live and pre-recorded electronics performed by violinists Adrianna Mateo and Monica Germino. The EP is available for download now — three weeks ahead of its release — exclusively through the New Amsterdam Records Bandcamp Subscription.
Pre-order and stream the title track here, and find more information on the label subscription here.
The title track of the EP, "Lean Back and Release", acclaimed for being written to "superb effect" by The Wire, was first performed professionally at the 2014 Bang on a Can Marathon by violinist Adrianna Mateo, for which Mateo was praised as "triumphant" by Time Out New York. The piece is driven by a very gradual descent for the violin in range, imagining the violinist steadily “leaning back” and finally “releasing” the distinct low register of the violin. Two accompanying pre-recorded violin tracks accompany the live violin in order to propel this descent. The recording was engineered and mixed by Andrew McKenna Lee, and mastered by Greg Kalember.
The title track is followed by a more recent work, "Shapeshifter", originally written for the Dutch duo of violinist Monica Germino and sound engineer Frank van der Weij. Premiered in April 2015 in The Hague and Amsterdam, "Shapeshifter" is motivated by the concept of control and losing it. It is driven by the fact that with the duo, Frank is typically not seen visually, and therefore the idea of him controlling Monica’s sound and gradually letting go of that control is highlighted throughout the piece, and for Monica to gradually “shape-shift” to a new and divergent sound. The recording was engineered by Frank van der Weij, Krišs Veismanis, and mixed by Michael Laurello, and mastered by Greg Kalember.
Molly Joyce on both works:
"'Lean Back and Release' and 'Shapeshifter' represent some of my first explorations into composing for acoustic instruments with accompanying electronics, and specifically how these instruments' sounds can transform electro-acoustically. With both works I was striving for a clear form that is driven by the changing range of the solo violinist, and how that change can be driven by an electronic backing track that is also derived from the acoustic violin.
Both pieces are also very much inspired by the violinists they are written for, and were written to challenge and showcase Adrianna and Monica's talents in new and unexpected ways."
Download Lean Back and Release via the New Amsterdam Records Label Subscription now here, and pre-order the EP via Bandcamp here.
Molly Joyce: 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, the New Juilliard, Decoda, and Contemporaneous ensembles. Additionally, her work has been performed at the Bang on a Can Marathon and VisionIntoArt’s FERUS Festival. Learn more at www.mollyjoycemusic.com.
Adrianna Mateo: Adrianna Mateo merges the best of classical music with the down and dirty pleasures of rock. She has appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and on stage at the Metropolitan Opera. Her performances have garnered high praise from TimeOut New York (“Triumphant”) and The New York Times. Adrianna successfully crowdfunded her debut album with the support of luminaries including Nico Muhly, David Lang, and ETHEL. Learn more at www.adriannamateo.com.
Monica Germino: Amsterdam-based, American/Dutch violinist Monica Germino is on the cutting edge of new music. Hailed by The Sunday Times (UK) as a ‘striking presence’ whose ‘virtuosity was exhilarating’, she has collaborated with such composers as Louis Andriessen, John Cage, Heiner Goebbels, Michael Gordon, György Ligeti and Julia Wolfe. Together with sound engineer Frank van der Weij, she has presented revolutionary multimedia programs worldwide. Her performances often feature singing and playing. Monica plays a Joannes Baptista Ceruti violin, on permanent loan from the Elise Mathilde Foundation, and a custom-made 'Violectra’. She co-founded the international ensemble. Learn more at www.monicagermino.com.