A Duel Becomes a Battle

A DUEL BECOMES A BATTLE is the culmination of Emily's music box projects. Since 2012, the DC based sculptress and sound artist has been creating “erasure music” by modifying and documenting music boxes collected at resale shops. By filing away key components of a song’s melody from the programming cylinder, she creates new compositions that allow the accompaniment to take the melody. Taking place in Julie Wolfe’s stunning GREEN ROOM installation, the evening began with an empty jar and a modified music box built into a tiny piano. A period of deconstruction and modification built up to a battle between seven music boxes. A live close-up video feed captured this sequence, with the feed projected onto the gallery wall. This event marked her first live performance with music boxes. | Images: Paul Moon.


I. Requiem for a Music Box – a piano music box in a large jar experiences a flood.

II. The Deconstruction Phase – seven music boxes are extracted from their casings using a multi-tool and a hammer.

III. Erasures – the music boxes are rewritten as pegs are filed from the cylinder that plucks the melodies.

IV. A Duel Becomes a Battle – the rewritten music boxes are staged for a duel, additional boxes join the music as the melodies descend into chaos.