Strength in numbers
Minerva Scientifica returns to the Science Museum Lates series with some of our Superwomen of Science – this time it’s Maths!
In addition to works by Plowman, Whitley, Frances-Hoad and Bingen the programme features the premiere of Minerva Mathematica by Lynch – listen below
View our Photo Album from a great evening attended by 3616 people
Minerva Mathematica Frances M Lynch (world premiere)
Pulsar Superstar Kate Whitley
Rejoice Greatly George Frideric Handel
Epitaph for a Comet Hunter Frances M Lynch
Something more than mortal Cheryl Frances-Hoad
Williamina – Astronomer fae Dundee Frances M Lynch
Seven Dark Lines Lynne Plowman
Spiritus Sanctus Vivificans Hildegard von Bingen
electric voice theatre production team
Frances M Lynch – Soprano, Artistic Director
Dr Patricia Fara – Science Historian
Herbie Clarke – PR & Sound Design
Miranda Melville – Design
Composer’s Programme Notes
Minerva Mathematica was created especially for this event at the Science Museum celebrating the new Winton Mathematics Gallery. The piece uses text from the gallery exhibition and curator David Rooney, the names of many important women mathematicians, quoting some of their own words, and was created with the advice of Dr Patricia Fara President of the British Society for the History of Science, and reflects the research into ScottishWomen Scientists by Catherine Booth (National Library of Scotland).The work is for a live solo voice with a chorus of recorded voices generously donated by: – Pippa J Redfern, Danielle Barry, Kathryn Holland, Miranda Melville, Colette Milward, Eloise Ward, Fiona McAlister, and Frances M Lynch.
Epitaph for a Comet Hunter uses four strands of material, fragmented and interwoven:- the names and dates of the 8 comets discovered by Caroline Herschel; a Catch (or song) written by her brother William and copied out in her own handwriting, quotes from her journal, and the citation received in a letter from the Royal Astronomical Society who awarded her a medal. The final section is from the epitaph she composed for herself. Frances M Lynch
Caroline Herschel (1750-1848) – singer of Handel who discovered 8 comets and 14 nebulae
Seven Dark Lines is a miniature character study of the Scottish science writer, Mary Somerville, in her own words. Lynne Plowman
Mary Somerville (1780-1872) – mathematician, cosmologist and science writer
Something More Than Mortal uses Ada Lovelace’s own words, many of which are quotes from her letters to Charles Babbage, to convey her extraordinary mind and character. Cheryl Frances-Hoad
Ada Lovelace (1815 – 1852) – mathematician and pre-computer programmer!
Williamina – Astronomer fae Dundee is based on the traditional tune “The Piper O Dundee” Fleming emigrated to the USA with a husband who abandoned her on arrival with her unborn child. Her obvious intelligence led to her elevation from housekeeper to Astronomer at the Boston Observatory under Charles Pickering . Frances M Lynch
Williamina Fleming (1857 – 1911) – astronomer, discovered the Horsehead nebulae
The Pulsar Superstar a portrait of scientist Jocelyn Bell Burnell using pulsar sounds translated into singing and based on some of her own words. Kate Whitley
Jocelyn Bell-Burnell (born 1943) – who should have won a Nobel Prize for analysing pulsars?
Spiritus Sanctus Vivificans by Hildegard von Bingen (1098 – 1179) –herbalist, healer, poet, astronomer, composer…..