Echoes – Berwickshire Coast

“Echoes – Berwickshire Coast” is the culmination of a year long Minerva Scientifica project in collaboration with Eyemouth High School Head of Music, Aubrey Sanderson; Meteorologist, Marjory Roy; Marine Ecologist, Dr Karen Diele and Eyemouth Hippodrome#EchoesScot

“Echoes – Berwickshire Coast” centred around the recording of a CD – “Stormsong 1881” – several performances and the creation of an exhibition at St Abbs Visitor Centre.

On the 14th of October 1881, a terrifying storm suddenly smashed into the Berwickshire Coast in the South East of Scotland, taking the lives of 189 fishermen, creating 107 widows and hundreds of orphans.
“Stormsong 1881” is a meteorological suite of music for voices, brass, woodwind and guitar commemorating the disaster, based on the estimated three-hourly weather observations for Eyemouth provided by meteorologist Marjory Roy.
It was written by 11 Eyemouth High School N5 and Higher Students, and recorded by 35 students and staff from Eyemouth High School, 82 children from Eyemouth Primary School and electric voice theatre.

A young visitor listening to “Stormsong 1881”

The resulting CD was put on sale at St Abbs Visitor Centre, alongside the video exhibit (above). The exhibit linked to Jill Watson’s sculpture commemorating the disaster, just outside the centre, and she kindly let us use an image on the CD cover and video.The centre received 3,650 visitors from the time of the installation until it closed for the winter on October 14th


Preparation for the events, recordings, and the exhibition saw us working with children over a series of workshops at Eyemouth Primary School. The 3 classes of Primary 6 & 7 were fantastic, enthusiastic participants, working with the Echoes-Berwickshire Coast team: –

I learned about two of the most famous scientists in the world

Marjory Roy – Meteorologist     The Weather circle running thing was special
Karen Diele – Marine Biologist
I liked the Marine Ecology Soundscape because I like Marine Animals
Frances M Lynch – Composer, Artistic Director      I was co-producer. It was really good
Herbie Clarke – Sound Design, Guitar     FUN!!
Margaret Cameron – Mezzo (BBC Singers) and Choir Leader     I learned how to sing
Caroline Lesemann-Elliott –  Choir Leader
I achieved singing in different times from others and I enjoyed this very much

I thought about becoming a scientist and musician 

 Workshops included creating physics soundscapes for and learning about Scottish Women Scientists like Marion Ross, Mary Somerville and Williamina Fleming

Performers at EBBA CENTRE, St Abbs, on June 18th

Back Row:  High School Instrumentalists with their teacher Aubrey Sanderson
2nd Row: left to right – Jenny Mercer (BSL Interpreter), Margaret Cameron (BBC Singer & evt), Dr Karen Diele (Marine Ecologist), Marjory Roy (Meteorologist), Frances M Lynch (evt director)
Front Row: – The Eyemouth Herring Queen 2017 with 2 of her courtiers and 3 singers from Eyemouth Primary School

Monday 25th June, 2pm, Eyemouth Primary School
84 children from P6 & 7 performed for their parents and some of the children from the rest of the school.

Tuesday July 3rd, St Abbs Visitor Centre
Meteorologist Marjory Roy, composer Frances M Lynch, BSL Interpreter Jenny Mercer, and sound designer Herbie Clarke, spent the day greeting visitors to the centre, showing them the exhibit film, discussing meteorology and encouraging them to buy the CD!

Two visitors talk with Frances M Lynch through the BSL interpreter about the exhibit

 The  Echoes – Minerva Scientifica Project is currently touring in Scotland. We have so far visited communities in Loch Tay, Isle of Coll, Strathpeffer and Caithness – and will continue with the tour into Kirkcaldy, Greenock and Aberdeen in 2019.
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Superwomen of Science @ Fossil Festival, Lyme Regis 2017

Festival programme image

 Superwomen of Science
Minerva Scientifica

Winner of a Three Weeks Editors Award – Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2016

Singing with Fossils!

Our expedition to the Lyme Regis Fossil Festival made us many new friends. These included 100 children from Symondsbury Primary School Dorset, St. John’s Primary School Weymouth,  Mountjoy School Dorset and Musbury Primary School, Devon, and the 20 adults who accompanied them. They arrived in groups on Friday 28th April at The Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis,  and were introduced to the female earth scientists depicted in the “Raising Horizons” exhibition which was displayed in the auditorium.  We all got to know the women very well – and the children created some very special work which you can hear them sing here: – 

TrowelBlazers  – A New Song
On April 29th 2017 at 1.30pm “Superwomen of Science – Minerva Scientifica” was performed at Lyme Regis Fossil Festival in the Marine Theatre by electric voice theatre surrounded by the TrowelBlazers exhibition “Raising Horizons”.WP - TB 4Frances M Lynch created a new vocal work for the occasion, celebrating the scientists depicted in the exhibition and inspired by the Festival theme – Time and Tide and Tectonics.

“TrowelBlazers – Time and Tide and Tectonics wait for no woman”

Raising Horizons
Time and Tide and Tectonics wait for no woman
TrowelBlazers finding footprints of the past
Archaeology, geology, palaeontology that’s us
Mary Anning had a dog, holds a hammer in her hand
found a lot of dinosaur poo, flying dragons corprolytes
“In every outthrust headland, In every curving beach,
In every grain of sand, there is the story of the Earth”
(Rachel Carson)
The Earth, what is it? How was it formed?
People, who are we? What have we made?
Creatures of the world, where do they come from?
Minerva Scientifica – Raising Horizons

The work is for a live solo voice with a chorus of recorded voices generously donated by  the children of  Symondsbury , St. John’s Weymouth and Musbury Primary Schools, and Mountjoy Special and Community School and by Pippa J Redfern, Danielle Barry, Kathryn Holland, Miranda Melville, Colette Milward, Eloise Ward, Fiona McAlister
all other voices are Frances M Lynch