May 30 2020

Echoes from Essex

“Women of Science & Music: 30 celebrations”

Episode 2: An Unwelcome Guest!
May 30th – September 20th 2020

We are excited to announce that today, for the first time, we are joining forces with Chelmsford Civic Theatre for the beginning of our “Echoes from Essex” Lockdown Festival. Running throughout the summer, it will be celebrating outstanding women in STEAMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Maths & Medicine) from Essex past and present as part of ESSEX 2020.

More details will be released over the coming weeks, so get ready to embark on a whirlwind of PODCASTS; SINGING & SCIENCE WORKSHOPS; LIVE DISCUSSIONS with SCIENTISTS, ENGINEERS and COMPOSERS; and INCREDIBLE NEW ART WORKS, all intertwined with MUSIC made by, with and for ESSEX WOMEN, who have been busy BREAKING THE MOULD.

Meanwhile we begin, appropriately, with a celebration of a dazzling event involving an Essex celebrity from the C17th in our PODCAST SERIES: “Women of Science & Music: 30 celebrations”

Episode 2: An Unwelcome Guest!

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On May 30th 1667, Margaret Cavendish paid an extraordinary visit to London’s Royal Society. Ostensibly the focus of the day was her invitation to view some experiments by their most illustrious fellows, especially the microscopist Robert Hooke. But like the diarist Samuel Pepys, many of the Fellows and the crowds in the streets turned up to ogle Cavendish herself. A notorious celebrity, she was renowned for her outrageous clothes, make-up and behaviour – to say nothing of her poems and controversial scientific publications. This ESSEX WOMAN liked to stand out from the crowd.

Cavendish is the Unwelcome Guest of today’s podcast presented by Frances M Lynch, Artistic Director of electric voice theatre, with the very welcome guests and historians of science, Dr Patricia Fara, Emeritus Fellow of Clare College Cambridge and Professor Sarah Hutton, Honorary Visiting Professor at the University of York who is also an historian of philosophy.
The music includes the premiere of Lynch’s setting of a short text by Margaret Cavendish,“Firmament” for soprano and tenor viol which is in this case played by Annabel Malton, seen below recording her part at home; and a piece not heard for several centuries by English composer and harpsichordist Elizabeth Turner (c.1700 – 1756), sung by Margaret Cameron and Jenny Miller with the instrumental parts realised at the keyboard by Frances M Lynch “A Man that’s neither High nor Low” – for the full text please visit the composers page for a downloadable pdf

(Centre) Margaret Cavendish (née Lucas), Duchess of Newcastle upon Tyne by Pieter Louis van Schuppen, after Abraham Diepenbeeck line engraving, circa 1655-1658 (National Portrait Gallery, London); (Bottom Left) Composer Frances M Lynch; (Bottom Right) Composer Elizabeth Turner represented by The double-manual harpsichord of Vital Julian Frey, after model from Jean-Claude Goujon 1749 (CC)

Jenny Miller performing Elizabeth Turner’s song

Annabel Malton playing Tenor Viol


Minerva Scientifica – Connections 2020

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