WORKED Many locations in Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Europe, Scandinavia, Japan, Mexico, Singapore and the USA
HONOURS Three Weeks Editors’ Award 2016 “celebrating the ten people, productions and shows that, in our opinion, made this year’s Edinburgh Festival particularly special…. we celebrated Electric Voice Theatre for their truly inspirational show ‘Superwomen Of Science’…”Frances M Lynch is supported by PRS Foundation’s The Open Fund
I have always been fascinated, if somewhat daunted, by science. It seemed to be a land that I could never understand let alone visit. However, once I started the Minerva Scientifica project in 2013, I gradually found myself surrounded by scientists engaged in a dizzying array of research areas who have the patience and understanding to help me, and other composers, enter at the edges of their worlds.
This music is part of the Stormsong 1881 Minerva Scientifica Project and was written in collaboration with Meteorologist, Marjory Roy. It is a direct translation of Meteorological data created from the Daily Weather Report which was published by the Met Office covering the period before during and after the storm of 1881. It is a tribute to the community of Eyemouth, and their extraordinary courage and tenacity in recovering from the Great Disaster of 1881.
Title: Williamina,Astronomer fae Dundee Scientist: WILLIAMINA FLEMING Words by: Frances M Lynch Written in: 2016 For: Solo Voice and Sweeping Brush Performed by: Frances M Lynch World Premiere: 1st Aug 2016, The Book Club, Shoreditch, London, as part of events run by the Royal Society
I found the story of Williamina Fleming irresistible – a heroine who rose from difficult circumstances to become a famous Astronomer. I based it on a traditional Jacobite tune – “The Piper O Dundee” as sourced from Hogg’s “Jacobite Relics of Scotland” (1821). It was written for the award winning Edinburgh Fringe show “Superwomen of Science”
Title: A Lament for Invertebrates Scientist: KAREN DIELE Words by: Frances M Lynch & Karen Diele Written in: 2017 For: solo voice, with recordings of the environment at St. Abbs Marine Station and children from Canal View School making funny noises! Performed by: Frances M Lynch World Premiere:June 20th 2017, Edinburgh Napier University, Sighthill Campus as part of the Scottish Superwomen of Science Project.
When I first met Karen Diele I was struck by her passion for her work both here in Scotland and in Brazil. She opened my eyes to an underwater world full of sound. Her research with her colleagues Edward Bolger, Dr Rob Briers, Dr Mark Hartl, Petra Harsanyi, Dr Ted Henry, Nick Mackay-Roberts, Dr Sonja Rueckert, Kevin Scott, Matthew Wales at Edinburgh Napier University and St Abbs Marine Station forms the basis of the text – a series of questions they are addressing about the effects of noise on sea creatures. The underwater sea world, also inspired by discussions with geo-physicist Dr Lara Kalnins includes the children of Primary 6, Canal View Primary school making sounds like the pistol crab, pile drivers and the final bubble curtain (made with a mixture of vocal sounds and straws in bottles of water) which helps reduce sound underwater.
Title: Muriel’s Eye (M wana wa nnyabo ) Scientist: MURIEL ROBERTSON Words by: Frances M Lynch, Traditional Additional Music: Traditional Ugandan lullaby M wana wa nnyabo collected by Robinah Nazziwa Written in: 2017 For: solo voice and female chorus Performed by: Frances M Lynch World Premiere: August 5th, 2017, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, part of “Scottish Superwomen of Science”
Women in all cultures have been creating and singing lullabies since time began. The piece uses a popular Ugandan lullaby collected by Robinah Nazziwa a local music teacher. It is in Lugandan – the language Muriel Robertson learnt from her assistants when she was working on sleeping sickness there. The African material contrasts with the story of her life and work, sung in the style of a traditional Scottish Song.
I was lucky enough to go to school in Scotland at a time when all children were assessed at an early age for their musical ability. A violin was then thrust into our arms, an instrument of torture to our families for years to come. School provided a rich cultural environment which seemed to naturally lead on to studying singing at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music, where composer Janet Beat inspired my interest in contemporary music which I moved to City University, and Guildhall School of Music, London, to pursue.
I sang, mainly contemporary music, with electronics, and just kept doing it until I became good enough to be invited to tour around to Festivals all over the world. I founded theelectric voice theatre, staging very difficult music as a producer and director. I have a small teaching practice and love workshop leading with children. Composing arrived by accident. I was working as music director to a theatre company when they decided they didn’t like the music…….. I became their resident composer for 10 years!
Premiering “A Night at the Chinese Opera” by Judith Weir with Kent Opera (and falling over a lot)
Performing at the BBCSO Cage Weekend at the Barbican dressed as a tramp
Every time my students or school groups make progress
Clovenstone Primary School Edinburgh Workshop
Did You Know?
I can make the sound of an elephant trumpeting…!
An Inspiring Woman
Judith Weir (Master of the Queen’s Music) has been an inspiration since I first met her in London in the 80’s. Much earlier it was a nun who wrote music for us to sing on a weekly basis. I didn’t realise at the time that this was unusual, but I did recognise her work as being really first class. These days I spend a lot of time finding and performing music by women composers from the past, introducing their work to children and commissioning contemporary women, all of whom are an inspiration.