VOICES FOR THE FUTURE - BEATRIX POTTER
VOICES FOR THE FUTURE aims to discover, honour, and promote female voices past and present and to inspire, guide and build diverse Voices for the Future
Beatrix Potter is one of the voices from the past uniquely placed to do this for both Arts and Sciences with a particular geographical link to Cumbria and the Lake District.
Electric Voice Theatre is exploring her life and scientific work through artistic, musical and creative elements, in relation to current women working in natural sciences and arts who, like Potter, are connected to Cumbria.
We all love Peter Rabbit, Squirrel Nutkin and others - but author and illustrator, Beatrix Potter, was also a scientist who made important discoveries. In her early years, she was passionately interested in mycology, studying fungi (mushrooms) and ferns with the help of a Scottish Postman!
Performance of "Beatrix Potter's Secret Kingdom”
This unusual music-drama was created by electric voice theatre Artistic Director, Frances M Lynch and performed live on Zoom by electric voice theatre, BSL Interpreter Lauren Lister, and the Voices for the Future Virtual Choir with music by Dorothy Howell (1898 – 1982) and Nicola Lefanu, with world premieres by Frances M Lynch, Kira Ramchaitar-Husbands. The performance was introduced by leading mycologist Professor Lynne Boddy.
As part of the performance, the children of Hawkshead Esthwaite Primary School introduced their MEGASONG for Beatrix Potter’s Fungi and Judith Weir (Master of the Queen’s Music) launched the song competition.
Competition for primary school children
Electric Voice Theatre invited primary school chioldren to choose theitr favourite fungus, and find ourt as much as they could about it, then think about what Beatrix might have written about the fungus in a new, fantastic story. To enter the competition, the children made up their own verses about fungi.
Judges: Judith Weir, Master of the Queen's Music and Professor Lynne Boddy, Mycologist
Project elements and activities
VIRTUAL CHOIR - weekly meetings from early September, encouraging families to enjoy singing together and participate in the creation of a Fungi Fun choral piece.
ONLINE VOCAL TRAINING PROGRAMME for 10 diverse singers (ages 15-25) from Cumbria, exploring music by UK women composers, with modules to develop musicianship, singing, creativity, ensemble & dramatic techniques
SCHOOL WORKSHOPS - Children from Years 3 & 4 at Hawkshead Primary composed and recorded a MEGASONG of Microscopic Music about Beatrix, fungi and conservation; learnt to perform it with British Sign Language and created ecological drawings to use in an accompanying film.
The children worked online with electric voice theatre, leading mycologist Professor Lynne Boddy, science historian Catherine Booth (Retired Science Curator, National Library of Scotland), and with local visual artist Hannah Fox, a female ecologist from Cumbria Wildlife Trust and musician from Cumbria Music Services.