Ada sketches by Emily Howard


Monday, 30 November, 7-9pm
Mathematical Institute (map)
Andrew Wiles Building
Radcliffe Observatory Quarter
Woodstock Road
Oxford OX2 6GG

Ada sketches at the Science Museum

Photo credit: Science Museum, London

We welcome you to a performance of ‘Ada sketches’ by Emily Howard, a short operatic work about the pioneering mathematician Ada Lovelace, performed by students from the Royal Northern College of Music. As well as the performance and presentation of the work given by composer Emily Howard (with mathematician Lasse Rempe-Gillen), audience members will be able to participate in the composition of mathematical music by working with the musicians to turn numbers into notes.

Part of ‘The Lovelace Trilogy’ composed in 2011, ‘Ada sketches’, a dramatic scena for mezzo-soprano (Ada), flute, clarinet and percussion with a libretto by Laura Tunbridge, explores a musical solution to a computation as solved in the hypothetical 1842 Analytical Engine. It will be performed by RNCM Alumna mezzo-soprano Rosie Middleton and current RNCM students Lily Caunt (flute), German Martinez-Merino (clarinet), and Aiden Marsden (percussion).

This event is part of our 200 year anniversary celebrations of Ada Lovelace and follows the very successful Science of Harmony evening held at the Science Museum on Friday 23 October. It draws inspiration from the note by Ada Lovelace: ‘Supposing, for instance, that the fundamental relations of pitched sounds in the science of harmony and of musical composition were susceptible of such expression and adaptations, the engine might compose elaborate and scientific pieces of music of any degree of complexity or extent.’

Tickets are free of charge but limited to one per person. We are grateful to the many supporters of the event, including the RNCM, the Transforming Musicology project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and FAST supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

The event is organized by Oxford e-Research Centre and The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities. Please contact for further information.

Transforming Musicology

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