38. Evolution of a Song Cycle
18 October 2019, 15:30 - 16:30
- Cheryl Frances-Hoad (Composer)
- Carola Darwin (Soprano)
- Kelley Swain (Poet)
- Dr John Holmes (Speaker)
- Dr James Neenan (Speaker)
Presented in association with the Museum of Natural History
In a discussion led by John Holmes (editor of the Museum’s anthology Guests of Time), composer Cheryl Frances-Hoad, soprano Carola Darwin, poet Kelley Swain and scientist James Neenan talk about the collaborative process behind a Darwin-inspired song cycle with new poetry and music, ahead of this evening’s chamber music concert.
ComposerCheryl Frances-Hoad was born in Essex in 1980 and received her musical education at the Yehudi Menuhin School, the University of Cambridge (where she was awarded a double 1st for her BA in Music and a distinction for her MPhil in Composition) and Kings College London (PhD, Composition). Her music has been described as “like a declaration of faith in the eternal verities of composition” (The Times), with “a voice overflowing not only with ideas, but also with the discipline and artistry necessary to harness them” (The ... Read Full Biography
SopranoCarola is a classically-trained soprano with a strong clear voice and a repertoire that ranges from Bach to Berio and Verdi to Villa-Lobos. Carola Darwin combines a career as an opera and concert singer with research and writing about music. She trained at Royal Northern College of Music, and went on to gain a PhD from the University of Sheffield. She is now an Academic Professor at the Royal College of Music, where she teaches Music History. Her research into the Viennese composer Johanna Müller-Hermann is part of BBC Radio 3’... Read Full Biography
PoetKelley Swain is a poet, novelist, and critic. Originally from Rhode Island, she lived in London for a decade before moving to rural Oxfordshire. She reviews books, theatre, exhibitions, and music for The Lancet journals. Her first collection of poetry, Darwin's Microscope, is enjoying a 10th anniversary edition in 2019 with a related song cycle, Endless Forms Most Beautiful, debuting at the Oxford Lieder Festival. Her verse drama, Opera di Cera, and her second poetry collection, Atlantic, were published in 2014. The Naked Muse, Swain'... Read Full Biography
SpeakerJohn Holmes is Professor of Victorian Literature and Culture at the University of Birmingham and an Honorary Associate of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. His books include Darwin’s Bards: British and American Poetry in the Age of Evolution (2009) and The Pre-Raphaelites and Science (2018). He has worked very closely with the museum on their Visions of Nature programmes, including editing the collection Guests of Time (2016), which gathered together poems by the three poets in residence at the museum, Kelley Swain, John... Read Full Biography
SpeakerDr Neenan’s research mostly concerns the evolution of the inner ear in both extinct and living vertebrates. The inner ear, which contains the organ of balance and orientation, is a useful structure that can inform us about how an animal may have moved and interacted with its environment. Using cutting-edge X-ray scanning, 3D visualisation and biomechanical modelling techniques, Dr Neenan is interested in how the inner ear evolves when tetrapods transition to completely different lifestyles, particularly from terrestrial to aquatic habi... Read Full Biography
This event is part of a series:
The 18th Oxford Lieder Festival will explore life, death, and the mysterious areas between and beyond. Sprites and nymphs cause mayhem and mischief, while legends abound from Greco-Roman sagas to the Lorelei and the Erlking. Storytelling with the Crick Crack Club, a ghost tour, a magic show and more all complement the myriad concerts, masterclasses and study events over a packed fortnight....