We are currently working in conjunction with Poetical Machines on the musical composition for a theatre piece about the life of Ada Lovelace. Ada was a mathematician and computer programmer and is best known for her work on the Analytical Engine. She was the first person to envisage that a machine could have the capabilities to do more than simply calculate and provided, in theory, how the modern day computer would work. One of her visions was that Analytical Engine may even create elaborate and scientific pieces of music...
Ada would have been a household name in the same sense as Einstein or Hawking were she not a woman. Many women have been written out of history or had their ideas undermined (there is one mention of Ada on the Analytical Engine wikipedia page). Everyone's thoughts are shaped around the messages we receive or images we look at and we need the visibility of successful women in varied roles to provide choice and aspirations for people today. It's well known that the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics are still dramatically male orientated: a classic example of "you can't be what you can't see". This change isn't going to happen by itself. Societal changes are shaped by cultural attitudes and trends, and "whether we act or not has everything to do with it" (thanks Rebecca Solnit you hopeful and amazing woman).
You can safely say we're pretty chuffed to be involved and the idea of a musical machine is clearly something that sparks an interest - an interest that would never have existed in the first place without Ada and her poetical science. Thanks Ada!
"Ada" is being produced by Poetical Machines, written by Emily Holyoake, funded by The Arts Council and supported by Nottingham Playhouse.