making poetry booklets in lockdown

As part of my activity during lockdown, I’ve used what is to hand to make some booklets of poems. I have revisited a poetry sequence I wrote that drew on guides and instructions for ‘proper’ speech, rules for social and public behaviour, the 1967 Sexual Offences Act led to the partial decriminalistation of homosexuality, and the policing, control or modification of the body in social media. The text is formatted in Big Caslon, with headings in Copperplate. The cover paper comes from a Soviet era book on the buildings of Prague.

This bear ain’t doin’ nothin’ wrong, pretty boy!
Residue prizes produce uniformly the same sensations,
buff expanding is where it’s at.
Wherever it may be retiring, not coward but cowherd,
both pretty trash now tbh.
He dances, scissors hands applied palm to palm,
hanging down, lips pouted as he whines. Oh, come on!

Parts of this text formed the basis of the score for the performance Threaded Inserts. First performed as part of Tears in Rain, for Plymouth Art Weekender at Plymouth Athenaeum, September 2017. Threaded Inserts was also presented at the Projectivisms symposium, organised by Wanda O’Connor at Cardiff University, May 2018 and at STREAM: a Series of Transdisciplinary Rituals & Experiments in Art & Music at Dartington in September 2018.

Uncommon Attunement, review of David Toop anthology

Rupert Loydell has just uploaded a new review of mine to the Stride blog. The review comments and reflects on my reading of David Toop’s Inflamed Invisible: Collected Writings on Art and Sound 1976 – 2018 recently published by Goldsmiths Press.

“This is a noisy capacious book, bringing together Toop’s writing, from reviews, occasional texts, magazine articles, liner notes, blog posts and exhibition texts across more than four decades. […]

Each one of this selection might be linked to distinct fields, of music, of poetry, of film making, but Toop draws sonic and aural threads from each and winds them together in this collection. ”

The accompanying links and Spotify playlist are really great, and reminded me of things I’d forgotten as well as introducing me to new work.

playlist for First Spark Festival radio show

First Spark Saturday Feb 1st 2020

playlist and links

On air from 0930hrs

part 1

Toni Dimitrov, Backyard Rain – 10’

Sebastiane Hegarty, Photosynthesis: for water snails, diving beetle and pondweed. – 7’06”

Emmanuelle Waeckerlé, 0(nly) – 21’

Sebastiane Hegarty, on [is] off – 13’

Mark Leahy, biddys 1 – 2’30”

part 2

Sue Coulson, Under the Line at Starcross – 7’15”

Olchar E. Lindsann, three poems – 6’

Kate Donovan, Seed Dispersal II – 6’10”

People Like Us, No One is an Island – 28’

Mark Greenwood, The Seance – 10’

Kate Donovan, Seed Dispersal I – 2’

Mark Leahy, biddys 2 – 2’30”

part 3

Sue Coulson, Sound of Piers and Seas – 6’40”

Andy Cluer, THEN, NOW, THEN (Act iii) – 7’30”

Noise Laboratory, Feather – 4’

Mark Leahy, biddys 3 – 2’30”

Alice Kemp, fourteen twelve – 14’12”

close

Recording available on Soundcloud here.

First Spark radio festival on Soundart

On Saturday February 1st, St. Brigid’s Day, as part of the Imbolc celebrations at Soundart Radio, I will present a selection of new works by sound, word, and music artists. First Spark is Soundart’s annual festival of radio in all its possibilities, scheduled at the Celtic festival of Imbolc, to welcome the first signs of Spring. Works will include a collage composition by People Like Us, a recording of a work from The Story of O project by Emmanuelle Waeckerle, a new recording featuring text by Mark Greenwood, a recording of a live improvisation by Olchar Lindsann, works for radio by Sue Coulson, and a new text I have written for the occasion. The broadcast can be listened to live on 102.5fm in the Totnes and Dartington area; you can also listen online at soundartradio.org.uk.

A recording of the show is on Soundcloud at https://soundcloud.com/markleahy/first_spark_radio_stbrigidsday_2020

continuous stationary workshop day at The Met Office Innovation Lab

On Wednesday January 15th I spent the day with a number of artists and scientists looking at potential ways of working together with ‘big data’. The event was hosted by Impact Lab at the Met Office Innovation Centre in Exeter Science Park. The day was one of two organised by Milly Brown, of Plymouth College of Art, to bring artists in the region into contact and communication with scientists and researchers in partner oganisations. There were representatives from Impact Lab, from The Met Office, and from Plymouth Marine Laboratory. The day generated some very interesting conversations, and there feels to be the potential for collaborations and joint projects in the future.

The project has an instagram account @continuous_stationary and there are plans to produce a publication / report by the end of 2020.