Subject to Gesture

The pamphlet, ‘Subject to Gesture’, was published by Dock Road Press to accompany the live event of the same name. The text was written in part using found material from a number of sources and being open to the political and cultural mood of Spring 2017. Influences and sources included training guides for US toastmasters and comments on TedX presentation styles, as well as the often violent language around the body on social media posts and comments.

It is a collaborative work for voice and treated guitars and drum developed between writer Mark Leahy and composer/performer Benjamin D. Duvall. Ben Duvall produced a diagram of the relation between the elements of the performance for the pamphlet.

‘Subject to Gesture’ was commissioned by Mark Greenwood of Dock Road Press, for his performance series Gramophone Ray Gun at Liverpool’s Everyman Bistro. The live work was premiered at Gramophone Ray Gun 6, on Thursday 27th April 2017. An excerpt from the performance recording can be heard here.

Excerpt from the text:

Become a Great Reader

I’ll explain why you should understand body language; you’ll be glad, it will stand to you in con/flict con/frontation and back you up when your back’s to the wall, or you need someone to have your back. Of course, what counts is not what you say, but what you achieve, who you con/vince con/tract; with this in mind, you need to remember that body language.

How do you feel being more genetic, more equipped to spot differences, to read signs, and tell what’s what when it counts; not behind your back, but getting your own back. Brain scans show how fortune-tellers know so much. Sitting inside their tent — not pissing in or pissing out, but reading you. They’ve got three rules for universal reading: holding forth / the page held up / on point. Listening to him misread inborn kids and read a true-life story; can you fake it?


now we aren’t in terrible shape but have you seen us? to you this body when moments of back back’s back is coldblooded. he has stabbed him in the back and betrayed him. why he has killed the one we know, like a ton of bricks as both, in the beginning body … that player went down from a slight tap on his back. why why

how get back on those who beat us back in round one. we just don’t roll over and die. we’re one tough team about women, culturally then the matters going back, maybe they can have your back when it counts. some basic accurate attack it can be easier to, was because they probably wouldn’t mutual back.