Kansas City, MO
sound / visual artist
Mark Southerland has used the saxophone as a medium for exploring sound and performance for 25 years. By reinterpreting the assumed stage presence of a jazz musician, Southerland’s work has run the gamut from pop culture and Rahsaan Roland Kirk tributaries to costuming burlesque reviews and formal choreography. His reinvented brass and woodwind instruments, circuit-bent electronic children’s toys, and eight track “scratching” turn his stage work into an Alexander Caulder-esque circus of visual and sound possibilities. His “bastardized” horns and costumes have been displayed as free-standing sculptures at the Dolphin Gallery and Urban Culture Projects in Kansas City, the OSP in Boston, and the Stray Show in Chicago. Functional and beautiful, the instruments are named by their sound as well as their composite parts (Parasite Horn, Heart Horn, Graffitti Horn, Oboenaphone, Flutaphone).
A Kansas City native, Southerland has played locally, nationally and internationally with the jazz group Malachy for over ten years. His ongoing side project, Snuff Jazz, involves a constantly changing trio. A natural host and collaborator with other musicians as well as artists and dancers, Southerland continuously extends his possibilities, pushing the improvisatory envelope of visual and auditory standards.
This bio/description was originally published in 2006 and updated in 2013. For more current information, please refer to the award recipient's website (if provided).