Suzanne M. Clark

Associate Professor

"'Harmony' is trying to put together different sounds into some kind of a system. The harmony that I'm teaching is working with sounds: establishing a tonal system, putting in splashes of color to move away from the tonality, then moving back into the tonality."

"We call it 'music theory' because in a sense it is theoretical until you actually put it to sound. So I try to stress in class not to get caught up in your head to the extent that it's all calculated. In the end, you either confirm or affirm your theory by listening to it and saying, 'Yes, I hear that the leading tone wants to move to do, or that fa wants to move to mi.' I want my students to develop their own ear and make connections between what they hear outside of class and what goes on inside class."

"I'm teaching a course called the Creative Flame. I developed it because I felt a class like this would have been helpful for me as an undergraduate—to learn what it means to be a creative artist and how to work at a creative process. These issues go hand in hand with technical skill. There are external components to your craft and there are internal components. You need a mixture of both, in my opinion, not just to be successful, but to sustain that success."

Career Highlights

 

  • B.M., Berklee College of Music
  • M.A., University of Massachusetts
  • Acoustic bass player
  • Coleader of the jazz duo Trillium with guitarist Pat Drain
  • Member, Stambandet
  • Performances with Corey Eisenberg, Mickey Julian, Suzanna Sifter, Klaus Suonsaari, and Frank Texiera
  • Recordings include "All the Nights Magic" with Pat Drain, and "Nordic Voices" and "Red Wine and Strawberries" with Stambandet, conducted by Allen LeVines