Brave & Beautiful Music
Susan's latest release Learning to Listen is a powerful body of work recorded live off the floor with her beloved 1920's Mason and Risch baby grand. Russell Dawkins (veteran audio-engineer, Seaborne Sound) calls it "the finest local recording I have ever worked on, I think. (It) has serious merit both as music and poetry - simply as art."
Known for her cinematic songs, compelling performances and her unique approach to audience participation, Susan began performing in the early 1980's, touring festivals and coffeehouses from Alaska to Newfoundland. She's shared the stage with Joan Baez, won three songwriting contests and written a full-length musical which toured Japan and the Smithsonian.
Christine Lavin (New York) named Susan's Secret of My Happiness "one of the year's top ten albums under-the-radar" in 1998. Since then, Susan has been out of the spotlight for health reasons. Her gradual return began in 2017 with a solo acapella scripted house-concert series, Sing for No Reason, telling the story behind a remarkable song (see video below), while the audience provides her accompaniment.
Susan's 'Yukon Women' song is a northern under-the-radar classic; her secular spiritual 'Shine On' is sung by choirs all over the world. Oh yeah, and way back in 1980, she won the prestigious Madam Trapper award at Whitehorse Rendezvous.
Morning pages ...
Susan here, with some thoughts on my current trajectory ...
Under the radar’s been my bailiwick, I’m an old dog with a new trick, chewing the stick of rhythm but I’m no rapper - I want to know where the one is.
I want to know where the one is. I want a melody, an unscored scale, I want the sink and roar of it, the lilt and wail of a tune to transport the unwordable tale of it.
Tail me, you’ll find, between rap and rhapsody, minding undone by melodic exquisite. Call the, channel the, ring the physic (and the doctor said give em jug band music)
Yeah the doctor’s in, the doctor’s in me, sayin’ under the radar 'tain’t your bailiwick. The doctor in me’s got a new prescription, I wrote my own label and it says Listen.
Lifelonging songsinging open behoovement, fenceless and golden green slow music movement. Upcountry meadow and vista to spare. Meet me. Meet me there.
Rainbows in our eyelashes. Stardust in our hair.
Yeah the doctor’s in, the doctor’s in me, Yeah the doctor’s in, the doctor’s in me …