Guitarist Susan McDonald

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Whether through music or through words, Susan is above all a storyteller. Her performances shine with entertaining anecdotes about her adventures.

Susan loves to engage audiences by talking about the inspiration behind her music. Watch a live performance, complete with introduction, of her original suite, which was composed in the Mexican colonial city of San Miguel de Allende.

 Las Puertas de San Miguel


Susan enjoys working with the written as well as the spoken word. Following is an excerpt from Susan's upcoming book about her Amazon adventures:

The foliage breathed in a raspy voice. There was a heavy wakefulness to the sound, a sense of every earthly cell watching and waiting. Spiky shadows passed as we glided across the glassy black lagoon in our small canoe.

The only sound other than the earth's labored breath and the occasional lyrical chirping of some unidentified night creature was a gradually intensifying yet random tapping coming from the bottom of the canoe.

"Sabes que es esta sonida? I asked Jose, my Kichwa guide, curiously. "Piranhas," he replied quietly. "Saben que estamos aqui."

Even though they knew we were here, they couldn't very well get us while we were in the boat. I relaxed for a moment, gazing up at a tree that was leaning over the water, its branches stretching above me like ghostly arms. I turned my flashlight on to get a better look, only to see a large anaconda wrapped around the thick branch directly above my head. I turned off the flashlight and edged farther back in the canoe.

My feet felt a little wet, and I glanced down to see that the canoe was leaking.

Seeking to distract myself from the leaking canoe, the draped anaconda and the hungry piranhas, I looked around. It really was magical here. I was deeply immersed in the Ecuadorian Amazon, twelve hours by canoe from the nearest town and an hour's hike into the jungle from my hut at the research station. Little colored orbs twinkled like miniature Christmas lights. Thousands of them, all around us, many of them seeming to hover in mid-air.

"Qué son esos?" I whispered, sweeping my hand to indicate the lights.
Ojos de arañas." The eyes of spiders.
Y los grandes?"


Now, as I peered into the darkness, I could see to whom the yellow orbs, the largest ones, belonged - and that they were much longer than our canoe.

Well, I was already here. Might as well film them. 

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