Hailed by LA Weekly as ‘“the cult darling of the Underworld,” Jill Tracy’s seductive, shadowy compositions have become synonymous with the beautiful dark— featured on Showtime’s DEXTER, CBS-TV Navy NCIS; and movies like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and Other Madnesses. San Francisco Chronicle has deemed her “the femme fatale for the thinking man.”
Her piano music and smoky vocals will transport you into an elegant netherworld full of hidden passageways, wonder cabinets, and opium dens. Of monsters, marvels and mayhem.
You know it’s not safe here; but with Jill Tracy as your guide, you’ll be in no hurry to leave.
Jill Tracy is a San Francisco-based singer/pianist, storyteller, and “sonic archeologist” who has garnered multiple awards and a passionate following for her beautifully haunting, cinematic music, sophisticated lyrics, old-world glamour—and curious passion for strange tales.
Hailed a “femme fatale for the thinking man” by the San Francisco Chronicle, Jill Tracy was described by NPR’s All Things Considered as “utterly intriguing, transporting you into a magical world solely of her creation.” LA Weekly has deemed her “the cult darling of the Underworld.”
Her music has appeared on film and television, including Showtime’s Dexter, CBS hit Navy NCIS, and the motion picture Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. She has collaborated and performed with music legends such as Peter Murphy (Bauhaus,) Steven Severin (Siouxsie and the Banshees,) David J (Bauhaus,) Jello Biafra, Nina Hagen, Lydia Lunch, and famed author Lemony Snicket.
“The Sonic Séance” is Jill Tracy’s singular approach to “sonic archeology,” using the energy, frequency, resonant tones, and emotion of an environment to uncover spontaneous music.
With her affinity for odd history tales and unexpected inspirations, Jill Tracy is known for traveling to unusual locales to research and compose spontaneous music. She has conjured music in decrepit gardens, cemeteries, murderous mansions, abandoned asylums, ancient redwoods, and haunted castles.
Jill Tracy is the first musician in history to receive a grant from the renowned Mütter Museum of medical oddities in Philadelphia. She spent nights alone composing music amidst the Mütter’s vast collection of skeletons and specimens—which include renowned “Siamese Twins” Chang and Eng, Einstein’s brain, Harry Eastlack “The Ossified Man,” books bound in human skin, and The Mermaid Baby. This in-progress project (which began in 2102) is called “The Teratology Lullabies.”
She was invited by San Francisco’s Presidio Trust to research its archives and tour abandoned buildings with old records of supernatural occurrence. She interviewed over 50 Presidio employees revealing their first-hand ghostly encounters spanning decades. This became her stage show “Legends of the Presidio Ghosts,” which premiered in the famed Presidio Officers Club Ballroom, featuring music composed on-site inspired her discoveries.
She is currently in the middle of an another unprecedented project “The Secret Music of Lily Dale”—a musical excavation of mysterious Lily Dale, the famed private town of mediums and Spiritualists in upstate New York. She is recording her singular piano music channeled at night inside the original 1883 auditorium, site of séances and spirit communication services for over a century. She has captured field recordings from the mystical Leolyn Woods to chilling nighttime rainstorms to create an authentic, never-before-heard sonic journey into this strange, little town that talks to the dead…
FROM THE PRESS:
“Jill Tracy is utterly intriguing. She transports you into a magical world solely of her creation.”
NPR, ALL THINGS CONSIDERED
“An elegant and mysterious siren.”
“There’s something otherworldly about Jill Tracy. She has a poise, finesse and enigmatic quality rarely seen these days—she effortlessly floats above the fray.”
SANTA CRUZ WEEKLY
“Think of Jill Tracy’s music as the soundtrack for Union Station filmed in black and white during the eerie build-up to a startlingly romantic plot twist. Describing her sound as “the elegant side of the netherworld,” Tracy has a voice that prompts images of spirits haunting art deco hallways and a knack for writing songs that unfold like the story lines of F.W. Murnau movies that were never made.”
“Equal parts performance artist, filmmaker, musician, and bad-ass icon…Fear not, Jill Tracy is here to deliver us.”
“‘femme fatale for the thinking man’—Jill Tracy is a musical sorceress, evocateur, intrigante, woman of mystery, ‘dark Queen of Melancholia,’…she aspires to transport her listeners to another world — one she calls the “elegant netherworld.”
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
“When you hear Jill Tracy’s lush, sultry voice and experience the spooky melancholy of her lyrics, you’re hooked…you can’t escape the haunting and seductive powers of her macabre torch songs. As you listen, your will is no longer your own.”
“Rooted in film, Jill Tracy’s musical career keeps returning her, darkly, to the screen… Inspired musically by Hitchcock composer Bernard Hermann, and visually by the shadowy black and white imagery of film noir, Jean Cocteau, F.W. Murnau and Fritz Lang, Jill Tracy combines a dramatic piano style that moves from morose to ragtime with seductive, perfectly enunciated captivating vocals. Jill Tracy radiates intelligence with a sophisticated, eerie sensibility… Classical, timeless.”
“Jill Tracy creates an elegant netherworld both seductive and terrifying.”
“Jill Tracy finds a compelling sensuality in everything, from the promise of one wicked night to the fiery end of the world. Her breathy vocals entice the listener into a sonic dreamscape—a dark and magical realm, simultaneously cerebral, sexy and sinister. It’s not safe here, but you won’t be in any hurry to leave. Beneath the force and filigree of Tracy’s original piano lines lurks cold steel—the woman has guts to spare, creating something so distinctive amidst the corporate musical mediocrity that’s poisoning the culture.”
EDDIE MULLER, (Film Noir Foundation, TCM) in NOIR CITY Magazine
LISTEN TO MUSIC:
FILM APPEARANCES AND PLACEMENT:
● In the Wake (2001) Jill Tracy narrates the film, the song “Extraordinary” is featured in the score. (director: Erica Jordan)
● The Fine Art of Poisoning (2003) short film collaboration/music video project with animator Bill Domonkos.
● Heavy Put Away (2003) appears as nightclub singer, performed piano score, “Evil Night Together” is the film’s end title song. (FOX Searchlight)
● Ice Cream Ants (2006) stars as the sinister Mona, performed/composed title song “Pulling Your Insides Out.” (director: Jeremy Carr)
● The Black Dahlia (2007) composed/performed the song “Pulling Your Insides Out.” (director: Ramzi Abed)
● NERVOUS96 (2011) Jill Tracy and violinist Paul Mercer scored this surreal short from filmmaker Bill Domonkos
● Other Madnesses (2015) Jill Tracy composed/performed the end title song “Dreamland,” a haunting, melancholy remake of the 1904 tune “All Aboard For Dreamland.” (director: Jeremy Carr)
● Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Ion Network) – features Jill Tracy’s song “Evil Night Together”.
● Navy NCIS (CBS-TV) Episode “Ravenous” – features “Evil Night Together”.
● The History Detectives (PBS)- features Jill Tracy’s song “The Fine Art of Poisoning.”
● Dexter (Showtime Networks) “Evil Night Together” as ad campaign to promote the show’s final season (8) , “The Final Symphony”.
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Photo Credit: Audrey Penven