“Equal parts performance artist, filmmaker, musician, and bad-ass icon…Fear not, Jill Tracy is here to deliver us.”
“Jill Tracy ushers the listener into a dark and magical realm. It’s not safe here, but you won’t be in any hurry to leave. This is strangely alluring and subtly disturbing music that sneaks up on you, captures you with its unique style and mordant wit, and never quite turns you loose.
Jill Tracy finds a compelling sensuality in everything, from the promise of one wicked night to the fiery end of the world.
Beneath the breathy vocals and 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.
Jill Tracy is a wonderful antidote to that poison. Play this one late at night. See if you can find your way out alive.”
EDDIE MULLER—author, host Noir Alley (Turner Classic Movies )
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Jill Tracy will transport you into a seductive and magical realm far beyond the Everyday. The place where we wished we lived. A dark, elegant netherworld full of hidden passageways, wonder cabinets, and shadows. Of monsters, marvels and mystery. You know it’s not safe here; but with Jill Tracy as your guide, you’ll be in no hurry to leave.
The San Francisco-based singer/pianist, storyteller, composer, and personality 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 song lyrics have been quoted and praised in the New York Times.
Her music has appeared on film and television, including Showtime’s Dexter, CBS hit NCIS, and motion pictures Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Other Madnesses. She has collaborated and performed with music legends such as Peter Murphy (Bauhaus,) Steven Severin (Siouxsie and the Banshees,) David J (Bauhaus, Love and Rockets,) Ray Manzarek (The Doors,) Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys), Nina Hagen, Lydia Lunch, and famed author Lemony Snicket.
Her acclaimed short film The Fine Art of Poisoning, (a collaboration with artist Bill Domonkos) has won over 30 film festival awards and screened internationally.
A ROMANCE WITH SHADOWS...
As a youngster, Jill Tracy was drawn to classic suspense, film noir, and horror movie scores, which she cites today as some of her strongest influences. These passions are evident in her unusual piano style. Self taught, her singular blend of mystical flourishes, hypnotic grooves, and dark-alley classical conjures up chiaroscuro shades of another era, but at the same time, the sound is shockingly new.
In a Nocturne Magazine interview she states, "My music doesn’t evoke the past as much as a sense of pure Timelessness. Transcendent of Time. That’s what makes it seductive; creating that place––familiar, yet oddly intriguing. It resonates on a soulful level, but still maintains an air of the mysterious.
That’s the magic music allows —like a trap door or portal, it accompanies us—to a place we never knew existed, but wish to go.
I've always been drawn to fantastical, otherworldly imagery. Worlds sans-time. As a child, I was obsessed with Alfred Hitchcock, Bernard Herrmann, Ray Bradbury, Rod Serling, Jean Cocteau. I just wanted to live in those worlds. I still do."
PIANO AS PORTAL: THE SONIC SÉANCE...
With her affinity for peculiar history tales, the occult, and unexpected inspirations, Jill Tracy is known for traveling to unusual locations to research and record piano spontaneous music. Utilizing resonant frequencies, energy, and the emotional back-story, everything seen (and unseen) becomes part of the equation.
She has conjured music in decrepit gardens, cemeteries, murderous mansions, abandoned asylums, ancient redwoods, and haunted castles.
"I wanted the audience to become part of my process at times, and compose pieces in front of them, culled from their energy. It’s a perfect circle. The audience gives to me, and I channel it musically and give it right back, creating a piece that will exist solely for us in those few minutes, and then disappear! It’s the most powerful thing I’ve ever experienced.
This is my Sonic Séance," she explains.
The lovely and difficult thing about this work is that I can’t prepare for it, as I never know what to expect. I must allow myself to be completely vulnerable; simply feel, and react. It’s not about me; it’s about the natural magic, the immediacy. It becomes so much bigger than any of us. That’s the strange beauty of inhabiting a moment. Especially in these tragic times of constant "archiving" as opposed to "experiencing."
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, The Mermaid Baby, and books bound in human skin.
She was commissioned by San Francisco’s Presidio Trust to spend months researching the historical military base's private archives and abandoned buildings (including old hospitals and asylums) with old records of supernatural occurrence and ghostly encounters spanning decades. This became her immersive hit stage show and walking tour series— "In the Footsteps of Spirits: Legends of the Presidio Ghosts."
She has just completed another unprecedented project (2022) The Secret Music of Lily Dale—a sonic excavation of mysterious Lily Dale, the famed private town of mediums and Spiritualists in upstate New York. She recorded on an antique grand piano alone at night inside the 1883 auditorium, site of séances and spirit communication services for over a century. She captured field recordings— from the mystical Leolyn Woods to chilling nighttime rainstorms, to create a never-before-heard aural journey into this strange, little town that talks to the dead…
"I'm fascinated with the energy and impressions that remains within environments, buildings and objects— and their amassed emotional history," she explains. "For me, uncovering hidden compositions inside these spaces is the closet thing to time travel or channeling. A bridge between this world, and what lies beyond human comprehension.
My work honors the Mystery. "