The Secret Music of Lily Dale

$21,658 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 281 people in 17 months
Composer and sonic archeologist Jill Tracy has begun an unprecedented project—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. Donate and get a rare glimpse into this strange, little town that talks to the dead...

“Jill Tracy is utterly intriguing. She transports you into a magical world solely of her creation.”
NPR, ALL THINGS CONSIDERED

"Jill Tracy is the Queen of taking her listeners into another realm."
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

“Jill Tracy creates an elegant netherworld both seductive and terrifying.”
CLIVE BARKER


**UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 2018!**
I just returned to Lily Dale to finish work on this project! It's a perfect time for you to become a Guardian Spirit and support my work finishing the album, and of course you'll be the first to receive it! I'll be doing quite a few more interviews and field recordings on this trip, so donors will get fascinating behind the scenes extras, that the public will not see... and DONORS-- BIG ANNOUNCEMENT SOON! Another exciting bonus just for you...details coming.

I just did a really fun video interview at the site of the legendary Fox Sisters Cottage with Lily Dale Medium Celeste Elliot. Watch it at THIS LINK! 

Thank YOU immensely for helping fund my initial trips and materials, enabling this project to even exist. I am honored by your level of trust in my work—and to the Lily Dale Assembly for inviting me to make this project happen. Such a rare opportunity!
I received a beautiful letter from the President of Lily Dale, and love having the enthusiasm and support of the community. Plus some donations from members of the Board.

Read the recent interview "A Glimpse Beyond the Veil: Jill Tracy Reveals The Secret Music of Lily Dale" in Haute Macabre!
I discuss many behind-the -scenes tales and stories for the first time, hidden frequencies, spirit phenomena, my beliefs, and process unearthing music in unusual locations. This piece will give you much new insight on the project.  So proud of how it came out. Excited for you to read it!  Here is the LINK.

Recordings already exist for well over an album's worth of music— channeled on Lily Dale's antique piano. It's truly beautiful. So, I can officially announce that everyone who donates will get the complete collection of my Lily Dale piano music and field recordings, plus their name in the album as co-producer! I am now in the phase of moving forward to mixing, mastering and gathering a few more field recordings. So your donations at this stage assist me with these costs.

BIG NEWS!
I have partnered with Lily Dale’s Marion H. Skidmore Library (which houses the largest collection of Spiritualist books in the world) to offer you a chance to win unique historical Lily Dale items drawn from their collections— awarded in random drawings to my campaign backers! A portion of proceeds from album sales will go to help the Marion H. Skidmore Library, and to preserve and house these rare books for years to come.
Every donation makes you automatically eligible for a chance to win.

***SCROLL DOWN for the original campaign story, plus the history behind it all... (and be sure to read the UPDATES here!) *** Also Follow JILL TRACY on Instagram.  Follow the hashtag #jilltracyinlilydale for an ongoing peek into my otherworldly adventures!


What's it like inside this peculiar place called Lily Dale?


I have been fascinated with Lily Dale for years, and beyond thrilled to have been invited to research, live amongst the mediums, and compose music on the piano inside the 1883 grand auditorium (pictured below)— the site of many poignant spiritualist gatherings, spirit communication services, and lectures. Susan B. Anthony spoke during the Women's Suffrage Movement. Harry Houdini walked these grounds. (Did you know Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a devoted Spiritualist?  Mae West too.)

It's an honor and inspiration to be blessed with this opportunity, but I need your help! Plus the thought of taking you along on the journey makes it even more alluring. 

Come with me for a backstage pass beyond the veil.
Rare and strange discoveries await us both...


My invitation came unexpectedly (like most magical things do) so I am scrambling to prepare. I want to inhabit Lily Dale during its off-season, with no visitors, to experience the town authentically. And be able to work at the piano alone in the auditorium, wander and conduct field recordings in the mystical Leolyn Woods (a sight of supposed strong spirit activity.)
I will be living in the home of an actual medium on the lake!

I cannot bring a crew with me, so I must be completely self-contained with video, recording gear, software, and accessories. I must buy things. I have travel expenses. This is why I need your support! To show my appreciation, I'll send you secret behind-the-scenes photos, odd historical tales from the archives, videos, interviews, updates, recordings, and musical works in progress.

You'll peer into the entire process and accompany me on my explorations...
 
Details:


What is Lily Dale?
Lily Dale is a private village on small, placid Cassadaga Lake founded when the Spiritualist movement, began in 1848 in central New York State.
In the middle of nowhere, mediums, some of them fourth or fifth generation, live in quaint clapboard houses. The village, on 167 wooded acres, has about 100 year-round residents— ALL of them Mediums and Spiritualists. This means a belief that spirits are able to communicate with the living by agency of a medium. ... Adherents of spiritualistic movements believe that the spirits of the dead survive mortal life, and that sentient beings from spiritual worlds can and do communicate with the living.


Definitions from the National Spiritualist Association of Churches:
A Medium is one whose organism is sensitive to vibrations from the spirit world and through whose instrumentality, intelligences in that world are able to convey messages and produce the phenomena of Spiritualism. (1914)

Spiritualism is the Science, Philosophy and Religion of continuous life, based upon the demonstrated fact of communication, by means of mediumship, with those who live in the Spirit World. (1919)


What will you do there? And why?

My work has always been about honoring the Mystery, the hidden worlds that lurk all around us. My piano is my portal. Frequencies, resonant tones, music, and sound have long been used in psychic communication. Music (which is merely a collection of selected frequencies) is a bridge to realms we may never fully comprehend or master— but they surround us. I’m fascinated with what I call “sonic residue,”  echoes, and impressions that remain in environments, buildings and objects. Much like a ghost. For me, uncovering the hidden music within these spaces is the closest thing to time travel or channeling. The thought of being alone at the grand piano in the 1883 Lily Dale auditorium at night, unearthing music on the instrument played during actual spiritualism services and séances is chilling. I plan to set up a series of microphones to capture the ambience, the room— the aural energy of being inside this place is as intense as the music I uncover.

And I will share it all with you for donating!

I will be working with the great folks at Lily Dale’s Marion H. Skidmore Library, which houses the largest collection of Spiritualist books in the world. They have been saving rare 1800s Spiritualist sheet music and audio-related materials for me for over a year! Much never-before-seen. So I will be spending a lot of time in the stacks.I plan to conduct interviews with historians and those who communicate with the dead—and even experience readings myself from the mediums, and attend mediumship workshops.
I approach this project as neither a believer nor non-believer, but open in expanding my mind to possibility.  I do believe in other realms and energies far beyond human comprehension. There is so much we don't know.


Why should I donate?

Your donations make this project exist. The closer I can get to the goal and beyond means I get more accomplished during my stays in Lily Dale to create new art, music, and content I am proud to share with you.

NOTE: I am paid NO money for these research trips, make no other income during the time invested — and still responsible for my monthly bills and living expenses during my travels. It’s a tough constant slog for artists and researchers— countless hours unpaid, but the process is the most vital part of the creation!
Knowing you value my work and efforts means the world to me.

Budget includes separate 2017 trips to Lily Dale —airfare, transportation, lodging, workshop fees, meetings, food, daily expenses.
Cost of audio/video gear, microphones, cases, accessories, hard drives, SD cards, batteries, etc. Post-production:  audio/video editing software, plug-ins, computer upgrades, monitors, lighting, additional mastering, etc.

Please remember that this equipment is not "one-use only,"  but an investment enabling me to continue and expand my work ongoing.  My future goal would be to use this material to finally launch my web series of strange, sonic explorations, which could also be edited into a podcast with interviews and stories, as well as releasing the Lily Dale music! This experience could also become a memoir, lecture/ live concert event.  Ahhh, think of all the spellbinding possibilities! 

Your contribution is the launchpad.


I am driven to do this project now, and celebrate these enchanting, hidden gems while they still exist. Lily Dale is such a place. There is belief and beauty here, a welcome respite from the current state of much of the world. It’s important to acknowledge this.
I embark on this project with the utmost respect.
I hope you will come with me...

For more info about my work and music, visit JILLTRACY.com

Follow JILL TRACY on Instagram
Follow the hashtag #jilltracyinlilydale  to keep up wth my otherworldly adventures!
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Greetings from the Spirit World!

I have returned to wondrous Lily Dale, NY to complete final recordings for my album “The Secret Music of Lily Dale.” I have been creating posts and stories almost daily on Instagram with the hashtag #jilltracyinlilydale so in lieu of overburdening you here, please follow my adventures via Instagram at this link: https://www.instagram.com/jilltracymusic/

Join me with Lily Dale Medium Celeste Elliot at the site of the legendary Fox Sisters cottage! HERE IS THE LINK to our fun Facebook Live interview. (Please copy/paste as I don't think these Updates allow hyperlinks.) https://www.facebook.com/celeste.elliott.338/videos/675022699510280/

Celeste also interviewed me (prior to my return) for Lily Dale's podcast which turned into a fascinating hour-long conversation! Watch at THIS LINK: https://www.facebook.com/celeste.elliott.338/videos/666318613714022/

I came armed with a field recorder and furry windscreens, and captured cicadas (and geese by default,) haunting winds and chimes, even the most elegant thunderstorm from within the 1883 auditorium— and you will become part of this world too, as you listen to the album.
What began as frustration from not getting “clean” enough piano recordings— became the biggest gift of all, as the album manifested into a complete sonic journey as much about inhabiting the environment, and my place inside it, as it was about the piano music. It became one. I fell in love with this process.
I’m honored to be a gatekeeper into a strange world few get to see, and be able to create music within its midst. These recordings and my new music cast quite a spell, and I honestly can’t stop listening to it.
It will be thrilling to assemble it all together for you.

I was invited to two very intimate séances in the home of Lily Dale’s President. (One of the photos below features the Medium’s Chair inside the black cabinet during one of those evenings.) I was photographed (at the piano in the auditorium) by a medium who specializes in capturing orbs and spirits. Perfect blue orbs appeared hovering right over my shoulder and over the piano. Photos were taken of me late at night in the magical Leolyn Woods at Inspiration Stump— and small elemental spirits or fairies appear to manifest above my right hand.
Now, I cannot prove nor disprove these things, but therein lies the beauty—I saw things with my own eyes I will never be able to explain.

You will receive these actual photos and detailed tales as part of the album’s storybook! I received private EVP sessions with two renowned visiting British mediums, and learned much more about Instrumental Transcommunication, which is the method of communicating with spirits via electronic devices.

My work has always been about honoring the Mystery, the hidden worlds that lurk all around us. My piano is my portal. Frequencies, resonant tones, music, and sound have long been used in psychic communication. Music (which is merely a collection of selected frequencies) is a bridge to realms we may never fully comprehend or master— but they surround us. I’m fascinated with what I call “sonic residue,”  echoes, and impressions that remain in environments, buildings and objects. Much like a ghost.

***I am happy to announce we are now 70% funded!! So close! TWO RANDOM WINNERS will be selected this Sunday (Aug 19) at 4pm pacific. Will that be you?
Every donation is another chance to win vintage one-of-a-kind collectibles straight from Lily Dale.

Donations are crucial at this point to move on to the next phase of the project, so if you’ve been procrastinating, now it a great time to support the album. Please tell other kindred souls too. Buy it as a gift for them.
THANK YOU for your ongoing interest and support, your kindness is the only reason I am able to create these projects.
And the world needs a bit of marvel, beauty and wonder now more than ever. I know you will agree... xox

Photos:
1. Inside the Medium’s Cabinet
2. Field Recording in the Woods near Forest Temple
3. I was blessed to arrive the weekend of the Full Moon Lunar Eclipse, this was my Moonlight Stroll!
+ Read More
I return to the mysterious little town beyond the veil NEXT WEEK! So excited to bask in that glorious otherworldly energy again and share behind the scenes tales and photos with you as I resume work on "The Secret Music of Lily Dale."

I've been remiss with updates and fundraising as I was away from the project, but now I am eager to dive back into it all, as I gather a few more field recordings, interviews and research on the Lily Dale grounds.

I had a fabulous hour-long conversation with Medium Celeste Elliot for Lily Dale's new podcast! Yes, the little place has its own podcast now! I will send you a link when it airs. And I will send a link to a great in-depth interview I did with EctoPortal Paranormal Radio about my experiences channeling music in Lily Dale.

We are nearly 60% funded, so let others know about this project, and if you're feeling philanthropic and eager for some new dark elegant piano music from me—feel free to donate again! Pay it forward. The Arts are a cruel mistress. (Some have contacted me about preferring to donate directly to ME and not through GoFundMe's website (where they take a cut), and that is certainly doable! Please email me at: suspect (at) jilltracy dot com )

Attaching some photos from my recent (July 13th) Sonic Séance in the Ancient Redwoods inside the magnificent San Francisco Botanical Gardens. Hundreds gathered with me in the darkness. It was intense and wondrous! Soon I will be back inside Lily Dale's Leolyn Woods at night summoning the spirits. Glad you're coming along... xox
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“Invisible connection is stronger than visible. To arrive at the basic structure of things we must go into their darkness.” —Heraclitus

Hello from The Spirit World, and a long overdue update!

I’m excited to return to work this month on one of the most intriguing projects I’ve ever created- "The Secret Music of Lily Dale"— recorded on the grounds of Lily Dale, NY the famed 1800s private town of mediums and Spiritualists. Yes, imagine an entire town that speaks to the dead. And me.
And the gorgeous music and sonic treasures revealed.

Since we last connected, I received a lovely letter from the President of Lily Dale, Neal Rzepkowski, who is enthused and moved by this project. He and members on the Lily Dale Board have donated, and I am grateful for their guidance and interest in my work.

Please help me spread the word about this fascinating creation as it continues to evolve!!

BIG NEWS: A vast collection of old vintage recordings of actual Lily Dale Spiritualist Services from the 1950s and 1960s has been unearthed! Gorgeous, fuzzy warm analog tapes of mediums talking to Spirit in the 1883 auditorium— the SAME place I have been channeling my own piano music for this album.
A century’s worth of spirit communication inside this very room. And you will hear them!

Thanks to librarian Mandi Shepp and the Marion H. Skidmore Library for uncovering these rare tapes for me from the vaults, and I have been given permission to use them as part of “The Secret Music of Lily Dale.”
Absolute time travel— and you’re invited.

***I will be donating a portion of “The Secret Music of Lily Dale” album sales to the spectacular Marion H. Skidmore Library to help to maintain and save its wondrous and rare collection of Spiritualist books and otherworldly memorabilia for years to come.
Another great reason to give!

Congratulations to our most recent Lily Dale collectibles winners: Sandy Reed (from the UK,) and Jill Ballard (from the SF Bay Area.) See more on their tales on my Instagram. Hashtag #jilltracyinlilydale

For every $1,000 we raise, another random winner will be drawn to receive one-of-kind Spiritualist items directly from Marion Skidmore Library’s collection, plus a special surprise from me directly! Are you next to win?

Enjoy this recent interview in Haute Macabre: http://hautemacabre.com/2017/11/a-glimpse-beyond-the-veil-jill-tracy-reveals-the-secret-music-of-lily-dale/
I share some in-depth and personal tales of my adventures composing alone at night in Lily Dale. It’s a fabulous piece— gives insight to my process, the history, and intention of the recordings. I would love for you to read it.

I'll be sharing more stories as I delve back into the work!

Thank you for being there…

P.S. If you live in the SF Bay Area, accompany me Friday the 13th (April 13) as I return to perform a sonic séance and concert inside the magnificent Garden of Fragrance in San Francisco Botanical Garden (Golden Gate Park.) More info at JILLTRACY.com
(Please subscribe to my newsletter there too.)
+ Read More
Greetings from the Spirit World!

I'm honored to announce this compelling new in-depth interview: "A Glimpse Beyond the Veil: Jill Tracy Reveals The Secret Music of Lily Dale" in Haute Macabre!
I discuss many behind-the -scenes tales and stories for the first time, hidden frequencies, spirit phenomena, my beliefs, and process unearthing music in unusual locations. This piece will give you much new insight on the project. So proud of how it came out. Excited for you to read it!
Here is the LINK: http://hautemacabre.com/2017/11/a-glimpse-beyond-the-veil-jill-tracy-reveals-the-secret-music-of-lily-dale/

Congratulations to my first Lily Dale contest winner—Rose Vanden Eynden! One of the best things about my travels (and life as an independent artist) is discovering the fascinating people who are out there supporting my work, and it’s such a joy to connect with them.
I was honored to find out Rose is a Spiritualist Minister, medium, and author from Cincinnati, OH. Her enthusiasm for my musical excavation here has been very inspiring to me.
Thank you Rose, for being a part of this journey!!

More random drawings to come! In support of my new project “The Secret Music of Lily Dale, “ I am partnering with Lily Dale’s Marion H. Skidmore Library to give away one-of-a-kind historical Spiritualist and séance items drawn from their collection. Every backer is automatically entered to win! Next winners announced Dec 11!

Photos: Setting up field recordings in the mystical Leolyn Woods. (Read Update 9 to discover the history of this odd and powerful tree stump, where mediums have gathered for over 140 years!)

Full Moon wanderings in mysterious Lily Dale… This has quickly become one of my favorite shots. The strange, tangled wires allude to “communication.” A mingling of connection between this world, and the next....

Thank you for being there. xox

***Please follow me on Instagram for frequent stories and photos under the hashtag #jilltracyinlilydale
https://www.instagram.com/jilltracymusic/
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$21,658 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 281 people in 17 months
Created May 9, 2017
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FJ
$300
Fran and Jeff
3 days ago (Offline Donation)

Thank you for all your beautiful work!

$60
Anonymous
7 days ago (Offline Donation)
AM
$1,000
Abraham M.
9 days ago (Offline Donation)

Blessings to you and your wonderful music from Lily Dale. Can't wait to hear!

CD
$3,985
Collected Offline Donations
16 days ago (Offline Donation)

***THANK YOU EVERYONE!! This is a total from offline donations via personal website, checks, and at live shows in July/Sept. (So honored by your interest in this project!) xox

NC
$20
N.T. Casillas
23 days ago

I adore Ms. Tracy's haunting melodies and vocals.

$25
Anonymous
1 month ago
$400
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