The Secret Music of Lily Dale
“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.”
**UPDATE: January 2018!**
Read the new 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.
***Thank YOU immensely for helping to fund my intial trips, enabling this project to even exist. We are 60% funded! I am honored by your level of trust in my work—and to the Lily Dale Assembly for inviting me to do this. Such a rare opportunity.
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 credits! 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 are crucial to move forward to help 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 a 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...
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!
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
I have BIG NEWS!I have partnered with Lily Dale’s fabulous Marion H. Skidmore Library (which houses the largest collection of Spiritualist books in the world) to offer you a chance to win unique historical artifacts drawn from their collections— awarded in random drawings to my campaign backers! Every donation before ALL SOULS DAY (Nov 2) makes you automatically eligible for a chance to win.
These items are one-of-a-kind, authentic from the Library's collections - containing the wisdom of 19th Century seances, encapsulating the tranquility of the Lily Dale grounds, and delving into the history of Spiritualism — you won’t ever see them again. I’m honored to present them to you as part of “The Secret Music of Lily Dale.” Think of the energy and power these objects hold!
Simply DONATE TO WIN! If you've already donated, You are already entered! Deadline is ALL SOULS DAY, Nov 2.
In addition to the new music and sonic treasures I’ve created, you’ll be getting an actual little piece of Lily Dale for your very own.... I am beyond thrilled to offer this to you! And it's only the beginning...
I am now back in San Francisco, beginning to listen to hours of my piano work and field recordings, vintage spiritualism recordings, and interviews. Buried in this stuff. But I am ready to bump up this campaign again now that I can be online more.... so your help spreading the word, and interest in this project is invaluable! THANK YOU for being my guardian spirits. There's only so much one gal can do when she is channeling music in the woods... or at a piano alone in an old 1883 séance auditorium. I miss the place terribly.
Photos below: actual old tomes in the library, and archives!
Here is a link to my October newsletter with all my Bay Area concerts, sonic séance dates, and lots of info about this project. Share with your favorite darkling! You can also SUBSCRIBE to my newsletter here too:
In Spirit, Jill Tracy xox
I am thrilled to say most of the music recording is finished, and now getting the last few bits of field recordings I want to include on the album. I’ve captured sounds in the mystical Leolyn Woods and nighttime rainstorms. There are so many sonic treasures here, tell-tale sounds to the Lily Dale experience, it would be a betrayal to leave them out. Winds have been heavy this trip, so my experimentations (with various wind socks and microphone filters) has given me a deeper appreciation for field recording folk at National Geographic, etc. It’s a challenge to say the least. Plus, people cough, doors creak, and loud trucks drive by at the worst possible times! Never fails! (In a future post, I will share the crazy story of trying to record the famous Lily Dale BELL!)
Photos below: 1883 Lily Dale auditorium, gathering place in this mysterious town that speaks to the dead. I’m recording HERE, alone inside this very spot!
This has been the site of many poignant spiritualist gatherings, seances, spirit communication services, and lectures for over a century. 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.)
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. Being alone at the original piano in the Lily Dale auditorium, unearthing music within the actual energy of this space is chilling. I set up a series of microphones to capture the ambience, the room— the strange, aural energy of being inside is integral to the music.
Photo 2: Here's what the 1883 Lily Dale auditorium looks like NOW! I record after dark with all windows closed and lock myself in. Just me, an antique grand piano and over a century's worth of spirits. What I love most about Lily Dale is architecturally very little has changed. The magic, the past, deep in the cracks undisturbed. The main reason I felt like I need to do this project now-- to honor these enchanting hidden gems while they still exist. A welcome respite from the current state of much of the world.
Photo 3: My other accomplice in this late-night adventure. The beloved Lily Dale pipe organ!
Now that I am out of the woods (literally!) I will be able to focus on this campaign again, and I do greatly appreciate your support in getting the word out, I've got tons of mounting expenses! It's difficult for me to be online and remain properly focused on my work at the same time. And the art must win out— for everyone's sake!
BIG news coming about rare spirit artifacts from the historical Lily Dale collection— that will be awarded to some of you lucky donors!
The ghostly plot thickens….. xox
(Below a vintage, glass plate negative of a solar eclipse from the archives of Lick Observatory.)
The magic is indeed all around us—it inhabits the quiet. One of my favorite things during my time in Lily Dale has been conducting field recordings in locations of unusual power, or capturing sounds that have had an emotional impact, telling the sonic story of my time here. My time capsules of sound.
This odd tree stump in Lily Dale (below) is renowned for its extraordinary, otherworldly energy. The locals call it Inspiration Stump. Steps have been added to the tree’s remains (supposedly struck by lightning prior to 1879.) Mediums worldwide have gathered here for over 140 years to send and receive messages from the spirit realm. It’s one of the most famous destinations within this little private Spiritualist community. I'm both soothed and revitalized in the embrace of the old growth forest, the Leolyn Woods. I’m excited for YOU to hear what’s its like to be immersed in this sacred place alone with no one around. (At least no one you can see…) When you tune out the rest of the world, you’ll be amazed at what you hear!
My offering for you… xox