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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The spooky, the mysterious...the bizarre! » » "A Musical Seance with Jill Tracy and Paul Mercer " (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of SpellbinderEntertainment
Many magicians in the Bizarre Magick community (including those who are members of the ICBM and those on the Shadow Digest) are huge fans of my local pal Jill Tracy, and Jill Tracy is a huge fan of not only Bizarre Magick but all things magical, so I just had to post my thoughts on her ground breaking experiment in entertainment here on the Café.

I hope reading about her new work will inspire magical colleagues to take risks and journey to new places with their performance-art as well.

If you don’t know of Jill Tracy…. yet
here’s a quote that just about sums up her talent for me…
“As Edward Gorey is to illustration, as Tim Burton is to film, so is Jill Tracy to music!”

Imagine a séance where the musicians not only call forth the vibrations and energies from two-hundred year old violins and rickety upright- pianos, but from the odd objects the audience was requested to bring along, and improvise a concert of themes based upon the fantasies these various conjured spirits unveil before them!

Well my favorite dark chanteuse, and artistic heroine Ms Jill Tracy, crossed the boundaries of live-music and the supernatural last evening with her friend violinist Paul Mercer.

Only Jill Tracy could carry a concert like this off… and at almost two-and-a-half hours of both improvised music inspired by haunted and beloved objects the audience brought with them, and interspersed with songs from Jill Tracy’s and Paul’s startling CD albums.

While new and experimental for both performers, the evening was riveting and hugely entertaining in a slightly spooky way, as both told lovely and twisted stores about their encounters with the other-side and their experiences as musicians encountering antique instruments and artifacts with tales of their own to impart.

What an idea to also motivate our cadre of Bizarreists!

If you’re new to her music, I’d start with the YouTube links below,
then her second album “Diabolical Streak”
(which I had the pleasure and privilege of building a haunted magic and séance show around for it’s premiere several years ago).

Below is the article about the event that appeared in the weekend section of the
SF Chronicle:

- Delfin Vigil, San Francisco Chronicle

It's one thing to cover another musician's song. It's another to channel it.
That's what Jill Tracy and Paul Mercer will do when they perform "A Musical Seance" tonight through Saturday at the Hypnodrome in San Francisco, where they will bring new meaning to the term "spirit of the song." The three shows open this year's Thrillpeddlers' Shocktoberfest, called "Elemental Horror."

Using an improvisational music technique Tracy and Mercer call "spontaneous musical combustion," the concert set list goes wherever the ghostly energy of antique instruments and the heirlooms of the audience's lost loved ones takes them.

"Paul likes to call it the 'whispering in the wood,' " says Tracy, referring to Mercer's violins and violas that date back as far as 300 years. "In touching these instruments you become aware that the wood retains the music, and it lives in there forever. ''

Tracy, the spooky-cool San Francisco pianist and singer, connected with Atlanta violinist Mercer for a gig last Halloween. The two had been longtime fans of each other and bonded on their old-soul approach to music; as children, they each started playing music as an escape. Joined by Tracy's percussionist, Randy Odell, they got together for rehearsals that immediately produced supernatural songs.

"All of the sudden all of this music just started coming out of us in a way where it was a little unsettling - in a great way," Tracy says. "It goes beyond improvising. When you tap into that, it becomes like oral alchemy, and there's this synergistic quality that is bigger than all of us."

While performing, Mercer will pass the violin around so the audience can touch the wood. Sometimes audience members bring their own violins for Mercer to play and everyone waits to see what happens.

"One woman said she saw the image of a man standing behind Mercer and he was soaking wet," Tracy says. "Paul happened to be playing a violin owned by a man who drowned in a river."

Mercer equates the sensation to a runner's high, Transcendental Meditation or accounts of religious ecstasy filling people with the Holy Spirit.

"It doesn't happen every time I play a violin, because if it did, I would never put it down. It's that addictive," says Mercer, who discovered the talent while working at an antique-violin shop in Atlanta. There he found that certain ones would inflect the music he made to the point where it sounded nothing like his own. Taking those instruments into a recording studio, Mercer released an album called "Ghosts."

Tracy says she feels the same way about the approach of performing the seance songs.

"This is the opposite of being a songwriter in charge or owning your own songs," she says. "We don't own the songs. We don't know where it's going. It's not about egos. It's about letting the energy take us where it's going to go and us surrendering to this perfect moment."

--This article appeared on page G - 4 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Jill Tracy - Haunted by the Thought of You

Jill Tracy - The Fine Art of Poisoning

Jill Tracy - Ice Cream Ants (Trailer)

(The Baron Saturn)
Eddie Garland
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Wow...thanks Walt!
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SF Bay Area
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Profile of christiancagigal
Saw it in the Chron. Wish I could go. So close yet so far away...
"Besides the known and the unknown, what else is there?"-Harold Pinter
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The spooky, the mysterious...the bizarre! » » "A Musical Seance with Jill Tracy and Paul Mercer " (0 Likes)
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