Jill Tracy: It’s always Night at the bottom of the Sea

Interview to Jill Tracy: It's always Night at the bottom of the Sea

Photo: Audrey Penven

Versión en Español: Entrevista a Jill Tracy >>

Sensual, elegant and mysterious, Jill Tracy sings from the dark side of the music, creating beautiful and sinister pictures from past times, which she evokes through her voice and the suspense of the piano notes, as if both were taken from an Alfred Hitchcock’s  black and white film.

From the intimacy of the underworld she inhabits, Tracy relates stories of torture, revenge and death, with a style that captivates and scares at the same time, transporting us to a bad-lit stage of an old cabaret. Jill Tracy is a femme fatale capable of caressing the skin with her music while in the inside, she turns the entrails, with subtlety and sweetness.

Your music is full of melancholy, darkness, horror and sublime beauty … but also humor and magic. How do you do to mix all these elements into an album?

Much like a fine diamond, you need all these facets to realize the full beauty of the gem. I want to transport others into the magical netherworld I create inside my head. This full spectrum of emotion and dynamics is essential for the journey. Nothing sincere is ever one-sided.

Jill Tracy

Photo: Farika

Beyond the melancholy and darkness of your music…How important are the colors and light in your personal and spiritual life?

The stars best shine on the very blackest of nights. You need an extreme balance of light and dark, rapture and agony to fully experience either.

We know about your fascination with horror and suspense movies. But, the horror of Vincent Price and Hammer Productions is not the same than the suspense of Les Yeux Sans Visage (Georges Franju, 1960) or A Nightmare on Elm Street. What kind of horror film is the one you most seduces to you and inspires you?

For me, it’s all about the story. I’m not a fan of the slasher/gore/campy side of horror. I have an affinity for more elegance, the delicate macabre, psychological suspense, an erotic, fantastical world which is as enchanting as it is unsettling.  Most often what you don’t see is more terrifying, as we fill in the blanks with our own imagination. And our own thoughts are far more powerful than we realize.

Growing up, I was totally hooked on Ray Bradbury, Rod Serling, and the classic black and white horror movies. Hitchcock and Herrmann. Jean Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast and Fritz Lang, F.W. Murnau films. I just wanted to live in those worlds. I still do.

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For you are important the magic and mystery, but there are mysteries in life and death that are inaccessible to humans. Is there a mystery that intrigues you, and cause you many questions and make you to fly your imagination?

Life is a ticking clock, and we its mortal prisoner. The ultimate mystery is never knowing how and when our story will end. (Also, how to keep romantic love alive is one of the biggest puzzles of all)

In movies and in literature there are many “Femme Fatale”, women astute, intelligent and extremely beautiful. Do you recognize something in yourself of Femme Fatale? Do you consider yourself one?

The femme fatale was most often alone, the “intrigante” impeccably dressed, but lurked in the shadows of longing and passion out of her reach. She was intelligent, sly, did not settle for conventional dutiful wife/mother roles; she wanted to believe in something that mattered. She had big plans and big dreams. She was not afraid of danger, or speaking her mind.

Men desired her fiercely, got tangled in her web, but realized too late that nothing but trouble and heartbreak would ensue, after a rapturous romance. The world left her restless, and let her down.

Yes I identify with this character very much.

Jill Tracy

Photo: Audrey Penven

Yours is a mysterious siren song that bewitches the sailors of the night… What means for you the sea and the night?

I am a perpetual night owl, and my zodiac sign is Cancer. So the Night, the Moon, and the Water are driving forces. I am drawn to them. There is a depth to the Night and the Sea that is perpetual and puzzling. Within this allure of mystery and dangerous seduction–the truth lives, the answers hide. It’s always Night at the bottom of the sea.

For you, from the bottom of your heart, what is the music?

Music has always been magic to me. I’m evoking emotion solely out of sound and transporting myself and others instantaneously. It’s a true slice of Time archived, never to be heard the same way again. Both the fragility and immediacy are my greatest pleasure and challenge as I’m not really a composer as much as a portal, conjuring this dark and elegant place with just my thoughts and fingertips. It’s both empowering and humbling to become the gatekeeper to emotions, and inviting the audience to join me there.

If you had a time machine… Towards what time would you like to travel?

Ideally, I’d build the ultimate time machine, and experience many periods and places. That would be fantastic. Although the 1920s was such a vibrant era of art, fashion, decadence -and the Victorian era abundant with aesthetic and ingenuity- I really feel like I’m in the perfect period now, as I am fortunate to employ technology, modern conveniences and communication. Plus, it was very tough to be a woman back then if you were an artist I would have been locked up in an asylum for sure.

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You collect ancient artifacts and collect cards… What are your greatest “treasures” of the past, that you include in your collection, and what they mean for you the cards?

I find divination in found objects. For the last twenty or so years, I’ve collected “stray” playing cards I find on the streets I call it “sidewalk divination” or “roadside divination.”  Boxes and boxes, hundreds of them are displayed in my apartment; they’re some of my most precious belongings. Specific ones are with me at all times, just like my talismans and charms.

So always onstage, on my keyboard, there are cards. Fans from all over the world now send me cards and the shared energy is incredible. I cherish that intimacy with my fans. There is nothing more poignant and beautiful. All these tokens and treasures aligning is something quite glorious.

More information on Jill Tracy Web Site.

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