My relationship with Colour Green

Colour Green is the only released album by Sibylle Baier. She recorded the songs by herself at home in the early 70’s. It wasn’t until 2006 that the songs were actually released as an album. In the intervening time, Sibylle Baier didn’t pursue a career in music but instead focused on raising her family.

I first discovered Colour Green around the same time period as 무너지기, when I was finishing my second degree. For that reason, the two albums have a somewhat related flavor to them in my mind. The comparison kind of fits outside my mind too, since both albums have a lonely and reflective mood, which, as I mentioned in my 무너지기 post, is great for a Fall full of coding.

Album art for Colour Green by Sibylle Baier
I highly recommend the whole album, but if you only listen to one song, check out Forget About

Like Pink Moon, this is an album with just guitar and voice (with the exception of the strings on the last track). Once again we have an example of a great songwriter building a whole world with just these two elements. For me, the world she builds is characterized by a pervasive lightness that belies the richness and depth of every song. The sound is always just floating by unobtrusively, never actively grabbing or forcing engagement from the listener. But as soon as you reach out to touch it with your attention, the meaning & emotion just unfurl themselves.

One thing about the songwriting that stood out to me was the irregular sizes of phrases. A lot of times, the phrases don’t last the normal four or two measures, but rather odd and varying lengths. This enhances the etheral vibe, because new ideas will just float in, one following the other, whenever it feels natural. Feeling natural is the key to doing irregular phrases well, in my opinion. It’s the difference between organic songwriting and the sense of “I’m doing irregular things on purpose” you get from something like math rock.

I like the belated release story that surrounds Colour Green. It makes the album feel uniquely intimate and genuine. It also gives me hope as an artist that my work will eventually reach the people it needs to, even if it takes a long time. And as a glimpse into the life of someone who did not pursue the path of fame, it serves as a good reminder of the hidden depths everyday life can offer.

Have you listened to Colour Green? Did it resonate with you? Did you notice the irregular phrase lengths? Let me know your thoughts at my Ctrl-C email: gome ​@ ​