Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sybille Baier - Colour Green: A Lost Gem

Sometimes, the right cover can embody the music within without ever speaking a word. Such is the case of the cover above. A sepia-toned old photograph of a young woman standing in the middle of a static field with both eyes closed. The first time I saw that image, I felt so strongly inclined to find out more about the music, even though I knew nothing about the artist in the first place. Turns out there's a very interesting story behind the release of this album, 'Colour Green' by Sybille Baier.
In the early '70s, Sybille Baier was working as an actress in Germany. After an inspiring road trip experience, she came back rejuvenated and started recording her songs on a home recording device. They never saw the light of day as Sybille decided to give up her career for domestic bliss, and later moved to the US with her family. More than 30 years later, her son, Robby, now a musician, compiled a CD worth of her early works to give out to friends & families as a gift. The Orange Twin label got a hold of a copy and in 2006, 'Colour Green' was officially released. I am not too familiar with these circles of music, but I have to say I'm glad I gave it a listen. Sibylle's voice is mesmerizing and alluring in its own way. Most of them time, it's only her and an acoustic guitar, and that stripped-down setting allowed her voice to be the main instrument, carrying the simple melodies and little stories from another time. It's a kind of record you would prefer to appreciate in solitude, you know, like sitting still in your room and wallowing for hours. It's more about the mood, the mood that evokes nostalgia and quiet, undescribable feelings. A lost gem, I'd say. In some ways, the story of an unreleased record made by your mom many years ago managing to find its way to a certain audience 3 decades later, it's quite moving, isn't it?
The good part is that inspired by all the positive feedback, Sibylle is now writing songs again with her son, and an all-new record is to be expected this fall. I know this is not the kind of music I would usually cover, but give it a try, and who knows, maybe it will inspire you to grab a flashlight and go up to your attic in hope of finding a record of your mom hidden somewhere. I asked her, she said 'No. Never happened', so no cashing-in for me :-(.

Sibylle Baier - Tonight
Sibylle Baier - I Lost Something In The Hills
Sibylle Baier - Softly

(Colour Green, 2006)

Visit her official site or herSpace, made by her son.

Oh, and Happy Mother's Day.

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