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Music / Life In Yellow

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Life in Yellow is an ambient musician who released his first album in 2014. He's a linguistics major, which influenced his first album quite a bit.

Discography:

  • Old European Hydronymy (2014)
  • L'Appel du Vide (2014)
  • Olgoi-Khorkhoi (TBD, most likely later in 2014)

Tropes applicable to Life in Yellow or his music include:

  • '80s Hair: He's quite fond of the mullet, a quarter-century after its heyday.
  • Album Filler: On both albums released thus far.
    • For Old European Hydronymy, "*Salm-" plays with this. Despite being one of the three "core" pieces of the album (insofar as the concept is concerned), it was the last song he finished work on for that album, and it was a rush job because he wanted to get the album out the door.
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    • On L'Appel du Vide, "L.O.I." was originally a filler piece. It kind of grew into a life of its own, and Life in Yellow actually included a remix as a bonus track on the release.
  • All There in the Manual: The backstory to L'Appel du Vide. It's a story about a soldier in the future who comes home to find that his home might as well be another planet.
  • Ambient: The musician's self-described genre.
  • Book-Ends:
    • Old European Hydronymy begins and ends with songs for the Weeping Elves.
    • The first and last song of L'Appel du Vide have pretty much the same core, with the instrumentation swapped around.
  • Call-Back: It's not exactly prominent in the song, but part of "Calling Home" replays the motif from "Memento Mori".
  • Common Time: Played straight for some songs, averted (or possibly subverted) for others—Life in Yellow typically works with Garageband, and while only three time signaturesnote  are supported by the app, he does manage to work in songs based on, say, 5/4 by reëvaluating the tempo and using entire measures as "beats".
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  • Concept Album: His work thus far is intended to be these, at least to some degree. The "concept" may be more thematic or tonally poetic than concrete; his debut, Old European Hydronymy, is a loose concept album based around the Old European hydronymy; L'Appel du Vide is a concept album about a warrior returning from Mars.
  • Electronic Music: Pretty much everything he makes.
  • Epic Rocking:
    • Of the two albums so far released, Old European Hydronymy has "*al(m)-" at 11:29, "Still Life of Rain in A Minor" at 10:06, and "Threnody for the Weeping Elves" at 10:13.
    • Only one track off L'Appel du Vide qualifies—"Jamais Vu", clocking in at 11:07.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language:
    • Played with for Old European Hydronymy—three of the song titles are reconstructions of roots from a putative language, long since dead.
    • French and Latin on L'Appel du Vide; the album title and "Jamais Vu" come from the former, "Memento Mori" from the latter.
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  • Gratuitous Latin: The title of "Memento Mori" is in Latin.
  • Hidden Track: Perhaps not a hidden track in the usual sense—while it's not shown to people buying the release on bandcamp, L'Appel du Vide includes a bonus track, a d'n'b-influenced remix of "L.O.I.", visible after purchase. It's also openly streamable on Life in Yellow's SoundCloud.
  • Lucky Charms Title: Justified, believe it or not, in the case of "*al(m)-", "*var-/*ver-", and "*Salm-". The song titles are based on concepts from the field of historical linguisticsnote .
  • Memento Mori: It's even the title of one of the tracks on L'Appel du Vide.
  • Minimalism: Much of his music is based on looping things over and over. Minimalism is one of his favorite styles of music—Philip Glass in particular is a favorite composer of his.
  • Minimalistic Cover Art: The cover for L'Appel du Vide is black text on a slightly off-black background.
  • New Wave: A noteworthy influence on his music, given that he is a fan of The Police. "New Wave" also happens to be the name of a synth voice in Garageband, which Life in Yellow is quite fond of using.
  • Shout-Out: The "Weeping Elves" and the title of "Hesperic" are nods to Jörg Rheimeier, a conlanger who goes by the name of "WeepingElf". The Hesperic language family is part of a theory/thought experiment of his, related to the actual idea of the Old European Hydronymy.
  • Something Completely Different: L'Appel du Vide is much more heavily string-basednote  than was Old European Hydronymy.
  • Synth-Pop: Another influence, especially '80s-type synth pop. Usually you can tell when there's a synthesizer in the mix.
  • Triumphant Reprise: More like Pathetic Reprise, and done so on purpose. Several motifs from L'Appel du Vide show up in later pieces of the album, notably the Book-Ends that open and close the album. That doesn't excuse "Calling Home" ripping off most of its key melody from the immediately preceding song, however.
  • Uncommon Time: One can make points both for and against some pieces being actually in, say, 5/4, or in Common Time with the whole measures used as beats.
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