M.E. Baird (Matthew Ede Baird) was born in the 1970's working-class town of Frankston, an end-of-the-line bay suburb an hour south of Melbourne Australia. His upbringing was far from conventional spending most of his youth either traversing the continent on long outback sojourns concocted by his father or weekends living with his much older sister in Melbourne. His sister was nineteen years his senior and had two young sons of her own who were like brothers to M.E. Baird. Possessing an unrealised talent for music and art his sister would introduce him to drawing as well as ignite his musical interests via her extraordinary record collection. Time spent with her immersed in the art, music and street scene of the 1970s and 1980s inner north of Melbourne would represent some of the happiest times for M.E. Baird. His father who was already fifty when he was born would also have a profound and enduring influence. a father comes wise old grandfather wrapped in one. Harrie T Baird was the second oldest in a family of nine, his father an itinerant artist and his mother was a progressive-thinking school teacher. The children lived a gipsy life touring the coasts and mountains of Victoria, they rarely attended school and were allowed the freedom to express themselves, that curiosity was 'king' and to have wonder in the natural and metaphysical worlds.
M.E. Baird's, musical career began in Melbourne in the 1990s and he has been writing, recording and playing in bands, collaborating and touring since. Tracks by M.E. Baird have been contributed to film and television, including original soundtrack composition. His first critically acclaimed solo album, 'Mysteries of the heart; Vagaries of the mind', written and recorded under the fictional musical moniker of Lionel Lee and his band, Lionel Lee's Curse was voted runner-up in the category of Best Folk-pop Album of 2010 by the Melbourne AGE EG Entertainment Guide.
A challenging period in M.E. Baird's life and career ensued from 2011 to 2016. Years before this period he had suffered from episodic anxiety and depression, including major breakdowns. He was ill-prepared for what was to come next. During these five years, six of his family members would die in a three-year period, that included his father, mother, sister, his nephew (who was like a brother) who was brutally murdered as well as an uncle and aunt who he was very close with. In 2014, he somehow wrote and recorded his second solo album entitled Fall, his first under his own name, albeit just his initials. To this day M.E. Baird has very little recollection of the writing and recording of the album. Perhaps it was a distraction from the rapid unravelling in his life at that moment. However, after completing the album and literally days before its formal release he decided to shelve it. It became clear he could not muster the energy nor the mental presence required to promote and tour a release. He also decided in late 2014 after the death of his father to move with his wife and young daughter to northern New South Wales. After moving to Northern New South Wales, he was encouraged to re-release Fall in 2016, two years after recording it. The delayed release of the album should have signalled a bad omen, for although hailed by a few as a masterpiece, most considered it too dark, too slow, and not for an Australian audience. He would not return to writing and recording for another three years.
By 2017, M.E. Baird was performing live shows again, spending more time on his art practice and was beginning to see a brighter and more creative future ahead. Deciding it was time to get back to songwriting and recording again, M.E. Baird enlisted Brisbane-based producer and musician Jamie Trevaskis to record a bunch of songs at Jamie's studio set amongst the Eucalypt forests at Mt Nebo, Queensland. The tracks recorded would become M.E. Baird's third solo album entitled, TIME and was released in the winter of 2019. The album received glowing reviews and was widely accepted as M.E. Baird's most accomplished and uncompromisingly authentic album to date and an Australian national tour showcasing the album commenced in 2019. Recording TIME with Jamie at the helm ignited a deep creative bond between the two based on trust that would forever alter the direction and process of M.E. Baird's creative work.
M.E. Baird took to drawing from an early age and had notions of becoming a painter influenced by his older sister and extended family members who were artists on his Father's side. At age sixteen and after he was expelled from his Catholic school he decided to enrol in Fine Art studies at the local technical college. However, lacking the financial support to continue, he left and then spent the next seven years adrift working as a labourer, playing music, exploring the mountains and coasts of Victoria and New South Wales and parts of Asia. He then studied urban design and architecture at RMIT in Melbourne as a mature age student. However, once graduation approached, he didn't feel that his suitability to become an architect was certain. However, the academic environment appealed to his desire to express and think openly. He undertook academic work in design and architecture, where he could collect a paycheck. This would give him freedom to continue making music and travels to Europe and America. He would go on to work seasonally in academia for the next two decades, holding various research and lecturing roles at art schools and universities in Victoria and New Soth Wales. However, his passion and expertise always led him back to songwriting and he was compelled to leave academic and teaching work after it became apparent that higher education was more about profits than education and the nurturing of ideas.
Until recently, his visual art pursuits had always played second fiddle to his songwriting and music. VIsual art, especially the process of drawing had always even since a young child offered him escapism and his intricate mark making process a meditation to calm an overactive mind. In more recent years M.E. Baird has been combining his art and music into short audio-visual projects.