N EW SIX-TRACK MINI ALBUM BY M.E. BAIRD IN COLLABORATION WITH
PRODUCER/MUSICIAN, JAMIE TREVASKIS
The digital album is available now. Physical release 2024.
With Jamie Trevaskis, M.E. Baird has created a most astonishing set of songs and soundscapes comprising this deeply emotive recording. Six songs were conceived and then captured under extraordinary circumstances in a time of great despair and internal darkness. However, light was incrementally finding its way under the door, with each and every take.
The Writing of Spinning Man
Late in 2019 M.E. Baird was diagnosed with advanced and aggressive prostate cancer. In early 2020 he underwent surgery just as the world was about to succumb to the pandemic. Post-surgery, M.E. Baird was initially declared cancer-free and ready to get back to performing. However, the ensuing uncertainty around the performing arts and survival in a new and unknown future would become a primary focus. Twelve months into the pandemic, things would take an unexpected turn for the worse, when follow-up scans revealed that the cancer had not been eradicated and spread throughout his body. The prognosis was not good and M.E. Baird would have to undergo another eighteen months of therapies.
In the winter of 2021, and in his darkest hour it became glaringly obvious to M.E. Baird that to beat this second phase of cancer would require him to look deep inside. He would have to revisit some uncomfortable events in his past, learn to face fear head-on and adopt a profound change in attitude to how he would approach life, and produce his art.
Between and after treatments, M.E. Baird would retreat to his home studio either to pen some straightforward prose, lay down a repeating melody on guitar and piano or simply sketch and read; whatever he had the strength to do. Initially, this was a form of distraction. However, these respite sessions expanded into manic phases, eventually producing a bag of potential songs, some intriguing artworks, most notably the Ghost Boat series of paintings and several short audio-visual pieces. By late 2022, and after completing all therapies he decided to share these sketches of possible songs with a close friend, producer/musician, Jamie Trevaskis. Jamie and M.E. Baird had formed a close creative bond when Jamie produced and recorded M.E. Baird's critically acclaimed 2019 release, TIME. Upon hearing the demos, Jamie was convinced they were worth exploring in the studio. From the outset, Jamie could hear that the songs possessed something unique that would require a different studio experience and recording process to how they had previously worked together. The result is Spinning Man.
The Recording of Spinning Man
Recording started in September 2022 in Jamie's new studio, 'Tape Land' located west of Brisbane in the small creative community, of Mt Nebo, which is surrounded by stunning eucalyptus forest The sessions took place in a series of short but intensive two-day sessions beginning on a Friday morning and ending on a Saturday evening. Tracking was done live with virtually no retakes. No other musicians were present and Jamie and M.E. Baird did all guitars, additional instrumentation, sounds and other obscure sonic gems in complete isolation free from outside ears and influences. The songs were completed one by one in sequence and mixed on the day to capture and lock in their emotive power. On the first day of recording, Jamie decided to use an obscure Russian-made vocal microphone known for capturing sounds and especially vocals at proximity but with maximum clarity. The microphone became the secret weapon in capturing the initial fragility of M.E. Baird's voice in songs such as 'Spitual Prey' and later his renewed vigour and weightiness in tracks such as 'Spinning Man'. Once recording was done for the day the two including Jamie's partner Mia and their two dogs would collapse into a sofa chair by an open fire and watch a movie. A habitual inclination that became ceremonial and hard to cease once the album was finished. These days of intense creative immersion upon Mt Nebo and in the studio would represent the most fulfilling and satisfying sessions for Jamie and M.E. Baird and the final six songs that became 'Spinning Man' are a document of sincere emotion and authenticity.