‘A brand-new skill’: Lua Bairstow’s audio diary
11 March, 2022

‘A brand-new skill’: Lua Bairstow’s audio diary

Written by Lua Bairstow

Since beginning their work on ‘The Sound Grief Project’, artist Lua Bairstow has been keeping an audio diary of their making process and learning journey. The full diaries will be edited into a podcast at the end of the project but for now Lua has shared this short teaser with us ahead of ‘The Sound Grief Project’ listening party on 16 March. Expect a sonic and emotional journey from this insight into Lua’s making and learning process.


July twenty-one, -uly twenty twenty-one, of me, Lua Bairstow, dyslexic, non-binary person, learning how to be a musician and mix music properly [laughs].

-er non-binary artist, learning how to make music in a professional – noise-


as a neurodiverse, queer person – who doesn’t identify as a m- zzz-

Diary from me, Lua Bairstow, non-binary artist learning how to make music.

[piano trills]

-identify as a mus-

So today is Friday the twenty-third of July. I’m on a train, going through the Yorkshire countryside, the valleys of Tod- Todmorden and Hebden Bridge. Erm, on my way to Manchester, er feeling really settled and excited [train announcement: ‘This is Todmorden’] about what’s been happening in the last couple of days. So-

[church bells ringing]

Sometime in August, twenty twenty-one:

-and, you know, I’ve – and it’s me and it’s like, learning how to – you know, it’s learning how to use a really complicated tool, or that feels really complicated, that you’ve never used before. So I’ve got absolutely no idea-

-long and short of it, got imposter syndrome-

[singing, on a radio]

-uncomfortable, and she was saying things like, ‘Well what’s your WAD?’ or something and I was like, ‘I don’t know what that is,’ and she’s like ‘Oh, your Workshop Audio – your choice of Workshop Audio Software,’ – WAS or something. I was like, ‘Oh, I dunno.’ I don’t know-

[a high voice, singing]

[a sound like a printer, rising in frequency]




-uck am I doing? Why am I- Why am I trying to create a whole piece of work on- with a skill that I don’t actually have?

[choral singing on a recording, with singing over the top]

It’s a bit slow isn-

[A solo voice singing]

-I need to acknowledge about this period is that it’s gonna be uncomfortable, and I’ve got to try and learn a brand-new skill and I’ve got to try not to – zipwire in my brain, to the end o-

[singing] -Grieeeef. Yes Grieeeeef! On some weir-

[static, like cars passing]

[rain, a high-pitched beeping, thunder, rain]

-just wanted to say: It’s one AM on a random Tuesday in September and I’ve been up writing songs, singing, making melodies, and thinking about the composition of this piece. And I just wanted to share that I’ve never been as challenged as I am right now, in this project. I’ve never ever been as artistically challenged, and it feels fucking terrifying. But also, what-

[static, shifting, like breaking waves]


‘A brand-new skill’: Lua Bairstow’s audio diary
The Sound Grief Project, Lua Bairstow. PHOTO: Martha Cecilia