View all news

Midnight Oil’s Jim Moginie to take the stage at University songwriting workshop


Sharlene King
5 August 2014

Jim Moginie, guitarist and keyboard player of iconic Australian band Midnight Oil, will be sharing insights into his craft and the music industry at an APRA Songwriters’ Workshop for Southern Cross University contemporary music students at Lismore on Tuesday August 12.

Then on Thursday August 14, award-winning Aboriginal singer/songwriter Kerrianne Cox will be presenting an APRA Songwriters’ Workshop.

The community is welcome to attend both APRA Songwriters’ Workshops, which are a mix of interview, stories and performance. Both events are free.

The overarching theme of Jim Moginie’s 35 years in the music industry – 25 of them with Midnight Oil – is collaboration and reinvention.

His contribution to Midnight Oil cannot be understated - as songwriter, musician and vocalist - in the global phenomenon that produced 14 studio albums, plus their most recent compilation album, Essential Oils. Eleven ARIAs, an induction into the ARIA Hall of Fame and two Best Songs of All Time, are just some of the band’s many accolades.

“I’m looking forward to talking to the music students about inspiration, writing, recording and producing,” Jim said.

“I like reflecting on what inspiration is and how you can harness it. It’s a bit like catching a wild animal. I love recording and being in the studio with people and making stuff up.”

During the workshop, Jim will deconstruct the Midnight Oil anthem ‘Beds are Burning’, released ahead of Australia’s 200th anniversary celebration of the First Fleet’s arrival in Sydney on January 26 1988.

The protest song, about giving native lands back to the Pintupi people of Western Australia’s Gibson Dessert who were among the last Aboriginals to leave their traditional lifestyle last century, dominated the airwaves during the bicentennial year.

“’Beds are Burning’ is a simple but deceptively clever piece of writing. It was a true collaboration, not just one person’s work. It really says something important that needed to be said,” Jim said.

“Song is the Trojan horse on which the message can storm the city walls. There’s a certain power that comes when just one song can open the doors to the world. We toured internationally for 15 years on it.”

Jim’s solo projects have included touring/recording two albums with The Break, a surf/space/rock themed outfit whose members are ex-Midnight Oil, Violent Femmes and Hunters & Collectors; his folk band Shameless Seamus and the Tullamore Dews; and Alas Folkloric.

He is currently with the self-titled Jim Moginie Electric Guitar Orchestra, and all this year is an artist in residence at the Campbelltown Arts Centre in Western Sydney.

After the workshop, Jim will be performing one of his Jim Moginie Electric Guitar Orchestra pieces 'Opus 7 Branca' with six SCU guitar students (event not open to the public).

Kerrianne Cox, from Beagle Bay in Western Australia, is an award winning, independent Indigenous performing artist.

Her music, a mix of country, rock and blues, celebrates the spiritual depths of Aboriginal culture and her people’s struggles towards empowerment.

Kerrianne was nominated in the Deadly Awards for Best Emerging Artist (1998) and Best Female Artist (1999, 2000, 2001), winning in 2001. She won a WAMI (Western Australia Music Industry) Award in 1997 as Best Indigenous Artist of the Year and in 2002 she received another nomination. In 2000 she was NAIDOC's Female Artist of the Year.

Presented by Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) and the School of Arts and Social Sciences, the APRA Songwriters’ Workshops have been part of the contemporary music program at SCU since 2006, thanks to funding APRA.

Students gain inspiration, insight and knowledge about song writing processes from national and international guests of the music industry. Held in the School's state-of-the-art Studio One29 in the Contemporary Music building at the Lismore campus, the School has had the pleasure of hosting workshops with Tex Perkins, Husky, Nelida Tyson Chew, Stiff Gins, Blue King Brown, Mia Dyson, Neil Murray, Scott Aplin (The Voice Australia music director) and many other successful musicians.

APRA Songwriters’ Workshop with Jim Moginie

Tuesday August 12, 11am – 1pm
Studio One29, D Block Theatre, Contemporary Music Building, Lismore campus

APRA Songwriters’ Workshop with Kerrianne Cox
Thursday August 14, 2pm – 3.30pm
Studio One29, D Block Theatre, Contemporary Music Building, Lismore campus

Photo: Jim Moginie (supplied).