Scene Magazine cover story: Spoonbill, 2011

A cover story for Scene Magazine on Australian electronic musician, Spoonbill. Click on the scanned image for a closer look, or read the article excerpt underneath.

It’s a tale many young adults are familiar with. You study your way through 12 years of school and three or four of university. You nail your grades and negotiate graduation.

But just when you consider rewarding your own hard work by taking a few months off or perhaps doing some travelling, your parents are on top of you asking when you’re going to get a  ‘proper job’. Jim Moynihan is perhaps the only person in the world where it was the opposite.
“When I finished my industrial design course my dad said to me, ‘Look mate, you’re not going to get a job are you?’” he laughs. “He was in full support of me following my muse. Both my parents are fine artists, so I grew up with them making paintings and etchings all around me all my life. And in my later years I was going to high school and I was actually living in my dad’s studio – I was around that sort of thing my whole life and I suppose that I’ve been pretty fortunate in that sense to be totally supported to express myself through whatever medium I chose.”

Moynihan’s need for expression has found its way into a number of different mediums. In his early 20s it was product design, which morphed into sound design, which in turn changed into a combination of the two. Soon the Melburnian would be freelancing on a broad spectrum of commercial and art-based projects, which found him exhibiting his conceptual ideas in museums around the world.
But the more Moynihan dabbled in sound the more he heard music. Having started as a percussionist and electronic producer, the bug truly bit about seven years ago.
“I think it happened naturally – just evolved naturally. I was just making music as a leisure activity, I suppose, and not really intending for anybody else to hear it – just for my own stimulus. And then I started playing it to different people and getting good feedback, and I think in about 2004 I started thinking, ‘Well, I’ve got quite a lot of music now, and people seem to really enjoy it when I play it to them’.”

Moynihan’s first encounter with playing music was like so many other young kids: through an older brother’s band. The group would practice in his father’s studio, the space utilised so often that the equipment would simply be left there.
“You’d always want to hang out with your older siblings and do what they were doing. It always seemed so much cooler,” Moynihan chuckles. “The guy that was the drummer in the band – I don’t know, but that really appealed to me. They’d usually leave their drum kit set up. So from the time I was eight or nine I’d jump on and start smashing around on it.”

Moynihan’s music emerged out of that love for percussion and it still features as a big part of his work as Spoonbill.
“It’s so enjoyable being in the studio making music purely for your own personal stimulation and then have people really respond to that positively. I suppose my music’s evolved in the sense that the more I perform the more you see how people react to your music in a live situation. So that means you make different choices when you’re in the studio. You’re often more inclined to write something that is suitable for a live situation. So I suppose although my music is obviously not conventional dance music, it’s probably evolved to be slightly more dance friendly.”

Full the full article, visit Scene Magazine.

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