Derrick Hodge: Finding Music In Unexpected Moments | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

Derrick Hodge: Finding Music In Unexpected Moments

Play associated audio

There are some weird sounds in jazz musician Derrick Hodge's song "Table Jawn." It was recorded at the breakfast table, during an argument Hodge was having with some bandmates.

"We were sitting there arguing about something, I think the Clippers versus the Lakers or something stupid," Hodge says. "And we all started yelling really loud, and one of us raised our voice and started beating on the table to get our point across. And then somehow, it turned into a beat — where one person grabbed a spoon, another person grabbed a coffee cup and we started doing beats to the point [where] my wife Christian grabbed her phone and recorded it."

Add a little jazz to that clanking and you've got "Table Jawn," a new song on Hodge's first solo album, Live Today. It's not his first foray into making music, though; Hodge is also bassist for the Robert Glasper Experiment.

Many musicians discover their love for music through church, but Hodge found church through music. It began one day when he was a kid, running errands with his mother in the family car.

"Someone pulled up in the car next to me and he had all these drums in the back — like, drums and keyboard and all this stuff — and he got in the car and he drove off," Hodge says. "So I said, 'Mom, can we follow that car? I saw instruments in the car.' ... For whatever reason that day, she said, 'Okay.' We pulled up to the church and she stayed in the parking lot. She said, 'All right, go in there for ten minutes.'"

Something unexpected happened after he wandered into the church that day.

"I didn't come out, and she came in looking for me," Hodge says. "She ended up staying there herself and then, by the time service was over, my mom had broke down crying. We ended up joining the church right then and there and it was the music that drew me."

Hodge says he hadn't heard much gospel music before that day.

" All I was really exposed to was, like, R&B music and what was playing on the radio in Philly," he says. "And, then all of a sudden, gospel just filled up my home. It was something I was hearing all the time. And that way of expression, of understanding music, of putting emotion first — no matter what else I've done in life — that way of wanting to relate to people on a certain emotional level never left."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Sept. 18

You can attend an annual Latin American film festival or see a new play about strength, war and family.

NPR

From Coffee To Chicory To Beer, 'Bitter' Flavor Can Be Addictive

If you don't think you like bitter foods, try them again. Jennifer McLagan, the author of Bitter: A Taste of the World's Most Dangerous Flavor, is on a mission to change hearts and minds.
NPR

Senate To Vote On Arming Rebels As Islamic State Seizes Villages

The Islamist rebels reportedly have captured 16 Kurdish villages in northern Syria in a major push for territory. The move has prompted fears of a massacre against civilians.
NPR

3.7 Million Comments Later, Here's Where Net Neutrality Stands

A proposal about how to maintain unfettered access to Internet content drew a bigger public response than any single issue in the Federal Communication Commission's history. What's next?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.