You’ve gotten to know our writing staff, so now we turn our attention to some of the other creators involved behind the scenes of Wormwood. Todd Hodges is the music composer for Wormwood, some of which you may have heard on our first Teaser Podcast. Todd’s created several key pieces of music that will give Wormwood a unique atmosphere. We sat down with Todd and asked him few questions about his music, his influences, and how he came to our haunted little town.
Questions created by Rob Allspaw.
Q: How did you get involved with Wormwood?
A: I’ve known staff writers Rob Allspaw and Rick Bata for a few years through a mutual friend, Bobb Amidon. Since Bobb is a longtime musician and DJ, Rob talked to him about Wormwood. Dave [Accampo] and Jeremy [Rogers] provided Bobb with a description of what they wanted and Bobb thought the project would be more in my area of experience. So, thank you Bobb! From there, I got in touch with Dave and Jeremy and I put together a sample to see if my style would fit. To my delight, they liked it. They really, really liked it. (Is a Sally Field reference weird here?) [Editor's Note: Yes. Yes, it is.]
Q: What attracted you to Wormwood?
A: Well, initially, I thought I’d found a new source of absinthe, but I guess that’s not what it’s about. Seriously, I read the first two episodes and got hooked. The characters and the storyline provide a great deal of interest and intrigue that make for a rich palette of inspiration that I can draw from. In addition, the idea of a modern radio drama appealed to me.
Q: How do you think the music of Wormwood will influence the audience?
A: I’m hoping that it will make the audience aware of the emotional state of the characters and add to the drama. I hope it will serve to help draw the audience in and allow them to fully experience Wormwood.
Q: What aspects of the project and/or Wormwood do you find the most compelling?
A: Being a great fan of audio, I love the idea of a radio drama and its revival in the form of a Podcast. I think it’s great that the mp3 world is allowing a renewal of such a great form of art. I also love the complexity of the characters, the bits of the weird, the strange, the supernatural, and the wittiness of the script.
Q: Within the project of Wormwood, what do you find the most challenging?
A: The DEADLINE!!!
[Editor's Note: Todd was referred to us very late in the game, and thus had a strict deadline to meet our deadlines. He's done an admirable job of turning in his work, and we've been very impressed with what we've received.]
Q: Within the project of Wormwood, what do you find the most rewarding?
A: I’m having so much fun allowing my imagination take off, thinking about the characters and the settings described in the script, and letting it roam into different musical areas. I’ve never done a project like this where so many different moods need to be expressed sonically, and I’m having a great time figuring out how to express them.
Q: What was your approach to making the music for Wormwood?
A: I’m a violinist, so melodies usually come easily for me. Usually, I’d come up with a main theme for one of the pieces of music and then either record it or write it down. Then I’d work on adding a chord structure underneath, finishing by filling in some harmonies. However, I love all kinds of sound, so I also would play with different sounds and sonorities and add any “happy accidents” that inspired me further and fit the feel of the music.
Q: How did you come up with the style of the sound?
A: I wanted to create something that felt a bit rural and quirky. I wanted the music to have a tinge of the strange, while remaining melodic. Wormwood has a dark history and I wanted the music to reflect that in some way.
Q: What are some of your influences?
A: Beethoven, Berg, Bjork, Kronos Quartet, Mahler, Radiohead, Stravinsky, Stockhausen. I like all kinds of music, but I would have to say that these artists and composers are the ones that actually influence what I do.
Q: Share a little about your past music projects and education. Any awards or publications?
A: I’ve been involved with music for a long time, mainly with playing violin and singing. My formal education in theory and composition took place at UC Davis. Probably one of my favorite projects there was a Computer and Electronic music class which culminated in a “theatrical” production put on by the class in the main theater composed of pieces created by the class. Under the tutelage of Wayne Slawson, we learned a lot about the art of placing sound in time and space. The experience ignited a long-smoldering fire for music and gadgets that eventually lead to my career change.
Q: What made you get into music?
A: Oh boy… that’s reaching back a bit. I had two cousins who lived in the same city I did and we spent a lot of time together. They had started playing the violin and so when the opportunity came up in the public school in 4th grade, I started playing too. However, that was a rather silly reason to get into music. What’s kept me in music is the love of all kinds of sounds, the abstract expression of ideas through sound, and whether performing someone else’s music or composing, that high you get from creating something.
Q: Is there anything you wanted to add to let the fan base know more about you?
Q: Give us a hint, what’s one thing you can reveal?
A: I prefer boxer briefs.
Be sure to check out the link to “Wormwood: A Musical Teaser” for a special edition podcast that features the Main Theme for Wormwood, composed and recorded by Todd Hodges!