Jay Hodgson began performing popular music at seventeen years of age, making sporadic appearances with EMI recording artist, and four time JUNO nominee, John McDermott. After participating in recording sessions with McDermott for EMI at McLear-Pathé Studios in Toronto, Canada, Hodgson accepted a partial scholarship to the Berklee College of Music where he established The Jay Hodgson Group and performed around what was once a city wide-open to rock bands. His debut album, The Jay Hodgson Group, held Number One on collegeweb.com’s national ‘indie’ chart for close to six weeks in 1998. Before moving to Brooklyn, New York, in 1999, to help design and build an independent recording studio for the now defunct RP MAJOR COMPANY, Hodgson shared the stage with the likes of G. E. Smith of the Saturday Night Live Band and Tracy Bonham, among others. Members of The Jay Hodgson Group went on to perform, and record, with such chart-toppers as The Calling, Kelly Clarkson, The Jimmy Chamberlin Complex, ELO and The Eels.
In 2000 Hodgson enrolled in the Master of Arts in Music Criticism program at McMaster University, and he received his PhD in Music from the University of Alberta six years later. He was recognized as “the most outstanding PhD student” at convocation with a Govenor General’s Gold Medal, “based primarily on the excellence of [his] dissertation,” according to the accompanying citation. His dissertation, Navigating the Network of Recording Practice, which examines Recording Practice as a totally unique mode of communications, was recently nominated for the prestigious Canadian Association of Graduate Studies-University Microfilms International Distinguished Dissertation Award, which recognizes one dissertation published in Canada each year “that makes an unusually significant and unique contribution to its field.” Hodgson currently teaches popular music practice and history, songwriting, and music production and engineering, at the University of Western Ontario, as part of North America’s first (and only) Bachelor of Arts in Popular Music Studies and Master of Arts in Popular Music & Culture programs. His research has been published in, and is forthcoming from, Journal of the Art of Record Production, Explorations in Media Ecology, Popular Music Studies and Discourses in Music. His survey of the rock tradition in Canada for Oxford University Press, Rock — A Canadian Perspective, an adaptation of Larry Starr and Christopher Waterman's American Popular Music: The Rock Years, was released in October of 2008. It was honoured as the Canadian Studies Book of the Month Selection by the Canadian Studies Department of the University of Western Washington in February of 2010. His most recent book, Understanding Records: A Field Guide To Recording Practice, was released by Continuum Press in September of 2010.
Hodgson continues to master and mix records for local musicians, and he has produced a number of records of original ambient, electronic and electro-folk music. He recently contributed original music, with Ryan Chynces and Michael Preis, to a documentary film produced for the United Nations Population Fund, and the Women’s Refugee Commission, by Emmy-award winning filmmaker Lisa Russell (Youth Zones: Voices From Emergency). The film has screened at various conferences around the world, including the United Nations General Assembly in New York City on 12 August 2010, and the World Youth Conference in Leon, Mexico, on 27 August 2010. Hodgson has agreed to score Russell’s next project, again with Ryan Chynces and Michael Preis beginning some time in the fall of 2010.