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June and Meeka at Berklee Aspire

Reflections from two BBG Columbus members on their summer in Boston

Meeka Reese (left) and June Hambach (middle) are both members of BBG Columbus and travelled to Boston this summer for Berklee Aspire's five week Electronic Digital Instrument intensive program. We asked them some questions about their experience.

What were you excited about before you left for Berklee Aspire's 5-week intensive?

June: I was excited about getting to experience life on my own, and getting to live without parents. The dorms were super fun too.

Meeka: I was primarily looking forward to the freedom of Aspire. Of course, I was excited to work with a ton of wildly talented musicians, but there's just something special about living under your own rules.

What instruments do you play/ what kind of music do you like to make?

J: I play the guitar, electric bass, upright bass, mandolin, ukulele, piano, and some drums. My favorite genre of music is indie rock/pop.

M: I play piano and trombone, however, I’m not amazing at either. Most recently, I’ve just been performing with my midi keyboard and Ableton Push. I mostly produce very sample-heavy electronic music.

What was your favorite part of the program?

J: I really liked eating food and hanging out with friends and exploring the city.

M: I loved how hands-off Berklee is with Aspire students. This isn’t to say Berklee doesn’t enforce its rules, but its rules are relatively loose. Every single thing you do at Aspire, you choose to do.

What were some of the most important things you learned?

J: I learned how to work with other people in an ensemble and how to collaborate on music.

M: The most influential thing I got from Aspire was a push to do more. Berklee surrounded me with a million different opportunities. I was constantly working on what I loved with amazing friends.

Was this your first time in Boston? What did you think of the city and the music culture?

J: Yes, this was my first time in Boston. The city is amazing and there are so many things to do. The Berklee music scene was really cool, and there were a lot of free shows to see!

M: This was my first time in Boston. My first thought after being there for a couple of weeks was just the huge contrast between the size of Boston and Columbus’s music scenes. Both cities are relatively similar in size and population, yet I saw more buskers in one day in Boston than my whole life living in Columbus.

Do you feel any new inspiration in your music after attending Berklee Aspire?

J: I was always recording cover songs with my roommate and friend, Gigi, and I think after doing that all the time at Berklee I’m more inclined to record videos of me performing. Gigi and I also wrote a lot of songs, and my songwriting class also helped me with my skills. The fact that I can write songs now has been a big thing for me.

M: Yes, Daedalus’ exploration through the development of electronic genres' course opened my mind to a lot of different types of sounds. It also allowed me to understand that there’s an audience for all types of music.


You can follow along on June and Meeka's social pages to see what they've been up to since Berklee Aspire:

article edited by Nan Macmillan

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