A software engineer by trade and musician by calling, Jem joined BEAHIVE in April 2015.
listener, hacker, engineer, musician, queer and trans person, mentor, and mentee.
I’m passionate about…
music of all sorts, intonation, queer community, diversity in tech, and good engineering practices.
Briefly describe your work.
I’m a software engineer by trade, specializing in cloud automation and sound art. I work remotely (twice a week from BEAHIVE) for a company called Aaptiv. We make an app that turns your phone into an on-demand fitness studio with fun classes led by professional trainers.
My calling is music — I play and record lots of different kinds of music, using many kinds of physical and software instruments.
What do you love about what you do?
I’m a curious person by nature — and I’ve found that when I can strike a balance between engineering and artistic endeavors, I find myself living in a constant state of discovery and wonder.
How did you start (your work)?
I started both programming and playing music at a very young age. I started taking piano lessons at age 4, and began teaching myself how to program around the same time. Throughout my life, I continued working on music and tech in parallel, occasionally combining the two, like when I studied Music Technology and Composition at the Oberlin Conservatory.
What do you like best about BEAHIVE?
Most of my pursuits are fairly solitary, so it’s great to be able to go somewhere a couple times a week where there are other friendly people to work alongside. I like that the members are involved in lots of different kinds of work.
Where do you see your work going in the next year… five?
I will be recording and releasing an album of my solo piano music. You can hear excerpts and works-in-progress on my YouTube channel.
Anything else you want us to know?
I also volunteer extensively with queer and transgender youth. I facilitate the biweekly “League of Extraordinary Genders” at the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center [in Kingston], and volunteer at various camps and youth retreats. I am passionate about making the world a more welcoming and accepting place for queer and trans people of all ages.