Jun Hee Lee's Web Portfolio

Biography

    Jun Hee Lee was born in Taegu, South Korea and raised in Bucheon, a suburb of Seoul. Inheriting his parents' strong background in science and engineering, he grew up as a smart and nerdy kid. He took his first piano lesson at the age of 5 but refused to continue after a few years. Instead, he found his talent in math and computer science quite early, when he was 9 years old. Lee was awarded many prizes in various national competitions, including Korea Olympiad in Informatics, Korea Mathematics Competition and Samsung Thesis Competition during his school years. After surviving 3 bitter years in Kyounggi Science High School, Lee continued his passion for science and entered Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in 2001, where he received his bachelor's degree in computer science.

    During his college years, Lee played electric guitar, mostly rock music, as a hobby. It grew on him and suddenly became what he was really passionate about. With convincing results from several music contests he participated in to challenge himself, he finally decided be a musician, not a scientist or a programmer. Lee enrolled in Seoul Jazz Academy (SJA), a Berklee International Network (BIN) school in South Korea, in 2005 and became a full-time music student for the first time. There he encountered jazz and his biggest concern became how to improvise. After graduating from SJA, he performed with his trio and quartet, recorded for several albums of his colleagues' and played for a few local musicals.

    Fully utilizing his science and engineering background, Lee got interested in building his own effects pedals. He started with cloning famous effects pedals first and later got into modifying and designing his own. Different kinds of strengths enabled him to further explore the possible sound palette, instead of settling into the comfort zone. He did not build commercially but he ended up custom building and selling some of his pedals by demand.

    Lee was exposed to a much bigger music scene when he moved to Boston, MA to attend Berklee College of Music in 2008, where he received his professional diploma in both electronic production & design and performance. He studied with the greatest musicians in the world, including John Wilkins, Bret Willmott, Mick Goodrick, Hal Crook, Tim Miller, Richard Boulanger, Michael Brigida and Jeff Baust. With his improvements during the first 2 years, Lee became a recipient of the Berklee Achievement-Based Scholarship and was able to have a chance to play with a jazz great Arturo Sandoval in 2010.

    After his graduation from Berklee College of Music in 2011, he moved to Queens, NY and worked for iZotope, Inc., an industry-leading audio technology company, as a software engineer intern. For the period of about nine months, he prototyped several potential products for a pioneering electronic artist BT and helped developing Trash 2, a distortion plug-in suite.

    Effectively combining his backgrounds, he studied the topics of soundscape analysis, music information retrieval, and machine learning while pursuing his master's degree in music technology at New York University. During this period, he worked as a research assistant on Professor Tae Hong Park's Citygram project and Professor Morwaread Farbood's audiovisual perception research.

    Lee currently resides in San Jose, CA and works for Google.