Erika is a musician, neuroscientist, and writer drawn to the fringe and dwelling at the intersection of creativity and communication.
As frontwoman and lead vocalist for Working Breed, she plays trombone, trumpet, musical saw, and whatever else she gets her hands on to produce original, eclectic art rock. Working Breed released a full-length concept album, Hieroglyphica, in August 2019. She also has a 90’s-esque alt-pop side project, Erika June & The Tunes, which, in contrast to her complex metaphorical style in Working Breed, is aimed at the direct and unbridled expression of her feelings. Her acoustic guitar and raw vocals are backed by punchy rock stylings of The Tunes.
As a neuroscientist, she is a specialist in the analysis of electromagnetic brain responses collected by a highly specialized MEG (magnetoencephalograpy) machine. With this methodology, she works in Carnegie Mellon‘s Machine Learning Department with Dr. Tom Mitchell where she collects and analyzes MEG data to train computer algorithms to predict what words a participant is thinking about based on their brain data, thereby deepening our understanding of the underpinnings of language distribution and processing. She also spent 10 years at the UPMC Brain Mapping Center where she assisted neurosurgeons by developing pre-surgical mapping procedures that integrate with OR neuronavigation systems so as to provide individualized brain function maps of tumor and epilepsy patients.
Finally, as a writer, she works with Orta Interactive developing narratives for Traditional as well as Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality documentaries, installations, games, and training apps. She also is host and creator of the podcast Petticoat Rule, where she explores the mystery of productive creativity through interviews with successful women in the music industry — now being played on Ani DiFranco’s pirate radio station, Righteous Babe Radio! Finally, Erika also occasionally publishes narrative portraits of musicians at First Angel Media, has just completed a creative writing degree at Carnegie Mellon University, and hopes to publish many works of fiction, creative non-fiction, and screenplays in the years ahead.