For international relations major and Spanish minor sophomore Luke Gorka, music offers a form of communication that enables him to connect and share with those around him. At Geneseo, he accomplishes this through his job as a DJ at the Statesmen on the weekends. Gorka’s interest in DJing stemmed from his interest in electronic music—beginning in middle school—and through his brother’s influence. By his freshman year of high school, Gorka was already saving up money to buy his own music gear.
Gorka’s musical interests led him to start exploring the electronic music culture. Through resources such as online videos, he taught himself the logistics of DJing. “There is a difference between electronic dance music and just electronic music; electronic music is a wider umbrella than electronic dance music,” Gorka said. “Electronic dance music is a mainstream type of dance music that’s a variation of house music. It’s loud and usually pretty upbeat.”
Additionally, Gorka supplemented his knowledge of music by taking music lessons and a music theory class in high school. “When you know theory as a foundation of music, you can play anything,” Gorka said.
After enrolling at Geneseo, Gorka continued to channel his passion of DJing at the Statesmen. “When I came here, I talked to the management at the Statesmen,” Gorka said. “After playing a set for the manager, I was hired and have been playing basically every weekend since.”
Gorka described the popular student weekend destination akin to a second home, where he can have a great time all while doing one of his favorite hobbies. “I see the Statesmen as a crucial institution of Geneseo,” Gorka said. “Now that the IB and Kelly’s are gone, Geneseo needs a place where people can get together on the weekends … that is available and fun, and I try to make it that.”
Gorka also revealed that he appreciates the flexibility and the freedom that comes with being a DJ. Apart from the interpersonal connections, he shared that being a DJ allows him to creatively repurpose and reshape already produced music.
In addition to music, Gorka enjoys recreational dance. For him, there is something about the energy of dance that provides him with an alternative way of making connections. “I love to dance more than anything,” Gorka said. “Something about DJing and sharing that passion–—that love for music—really got to me.”
Gorka is equally passionate about language, as he has a long family history of studying foreign languages in addition to his passions for music and dance. His grandmother is a Francophile who studied and taught French, his father was a French major and his mother works as a Spanish teacher, according to Gorka. Furthermore, both of his sisters studied Spanish in college. “Everyone is into languages in my family, so I’m kind of following in their footsteps,” Gorka said.
Gorka’s appreciation for languages goes hand in hand with his desire to travel. Gorka plans on studying abroad in Peru in the spring of 2017.
When he’s not doing something related to school or music, Gorka delights in spending time with friends, FaceTiming and occasionally playing soccer. When asked to describe himself in one word, Gorka sums the essence of his personality and his love for music with “energy.”
He describes his fondest DJing memories, however, as being Halloween of 2015 at the Statesmen and at a fundraiser for his sister’s medical school class.
“It’s the moments when everyone screams, jumps and throws their hands up that make me come back to music,” Gorka said.