Current Students

Sam Botstein · website

Samuel Botstein is a composer, performer, and sound and instrument designer based in Los Angeles, California. Botstein is known for his experimental and electronic music and performances on trumpets, turntables, and synthesizers.  Botstein studied at Interlochen Arts Academy and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bard College.

Skylar Chen

Skylar Mengyuan Chen studied Music and Statistics for her undergraduate degree at the University of Virginia. She had composed music and designed sounds for games, musicals and dramas before coming to CalArts. As a composer and programmer, she is interested  in Virtual Auditory Display and Voice Synthesis technologies. She is also working on Udacity's Full Stack Web Developer Nanodegree in her spare time.

Erin Demastes · website

Erin Demastes is a composer, pianist and keyboardist from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Before coming to Calarts, Erin worked as a jazz and classical pianist, composer, and arranger for 9 years in the New Orleans area. Erin specializes in improvised music and noise, and her work involves performing on synthesizers, laptop, toys, homemade instruments, and various other devices. Her work is often influenced by horror film music, minimal wave, synthpop, shoegaze, punk, and occasionally 20th century minimalism. 

Wesley Hicks · website

Wesley Hicks is an artist and experimental musical instrument maker from Los Angeles, CA. He creates cacophonous, dissident, and glitchy music with a broken down quality to it. Tempo, musical progression, and harmony are often left unstructured and sometimes barely coherent. He creates ensembles of constructed musical instruments that are intended for live performances in public spaces and museums. He often works with the public, who play the role as performers working off his generative scores.

Danny Hynds

Danny Hynds (b.1984) is a composer, writer, director, and performer from Decatur, Illinois. His work explores a wide range of interests, including the psychological elements of the horror genre, surrealist writers of the early 1900s, and the intersection of experimental jazz and 20th century holy minimalism.


Parches (Mexico City, 1989) is a composer, producer, and multimedia artist working under the name Ensō Collective. Ensō consists of an international network of artists and designers collaborating in different configurations in a contingent manner. Within the network, Parches assembles elements both original and appropriated to create collages in various forms from pop songs to Internet art.


Steve Ryu · website

Steve Ryu is a South Korean artist based in Los Angeles, California. He graduated from Rhode Island School of Design with BFA degree in Film/Animation/Video in 2015. His work mainly focuses on music composition and image projection for staged performance and site-specific installation. 

Evan Schaaf

Evan Schaaf (b. 1994) is a composer and audio engineer based in Los Angeles, California. After composing pieces for acoustic arrangements for over a decade, Schaaf developed an interest in electronic music. He is now known for his unique style of beat-based glitch and noise music, featuring samples from a variety of artists ranging from Bela Bartok to Kanye West. His interests include alternative tuning systems, linear and nonlinear forms, emergent patterns, and the use of curved temporal planes to create illusive musical content. 

Alana Schachtel

Alana Schachtel creates music, sound art, video, paintings, and sculpture. In her music she is interested in working with samples, voice, guitar, synthesis.  In her visual art she is interested in abstract representations of the familiar.  At the center of her work is an ongoing attempt to explore the intersection of psychology/sociology and art.

Iris Sidikman

Iris Sidikman is a word composer, music author and cellist from Madison, WI. Her work incorporates spoken and written word with both through-composed and improvised music. Her work is informed by her background in gender studies and takes a self-conscious look at her identity as a woman, as an artist and as a person on Earth in general. Her influences include minimalism, minimalism, minimalism, minimalism and minimalism.

Carly Stuneck · website

Carly Stuneck is a rock and experimental composer from Stow, Ohio. She has a bachelors degree in Music Composition from Baldwin-Wallace University.  Her work focuses on the relationship between theory and expression and attempts to find new uses for obsolete technology.  Her current projects include spectral counterpoint and incorporating the spirit of grunge into solo violin street performance.

Thomas Sturm · website

Thomas Sturm is composer, computer musician, and sound artist from Houston, TX. His music involves computers, space sounds, homemade instruments, and graphic scores. Current projects include a series of works where he pairs performers with his artificially intelligent synthesizer and a sound installation about dying on the internet.

Breana Tavaglione · website

Breana Tavaglione is a 22-year old musician and sound artist from Riverside, California, whose primary musical interest is recording and experimenting with sound.  Breana graduated from Mills College ‘16 BA Music Composition with an Emphasis in Media Technology and Electronic Music.  Originally trained on piano, Breana studied voice with Molly Holm at Mills College. Breana enjoys songwriting and accompanying herself on guitar.

Marta Tiesenga · website

Marta Tiesenga is a multimedia artist, instrumentalist, performer, and composer from Elmhurst, IL. She works with images, sound, and performance to explore improvisational means of navigation and negotiation through space.

Josh Westerman

Joshua Westerman is a composer, violist and mixed media artist from Dallas, TX. His work is fundamentally transdisciplinary utilizing a background in classical viola, new media art and lagging edge technologies. He graduated from the University of North Texas with a BA in Music and Philosophy. His interests include improvisation, accelerationism, extended techniques, sociopolitical theory, synthesizers, graphic scores and noise.