CalArts invites residents to campus for free ‘Machines and Strings’ concert

Members of the Isaura String Quartet will perform during Saturday’s “Machines and Strings” concert series, which will feature internationally acclaimed faculty artists, a robotic instrument named LYDIA and other musical guests. The family-friendly concert will begin at 5:30 p.m. Saturday on the lawn of the Wild Beast Concert Pavilion.

SCV residents are invited to the CalArts campus this Saturday for food trucks and a free concert that will feature a robotic piano and multiple musical acts.

“Machines and Strings” is a family-friendly concert beginning at 5:30 p.m. Saturday on the lawn of the Wild Beast Concert Pavilion, said Madeline Falcone, an event organizer and CalArts alumna. This weekend’s concert is the first portion of a two part series — with the second act occurring at REDCAT on Oct. 24.

“It’s super exciting to see it all come together,” said Falcone, adding she and her two fellow Isaura String Quartet members — Betsy Rettig and Emily Call — curated the event to highlight the school’s multidisciplinary artists and the innovative instruments that are housed in the on-campus Machine Lab. “The concert showcases so many different ways to use technology and music together.”

One artist will use a metal detector to make music using her own spine, while another piece will feature a vocalist, “who uses a very unique instrument that I couldn’t possibly explain,” said Call, a violist who will participate in a few of Saturday’s sets.

The program will also feature a robotic instrument named LYDIA, which is a custom-built robotic instrument that resembles a piano, according to campus spokesperson Margaret Crane.

“Everybody should come hear LYDIA and its very unique sound. It’s an amazingly innovative idea,” Falcone said. “There have been machine concerts before with all of the robotic instruments playing together, but I don’t think they’ve been paired with a string quartet before — and it’s having the acoustic with the robot that makes this special.”

The two concerts will each contain unique pieces and neither will be a repeat of the other, so the public is invited to attend both events, Falcone said. “There’s going to be more robots and a few newer pieces at REDCAT, but they’re both going to be awesome.”

For more information on the college, concert series or the Isaura String Quartet, visit or

Related To This Story

Latest NEWS