THE EARTH HARP - INVENTED BY WILLIAM CLOSE
THE EARTH HARP
This is William's most widely known musical creation. The giant strings of instrument tie into the architecture or the landscape. The space is transformed into the instrument. In a theater / concert hall for instance the EARTH HARP chambers rest on the stage and the strings go from the stage, out over the audience to the balcony or some aspect of the architecture. The theater becomes the instrument. The audience is experiencing the music from inside the instrument!
"It's like being in a giant cello" New York Times
The first EARTH HARP
William Close invented the first EARTH HARP at the turn of the millennium. He mounted four large resonators and bridge roughly the size of a 2 grand pianos to the ground on one side of a valley. He then ran the strings from that side of a valley almost 1000ft across to the other side, creating a giant harp out of the landscape. This was the worlds first EARTH HARP!
Since then he has had the honor of installing the EARTH HARP all around the world. He has installed it in concert halls, museums, and PAC's. From giant Festival stages out over the crowds, to the tops of skyscrapers, across canyons and valleys, to mountain peaks and ancient temples. Inside cathedrals, arenas, and sport stadiums, to historic monuments, historic sites and historic architecture. Across and into lakes, pools and beaches. In giant glass atriums, airport terminal and public plazas.
The EARTH HARP creates a symphonic musical experience that brings focus, awareness and honor to the places in which it is installed and played.
William continues to develop the sonic beauty of the instrument, always refining and trying new designs. William has designed and built over 50 different bridges and resonating chambers for the EARTH HARP. At present, he has 15 of his top designs to pick from when he goes to install an EARTH HARP project.
This is a real photo of the EARTH HARP Mountain installation. The strings went from the chamber on the stage all the way to the top of the mountain peak. The strings were tied into the mountain with rock climbing gear. The mountain peak had caves in the top. When the Earth Harp was being played the sound would resonate in the caves...The Mountain was creating music!
Installing the EARTH HARP is a sort of sport combining rigging, climbing, and tension creation.
We refer to it as "EARTH HARP-ING"
A typical concert hall / PAC installation takes only 3 hours!
A mountain or a skyscraper....... can take 3 days!
The EARTH HARP performs for NBC at Radio City Music Hall -
In this photo William Close plays the Radio City EARTH HARP using his specially developed technique of playing with violin rosin and gloves. His technique pulls beautiful symphonic tones from the giant strings. The pure acoustic tones are then amplified through standard microphones and put through the sound system. This is an acoustic instrument, no computers are involved in creating the symphonic sound!
William's early experiments led him to this unique way of playing the giant strings. They are played with violin rosin on the fingers. By running the fingers along the strings it creates a beautiful and unique sound. It sets up what is referred to as a "compression wave" type of vibration. It vibrates the material of the strings similar to running a finger around the edge of a wine glass. This is a different type of vibration than that of a plucked or bowed string. After exploring and developing this unique way of playing the strings, William invented a unique tuning method which uses floating bridges that mount to each string. With long enough strings, the musical range of the Earth Harp can go from the highest note on a violin to the lowest note on a bass!
SKY SCRAPER EARTH HARP PROJECT
WILLIAM & the EARTH HARP received the Guinness World record for "longest playable stringed instrument in the world" - This occurred at his first sky scraper installation in Singapore ! The strings of the EARTH HARP went 1000 ft from the plaza stage to the top of a beautiful new sky scraper building!
TECHNICAL / DOWNLOADS
WORLD RECORD EARTH HARP
WILLIAM CLOSE RECENTLY WAS GIVEN THE RECORD FOR LONGEST PLAYABLE MUSICAL INSTRUMENT ON EARTH. BOTH GUINNESS BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS AND THE WORLD RECORD ASSOCIATION HONER HIS RECORD.HE ACHIEVED THE RECORD WHEN HE STRUNG THE EARTH HARP 300 METERS TO THE TOP OF A SKY SCRAER IN SINGAPORE!
SKY SCRAPER TOUR - ONGOING!
INSPIRED BY HIS RECRD BREAKING INSTALLATION IN SINGAPORE WILLIAM CONTINUES TO STRING SKY SCRAPERS / AND IMPORTANT ARCHITECTURE THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. HERE IS AN INSTALLATION AND CONCERT SERIES IN DOWN TOWN LOS ANGELES. "THE STRINGS GO 700 FT STRAIGHT UP! IT IS LIKE I AM PLAYING THE SKY"
KENNEDY CENTER RESIDENCY 2016
WILLIAM AND THE EARTH HARP COLLECTIVE WAS INVITED BY THE KENNEDY CENTER IN WASHINGTON DC FOR AN EXTENDED STAY. WILLIAM INSTALLED TWO MAJESTIC EARTH HARPS IN THE GRAND ENTRANCE HALL OF STATES. HE THEN GAVE DAILEY CONCERTS FOR THE PUBLIC. HE ALSO LED INSTRUMENT BUILDING WORKSHOPS FOR THE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT. THE RESIDENCY CULMINATED WHEN THE FULL EARTH HARP COLLECTIVE JOINED WILLIAM FOR A FINAL CONCERT IN THE EISENHOWER THEATER. WILLIAM SETUP A THIRD EARTH HARP AND PERFORMED A SOLD OUT CONCERT THE CULMINATED IN TO AWESOME STANDING OVATIONS!
THE EARTH HARP COLLECTIVE IS MADE UP OF A TALENTED AND AMAZING GROUP OF PEOPLE. THE FAMILY EXTENDS TO WHERE WE CAN HAVE 3 TO 4 EHC TEAMS GOING AT ONE TIME. THE EXTENDED EHC TEAM IS......
William Close is an installation artist, musician, and visionary who has developed more than 100 new musical instruments, including the famed Earth Harp. The body of the Earth Harp rests on the stage while the strings travel over the audience, extending up to 1,000 feet in length, and attach to the back of the venue, turning every space into an instrument. Mr. Close creates musical installations that use the architecture as part of the instrument. Close is a New York native and alumni at the Art Institute of Chicago. He comes from a family of Artist Architects and Designers. An avid musician who played in garage bands as a teenager In Art School he started building his own instruments. His background as a sailor turned him on to natural sounds—the wind whipping the sails, the sound of the rigs flapping and being pulled tight. Mr. Close is the founder and artistic director of the Earth Harp Collective.......
Sarah Werrin is a multi disciplinary artist with the unique credit of having Earth Harp be her native instrument. Through deep encouragement and instruction from William Close to “find the Musician within” Sarah embraced this adventure, defining her own sound, technique and unfiltered relationship with the Earth Harp. Williams instincts have proved right resulting in a powerful partnership of balance, creative expansion, and ultimate harmony of their two distinct musical voices.
Sarah’s passion is for the human experience - the psychology, history, and anthropology of our evolving collective story. It is the lens through which she creates all art - always seeking the emotional connection and creative transference that lies within. This philosophy has led her to her position as the Music Supervisor for the Earth Harp Collective. Her encyclopedic love of Rock, Classical, and World music, seasoned creative instincts, as well as her uncanny knowledge of song lyrics throughout the ages is responsible for The Earth Harp Collective’s current musical catalog.
Sarah has had the pleasure of performing for Google, America’s got Talent, the Super Bowl, and beloved concert venues and festivals throughout the world.
Rafe Pearlman’s music is anchored by his vocal range, deep and full, and it seemingly flows forth from cultures around the world, ethnic and urban. Colored by the sounds, textures, and experiences of a lifetime of trav- el, from the Alaskan Bush to the Middle East, Mr. Pearlman’s music inspires emotion and moves the spirit. A study of contradictions and an explorative synthesis of vocal styles, his voice and music have been described as eccentric, passionate, cerebral, gentle, poignant, earthy, and reflective. From Seattle, New York, and Los Angeles to Canada, Australia, and Israel, Mr. Pearlman has shared the stage with Zakir Hussain, Brandi Carlile, Babatunde Olatunji, Candlebox, Cheikh Lo, Sheva, George Brooks, Sky Cries Mary, Jai Uttal, Paul Winter, and Ashish Khan. He is the lead singer with William Close and the Earth Harp Collective. He also teaches Finding your Natural Voice Soundhealing Workshops globally.
Electric and acoustic violinist Shaina Evoniuk has been dazzling audiences for almost a decade. Whether she is flying over- head on an aerial rig, rocking with a hip hop band, performing solo, or playing with the numerous bands she leads, get ready to feel her contagious energy and virtuosic force. Ms. Evoniuk earned her bachelor of music in vio- lin performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and has studied at the Berkeley Jazz Conservatory and with Mark O’Conner, and the Cavani String Quartet, among greats. She has performed all over the world, including at Carnegie Hall, Beijing’s Spring Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival, and across Europe. Currently based out of the Bay area, Ms. Evoniuk is a member of the Magik*Magik Orchestra and The Jazz Mafia. Her recent credits include collaborations with The Dear Hunter, Beats Antique, Barrage, DJ Qbert, Third Eye Blind, Macy Gray, Latyrx, Chicago, Narada Michael Walden, Roy Ayers, David Grisman, Geographer, Zion-I, Lyrics Born, Chali 2na, the Dodo’s, and Liz Phair.
Morgan Sorne is a multi-dimensional enigma. A prolific visual artist, musician, actor and filmmaker, boasting a four octave vocal range with perfect pitch. He brings listeners to tears with his unparalleled hypnotic angelic falsetto, and has churned crowds into a rocking frenzy with his bone-rattling dynamicism and range. He has performed and played at some of the most prestigious venues in America, winning over the hearts and minds of audiences at Irving Plaza in New York, the legendary Fillmore Theatre in San Francisco and the Fonda Theater in Los Angeles.
AWESOME BASS PLAYER / MULTI INSTRUMENTALST
EVE HARPER CLOSE
Eve is another very talented member of our team. With a background in dance, fire arts, and visual arts, Eve has choreographed an epic series of fire/dance pieces to the Earth Harp Collective music.
Eve also holds a degree in film fashion and theater makeup. She is presently pursuing training with Cirque du Soleil!
Magnus Fiennes is an English composer, record producer and songwriter.
He has worked with artists such as Shakira, Pulp, Tom Jones and Morcheeba. In 1997 he produced All Saints million selling single "Never Ever", which reached number 4 on the US charts and number 1 throughout Europe; producing and co-writing on their eponymous 5 million selling album.
He composed and produced much of the two multi-million selling albums from the girl quartet Bond. He has composed several major film scores, numerous commercials and TV series, including many seasons of leading BBC dramas such as Hustle, Murphy's Law, and Death in Paradise. He also created developed and produced the $20 million animated cartoon series Freefonix.
Magnus has recently been working with William to created new compositions for the Earth Harp. He is also producing tracks for the Earh Harp Collective. Magnus and William have been developing music for an orchestra of Earth Harps!
PRESS LINKS, ARTISTS PHOTOS AND PAINTINGS