World renowned installation artist, musician and innovator WILLIAM CLOSE has traveled all over the world, amazing audiences with his unique, one-of-a-kind and entirely original musical instruments. WILLIAM--who’s created over 100 new types of instruments--returns with a new full-length album, BEHIND THE VEIL, out Tuesday, September 3 on all digital retailers.
BEHIND THE VEIL features original compositions as well as unique interpretations of well-known works including The Who’s “Love Reign O'er Me,” U2’s “With or Without You,” and the Beethoven classic “Moonlight Sonata.” The album offers a stylistic range from alternative rock to electronica to classical, all produced around the incredible sound of the Earth Harp, the world’s largest string instrument designed and built by WILLIAM himself.
“I could not be happier about the recording of the Earth Harp,” exclaims WILLIAM. “This is the first time that I feel we truly captured the sound of the instrument.”
Developed by CLOSE in 1999, the body of the Earth Harp rests on the stage and the strings travel out over the audience attaching to the back of the theater, turning the theater, concert hall, architecture, or landscape into the instrument. The giant long strings are played with violin rosin covered gloves. The players run their hands along the strings creating beautiful cello like tones. CLOSE named the instrument Earth Harp because the first time it was installed, the strings ran from one side of a valley 1000 feet across to the other side, turning the landscape into a giant harp. The Earth Harp strings have stretched to the top of the Seattle Space Needle, to temples in Vietnam, in the famous Grand Theater of Macau, The Coliseum in Rome, amazing architecture in Hong Kong and India, the Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center in the United States, just to name a few.
BEHIND THE VEIL was a collaboration of many creative visionaries. WILLIAM worked with producers Thomas Hjorth and Laura Vall of The Controversy, David Block of The Human Experience and special guest producer DJ Kraddy. Vocalists featured on the album include Rafe Pearlman, Onyay Pheori and Laura Vall. The Earth Harp was recorded in WILLIAM's Malibu home studio where he has it strung from inside his glass studio out to attach to the side of a mountain.
WILLIAM’s work explores the connection between architecture and music. Inspired by the Frank Lloyd Wright quote “architecture is frozen music,” CLOSE creates musical installations that use the architecture as part of the instrument. Some of CLOSE’s other instruments include, The Drum Orb, The Percussion Jacket, The Aquatar, the Wing Harp, and The Drumbrella to name a few.
Last year, WILLIAM and the Earth Harp Collective--a team of extremely talented musicians, dancers, aerialists and artists--further pushed the boundaries of the performance experience when they finished third on NBC’s hit talent competition “America’s Got Talent.” The group received massive praise and admiration from fans and all three judges, and were the only act to receive a standing ovation for every performance. After WILLIAM and the Earth Harp Collective’s second performance, the show’s host Nick Cannon announced that WILLIAM had received “the biggest and longest standing ovation the show had ever seen.” New judge Howard Stern kicked off the season by stating, “I bow to you.” Sharon Osbourne went on to say, “You are over and above anything I have ever seen on this stage,” while Howie Mandel raved, “You sir are an amazing performer. I would pay any amount of money to sit and watch this concert. I want every person in America to see your show!” Watch highlights of WILLIAM’s AGT performances here: http://vimeo.com/60285206. As a result of the overwhelmingly positive response on the show, WILLIAM was invited to perform two 8-week residencies at The Palazzo in Las Vegas. In the past year WILLIAM and the Earth Harp Collective has also continued traveling the globe, fulfilling requests for public and private performances and speaking engagements. More live performances will be confirmed soon.