William Close is an installation artist, musician, and visionary who has developed over one hundred 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 305 meters in length, and attach to the back of the venue, turning every space into an instrument. The Earth Harp earned William a finalist slot on the TV show America’s Got Talent and was recently named by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s longest playable stringed musical instrument.
William studied sculpture and sound design at the Art Institute of Chicago and his 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. The Earth Harp has been installed in some of the most iconic destinations in the world such as The Coliseum in Rome, The Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center in the US, The Seattle Space Needle, the temples of Vietnam, Grand Theater of Shanghai International Arts Festival, Brazil’s Theatro Municipal in São Paulo, The Dhow Harbour in Qatar, and major US festivals like Coachella, Bumbershoot, Burning Man and Lightning In A Bottle.
Close has also created a couple of permanent Earth Harp installations, one as part of Cirque du Soleil’s show “Ka” at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, the other as part of a 1,300 seat theater aboard the Royal Caribbean International’s ship Quantum of the Seas. William is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Earth Harp Collective, an internationally renowned performance group that combines the creative forces of artists, musicians, dancers, and aerialists.