You’ve seen him on “America’s Got Talent,” where he finished third, but now William Close will bring his unique instrumental inventions to the recording studio after signing a deal with the Nettwerk Music Group.
The experimental musician and innovator has developed over 100 new types of musical instruments, but is most recognized for the largest stringed instrument in the world — The Earth Harp. The N.Y. Times calls it “an instrument unlike anything Bach or Beethoven could have ever imagined.”
Developed and built by Close, the body of the instrument rests on the stage, while the strings travel over the audience, attaching to the back of the theater, concert hall and/or festival ground, turning every space into an instrument. Close studied sculpture and sound design at the Art Institute of Chicago. His installations and performances have been experienced around the world — including the Coliseum in Rome, the Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center, the Seattle Space Needle, the temples of Vietnam, the Grand Theater of Shanghai International Arts Festival, Brazil’s Theatro Municipal in São Paulo, The Dhow Harbour in Qatar, and major U.S. festivals like Lollapalooza, Coachella, Bumbershoot, Burning Man and Lightning in a Bottle, among others.
In the coming months, Close and the Earth Harp Collective — a team of musicians, dancers, aerialists and artists — will appear on the Discovery Channel, as part of a larger feature on their hallmark program The Daily Planet. Close has also collaborated with Royal Caribbean International to bring the Earth Harp to the 1300-seat theatre aboard their newest ship, Quantum of the Seas. Following their third-place finish on “America’s Got Talent,” Close and the Earth Harp Collective entered the studio to record two albums. Both releases, “Behind the Veil” and Holidays, have been re-recorded, featuring new artist collaborations.
“Behind the Veil” will be released via Nettwerk Records on July 29.
Close is the latest addition to the Nettwerk label roster, which also includes Passenger, Sinéad O’Connor and Family of the Year, among many more.
- This story was originally published by THR.com