Last updateWed, 18 Nov 2020 1pm


William Close & The Earth Harp Collective Pull All the Right Strings

William EarthGoing into last Saturday night’s William Close and the Earth Harp Collective’s show at Pollak Theatre, I was skeptical of what to expect. But immediately when I walked in, I realized that it wasn’t your grandma’s harp concert.

Close’s Earth Harp is an instrument he designed himself, where the strings tower over the crowd and stretch across the ceiling. The artist has a place to stand in the middle of the harp with 12 strings on each side.

At the start of the show, Close walked in right at the center and started plucking away for a solo. Then after a few songs, a full band came together consisting of a guitarist, vocalist, and drummer.

After the first handful of songs, Close discussed how he created the harp and his passion for creating new instruments. Close mentioned that his harp is actually a record breaker because he managed to stretch the strings 1,000 feet toward the top of a skyscraper in Singapore. During the show, Close performed songs on a drum cloud, which was a collection of 20 drums circled around a gong, and even a drum jacket, where he pounded his belly, arms, and chest, and still gave an incredible solo.

Close’s innovation with musical instruments is out of the ordinary and that was the vibe throughout most of the show. The band played a little bit of everything. In the first half, there were some weird songs like ‘Lord’s Prayer,’ which was sung in an ancient language called Aramic, along with other tunes that involved chanting or long “wooooos.”

However, the show picked up in the second half when they played familiar titles like ‘Amazing Grace,’ ‘With or Without You,’ ‘Hallelujah,’ and even the Game of Thrones theme. The band even sprinkled in a couple original songs, which weren’t too shabby.

The sound of the harp was beautiful and it felt like you were immersed in the instrument itself with each tug from Close. The artist successfully made the audience step out of their comfort zone and under the strings of his harp.

After the performance, Close discussed how he approaches each show when it comes to setting up the harp. “It all depends on the architecture. Sometimes before the show I stand from the theater balcony to determine how far the harp will stretch for the evening,” Close said.

While it was a stretch of the imagination, Close and his Earth Harp Collective tugged all the right strings.

PHOTO TAKEN by Angela Mascla

Contact Information

The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151