About

The Earth Harp is the longest stringed instrument in the world, with strings that extend up to 1,000 feet in length.

The first Earth Harp was invented in 1999 by artist/musician, William Close.

The Earth Harp uses architecture and landscape as part of the instrument. The architecture becomes the instrument.

The Earth Harp’s first installation featured the resonating chamber mounted on one side of a valley with the strings stretched out nearly 1,000 ft to the other side.

It turned the valley into a giant harp!

How does the Earth Harp work? The Earth Harp is played using violin resin on cotton gloves and musical bows. The performer’s hands are run along the strings to created beautiful cello like tones. The act of rubbing the strings creates a longitudinal compression wave.

This vibration is similar to the vibration patterns that produce tones when you run your finger around the edge of a wine glass. It is also similar to the vibration patterns created while playing singing bowls.

As William Close experimented with some of his early design concepts, he created a method of tuning the giant long strings; using a specially designed tuning block that he discovered could tune the strings to any scale.

The instrument is typically tuned in an A minor scale……flats and sharps can also be included for certain installations, this is easily done by shifting the tuning block.

Earth Harp History: The first Earth Harp was created and installed in 1999 by artist/musician, William Close. This installation featured the Earth Harp resonator mounted on one side of a valley with the strings stretched out to the other side.

Since that day in 1999, William and MASS Ensemble have created hundreds of Earth Harp installations all over the world…..from the Grand Theater of Shanghai to the Space Needle in Seattle, each installation is unique to it’s own environment. An Earth Harp installation celebrates the architecture and landscape of its surroundings. The environment and architecture are transformed by the strings, forever changing the perception of those lucky enough to see the installation.

MASS and The Earth Harp have performed at world-renowned festivals including:

· The Grand Theater at the Shanghai International Arts Festival

· Grand Auditorium at the Macau International Arts Festival

· The Coliseum in Rome for La Notte Bianca

· A 9th Century Mid-Evil Castle in Italy for the Verrucchio Festival

· The Teatro Municipal in Sao Paulo for Virada Cultural

· The Space Needle in Seattle for Bumbershoot

· Lollapalooza

· Coachella

· Lightning in a Bottle

· Miami Sleepless Nights

…..And many more.

In addition, MASS and The Earth Harp have stunned audiences with their full-length performances at performing arts centers including:

· The Kennedy Center

· The Alys Stephens Center

· The Van Wezel Performing Arts Center

· The Carnegie Science Center

· The Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture

· The Centre in Kerikeri, New Zealand

•MASS has also worked with Top Fortune 500 companies including; IBM, Samsung, Microsoft, CNN, Toyota, the NFL and many more.

•The Earth Harp has a permanent installation at Cirque du Soleil’s show “Ka” at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

115 responses to “About

  1. Thank you so much for bringing your music to the Temple at Burning Man. It really made it magical. Namaste.

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  5. Patricia

    This instrument is amazing and sounds beautiful.

  6. Warren

    I saw you last night on America’s Got Talent!!!!!! You were by far the best performer out there!!!!!!!!

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  8. I saw you on AGT and had to show my husband, you were the best! I will be keeping my eye on AGT to see how far you get! I hope you win. You honestly have the best talent.

    • Andrea

      I completely and utterly agree. This is the ONLY act on AGT this year that I would honestly pay money to go see. It’s absolutely incredible and beautiful.

  9. lola

    Hey, was wondering if you present in colleges. I’m interested in bringing you to my school. You could contact me at upbperformingarts@stcloudstate.edu

  10. Melodi Hudgeons

    Watching you on AGT, we felt we were witnessing history in the making. Your incredible spirit shines through your eyes, words, and of course your music and instruments. My son is 8 yr old and until he saw/heard you, Sufjan Stevens was his favorite musician. He has quickly been replaced. It is now his dream to meet you. His name is Dylan, after Bob Dylan, and he wants to learn to play every instrument ever invented, as well as be an artist and inventor. We would love to see you play live. It is unfortunate for us you aren’t in the Las Vegas area, when he heard you teach children to make instruments he almost came out of his skin! Thank you for sharing your talent and gift with us and the rest of the world.

    Melodi

  11. Karyn Farrell

    I just saw William Close on Americas Got Talent and was blown away!! I can’t wait to try and see him perform live! Very magical and inspiring! :-D

  12. Tara

    Your music gave me goosebumps and made me cry – sheer genius. Bless you.

  13. Wayne A Lowe

    First time I’ve watched America’s Got Talent i think … and WOW! Any inspiration from “Music On A Long Thin Wire” in development of Earth Harp? I’ve wanted to experiment for years with long-stringed instruments. I wish I was more of an engineer. I hate electronic depictions of acoustical dynamics.
    When I was a kid growing up on a farm in Fallon, Nevada there were electric fences that buzzed with a harmonic sound.
    And I took Piano lessons. And now with this non-electrified and infinitely more controllable rosin-string and soundboard..
    …endless possibilities may present themselves.

  14. technologier

    That’s awesome… heard from AGT Season 7…

    • Connie MacNeil

      YOU ARE AMAZING. I WAS SO SAD THAT YOU DIDN’T WIN THE MILLION DOLLARS. I FEEL YOU BY FAR WERE THE MOST TALENTED ACT ON AGT . DON’T GIVE UP .YOU ARE THE BEST

  15. Want to see more on AGT. You are the most intriguing act on so far. I love exotic music instruments… keep up the good work.

  16. Hello William & all,
    My husband and I saw you and your Earth Harp on America’s Got Talent and were amazed. My husband recorded it and has played it several times. We looked you up online and saw the video of “Burning Man.” I love the idea of an Earth Harp, creating music WITH Mother Earth! Sending good, positive energy and light your way for AGT, that you WIN!! Hope you come to the East coast soon, especially Winchester Virginia, not far from Wash.D.C! Keep creating beauty and love and do what we’re here to do… pass it on for other generations.
    Peace & love,
    Fran “Mystiblu” Hafey
    http://Mystickblue.com
    http://mystiblu.wordpress.com/

  17. Karen S

    Saw Mass Ensembles performance at the Zeiterion in New Bedford, MA last night. An amazing and beautiful muscial performance. All the performers were top notch musicians. Can’t wait for them to come back to the Z !

    Karen S.

  18. Elizabeth Wilcox

    I have to admit that I also saw you on AGT. That instrument talks to your soul. How beautiful!!

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  21. Maggie

    This is fantastic! I used it for a Physics project after seeing you on AGT! Thanks for the inspiration :)

  22. Merari

    I’m watching you and enjoying your performance here at Monterrey, NL Mexico, your music is amazing, it’s like a private concert! The sound of all the instruments and voices are great. Keep it that way, best of luck!

  23. james

    it’s been a couple of weeks and i am still amazed by this man’s performance. am i crazy for thinking the song, “hunger strike” from temple of the dog could be played by this guy??? not sure, but waiting to see what becomes of this guy…

  24. Heidi Yan

    I saw you on AGT and SO happy you went through!! I was going to be sad and disappointed if they didn’t see how talented and amazing your earth harp is. Thank you for bringing us such beautiful and inspiring art and music.

  25. Pingback: William and the Earth Harp: An Act Good Enough to Go Straight to New York | Pure America's Got Talent

  26. Willie Lump-Lump

    What a huge instrument and William Close’s awesome for inventing something like that. I enjoyed his performance and I’m looking forward to more of it in the big apple. I love this show, even though there isn’t awesome talent all the time. There are some however, that do make their mark and capture the audience as well as people at home. I’ve enjoyed watching Americas Got Talent on primetime and now its better watching this show commercial free. The new Auto Hop feature lets you decide whether you want to view commercials or skip them. I was excited to hear about this new great feature from my coworker at Dish, and I can’t get enough of this awesome feature. If you want to watch any commercials you can always skip back and watch them, even if the Auto Hop is enabled. This allows me to save money on batteries for the remote, since I won’t have to fast forward button.

  27. Have you any interest in coming to perform
    Here in Mexico?

  28. Have you any interest in perform here in
    Mexico?

  29. William Close

    HEY EVERYONE.. Please watch the up comming AGT shows!! I am performing live and am hoping for your support!! Please watch and vote if you think we deserve it…. THANKYOU xo WILLIAM

    • Mitzi Romanelli

      William…..have you ever considered performing at Red Rocks in Morrison, Colorado? Would be a magical event. Think about it.
      Your newest fan,
      Mitzi Romanelli

  30. Craig Williams

    What the hell happened to you on AGT? I can find no news, no clips, nothing about whether you’re still on or not. You were, without a doubt, the best performer on the show!

  31. Charlie Webster

    I want one but I was wondering if you could make a mini one that would fit in a living room? If you could do that I would pay good money for one!

  32. I’d like to interview you and showcase your music on my radio program.
    Garrison

  33. Please consider me as a vocalist for a show, I would be so honored……

  34. katy

    This is beatiful songs and spirit of earth.

  35. Lori Froedge

    You are absolutely amazing. I am so glad you didn’t give up after the fire. You’re an inspiration, and I would love to see you in a live performance in the future. I really hope you win AGT!

  36. connie lampen

    Your music is an inspiration! I live near Memphis, TN, and watched your performance this evening on America’s Got Talent. I am an artist and it would be a blessing to experience your music in person. I truly hope I have this opportunity. Please come to Memphis one day or at least come South. I would travel to see you. You touched my heart and my SOUL.

  37. Pamela Leo

    I have seen you on America’s Got Talent. I am in aw and am hoping one day to see you perform in person. You have a special gift my friend and I hope many enjoy your talent as much as I. You truly are an inspiration.

  38. My husband i heard you on Amrica’s Got Talent. WOW!! We hope you win the show you ae incredible. What a amazing insrument as well as you talent.

  39. Jim Denny

    Please correct, in your listing of places performed , the entry of “Mid-Evil Castle in Italy”. It should be Medieval.

    • james.stenger@att.net

      William u r the best artist i have seen in years… As for the comment i am commenting on… You are a donkey…oh wait ley me correct you… Jack ass

  40. AGT amazing. I see a world tour in your future!

  41. William Hallenbeck

    I can only say wow! A true inuvation of a true artistic mind. I delighted and honored that I have had the privilage to be alive for the creation of this truely inspiring instrument. More to hear the artist himself actually pour his soul into the very experience of hearing him play. Thank you William Close for the inspiration of life and dedication.

  42. Kelly Wagner

    YOU ARE GOING TO WIN!!!!! I cant wait to see you live one day. Thank you for sharing such an original gift and TALENT.

  43. Betty

    Just heard U on America’s got Talent…..U are the best sound out there. Beautiful.

  44. I saw you tonight on AGT and I was sooo impressed!! I loved it all and felt it was very professional and fantastic! Can’t say enough good things! I am voting for you and your clan! I’ve been following your blog since I saw you the first time and watched all the videos. Loved Burning Man! Keep up the great work!! Sending lots of positive energy and love your way! BLESSINGS!!~Mystiblu-Fran Hafey

  45. Your music tonight on AGT touched my soul, soothed my spirit, and showers of love flowed through my heart. Thank you for sharing your gift to the world….your singer was PHENOMENAL!

  46. Melissa Saaranen

    Amazing!! I hope that, someday, I get the chance to meet you and hear you play the Earth Harp. Living in Kansas, it’s unlikely but I can still hope. :) I would take meeting you, over all of the pop/rock stars in the world. I could only dream about the massive amount of talent that you have! Music is my passion and I love any music that has great quality. Thank you for showing America what real musical talent is! I wish you the best of luck on America’s Got Talent and your future endeavors. <3

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  48. Malia

    Why do you even need AGT? Your music makes me cry it’s so beautiful, I want to download your first release already! You are the best act on that show in all the seasons!

  49. Malia

    PS. Please come to Tampa or Sarasota FL. Sarasota would love you!!!! We are an artsy community here.

    • Malia

      Ugh, sorry, come to Sarasota again, I see you were at the Van Wezel, I regret I didn’t know who you were then.

  50. April Laakkonen

    Where do I find Williams facebook page and contact email? Details? I did searches and found some guy in Iowa………….I searched facebook. I want to find this man and tell him how he captured my soul and enraptured my auditory capacity. It is like watching an angel of god play music on stage. This man has a gift. A true gift. I need to express to him what he is capable of. Please find a way for me to contact him and just tell him so. Even if he doesn’t reply. I get he is being flooded right now. But I need to tell him. From my heart. How much he touched mine and how I almost wasn’t here to hear it. Thank you William Close and your Earth Harp. Plz find me. I pray.

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  52. Mars

    I was so excited to get the email that you were on AGT. I remember the first time I saw you perform in Pilsen,I knew then how special your talent was. I remember telling Peter ( lake effects films) that we had to do something to help your band, what a privilege it was to work on your bands first video, I hoped that you would get the attention you deserved and it appears that is about to happen……… so Happy for you!

  53. i am a classical and 20th Century vocalist and somehow, I had not heard of you until America’s Got Talent! How could i have missed you? ( I live in Los Angeles, a bit of a cultural vacuum). I am so glad you entered that contest, because you are bringing such technical and creative genius to an audience that might never have enjoyed you. I am thrilled for you, I hop you win, and you get that huge solo show! I am now a big fan and will look for your concerts and installations. Good Luck.

  54. jonono

    LOVE FROM Malaysia l will see your act one day I will py whatever it takes to see you experience that music

  55. Theresa Roe

    Can someone please tell me how I can get a download of the song played on AGT? I absolutely loved it and must have a copy. I could play it over and over again driving down the highway and never tire of hearing it! Please, if anyone has any info, please, please respond.

  56. sandy aitchison

    From EHS to Earthharp – soar like an Eagle William.. You are fantastic. You have given the world some beautiful new instruments. You have shown people what a person can do despite all odds……Amazing, and although you are already there I pray you go all the way to the top…….

  57. Bruce Glassman

    I have watched your last performance on AGT for the for the fifth time just now, each time I cry.
    Your future holds, your own theater built specially for your Earthharp In Las Vegas. Your show will be the number one show in las Vegas.
    People will come from all over the world to see your concerts. Top entertainers will want to perform with you.
    Mark these words today, as you can expect nothing less. AGT is just on the path to your future.
    I look forward to your next and every performance!!!
    Thank you!

  58. catherine

    William, you are absolutely amazing. I am so inspired after seeing you on AGT. You are truly talented, creative, unique, and EXCITING!!
    I love watching and listening to you and your ethereal music! I would love to see what you could do with ” Live and Let Die” by Paul McCartney. I think you would blow a lot of people’s minds; especially mine! Much luck to you; you deserve to win AGT!!

  59. Bearwoman Morningstarr

    You, as well as those who have gathered around you, your clan, have created something our world desperately needs; a truly beautiful moment. I am humbled…thank you so very much for being in this world.

  60. Joanna

    Just wondering about the functionality of this beautiful creation–where does the sound actually come from? Do you use a synthesizer or other interface at all to create your beautiful sound? TIA, I love what you’re doing.

  61. William, very beautiful and unique instrument!
    I play a rare type of bagpipe which has a very airy-earthy sound which might go well with the act.

    I play a jig followed by a slow aire

    -Dan McHugh

  62. Fahad

    I feel privileged to witness such a talent in my lifetime. Are you even from this planet? f**king unbelievable!

  63. I love your instrumentation of the Earth Harp it is such a lovely and beautiful instrument I could listen to it all day. Never before have I’ve seen such a great and awe inspiring thing! I am voting you for the win on AGT. I feel like we are all watching history in the making!

  64. Anna

    Mr. William, I saw and heard of you for the first time on AGT and I must say that it was absolutely breathtaking. Your music, your act is is so outstanding and moving, it took my breath away. Regardless of what happens on the show, I hope that you go on tour and show the whole world your talent. I will be following your act and hope that I can see you in concert.

  65. music

    hey, when are you planning to come to seattle?

  66. music

    what is your performance schedule?

  67. melinda burton

    I love the earth harp, its the first to.e I’ve ever seen.something so beautiful. It something that gives me hope for school funding for music and something me and my boy friend conected with.

  68. Greg

    Watching you on AGT, have you ever thought of illuminating the wires on the Earth Harp when the notes are played? Think it would give really a exciting effect and shed “light” of the grandeur of the instrument

  69. Steve

    You are the winner of AGT!!! The art and talent you have created is brilliant and I can’t wait to see your show live in Vegas!!!! All my votes go to you🎵🎶

  70. Haven Campbell

    I remembered when you were in salt lake and gave your concert at the arts festival. And then seeing you on agt gave me the idea that you should do a concert with Celtic Women

  71. Dena Andrews

    William:

    Your musicianship has touched me in so many ways I cry at every performance I’ve seen. You are truly a gift. You have change and inspired me beyond words. I am a college student at Westminster Choir College, studying vocal performance and music education and I had to take a year off because I just had a baby girl. You give me reason to keep pushing for my family as you push for yours you are such an inspiration. I can only pray to be where you are one day doing what you love.

  72. StarWolff

    I must gush about your Earth Harp, and your performances on America’s Got Talent. I have just watched the performance-part of the AGT performance, and my choice for the winner: I would vote that William Close -AND- Joe Castillo win, splitting the $1mil, and co-performing on the Las Vegas show.
    ~StarWolff

  73. Christine

    FANTASTIC performance on AGT tonight! Move over Yanni! People will be wanting to get “Close” to William and the Earth Harp!! You move people with your music and performance.

  74. Asia

    Beautiful performance and performers. Absolutely loved your act on AGT, it was amazing and energizing.

    Legendary Work.

  75. You should have won last night!!! You were the best on AGT and I voted for you 10 times…

  76. William,
    During the airing of the AGT results this evening my husband and I eagerly waited on the edge of our seats to hear you announced as the winner. From the moment we saw you perform you had our votes. We simply turned off the show when we heard you get sent home…
    We would pay whatever the price to see you perform, your talents are many and amazing. We wish you the greatest of success & hope to see you perform live very soon. Please add us to your email list as we would absolutely love to be updated on your performances.
    Best to you and your family,
    Ashley & Dustin

  77. You got robbed William! It should have been you the whole way! Olate Dogs is not a million dollar act. I’m sorry that you took third!

  78. Lydia Swenson

    I just saw te results for AGT. My whole family is very upset that you didn’t win. We would love to see you in a show!

    Please keep making this awesome music!

  79. kim knox

    Loved you on AMG, I think you will still be signed by somebody in las vegas :)

  80. William – The gasp last night should prove to you that you are very welcome here again. Plenty of us would pay to experience your musical performance – and literally be a part of it. Just don’t base your opinion of the area solely on Newark alone. Phenomenal concept. You rock and roll over Beethoven! And congrats on the newest addition to your family.

  81. Ken E.

    It’s an injustice that you didn’t win Americas Got Talent… but the bright side is that (with the exception of Terry Fator) most of the AGT runners up have much more successful careers after the show than the actual winners do! The dogs may be a good act to see for free at Circus Circus, but your show will be a worthy competitor of the highly ranked shows by Blue Man Group and Cirque Du Soleil, and as the judges said… I have reason to believe you’ll develop a franchise which will have your shows in many locations all over the world.

  82. Nancy G

    Loved your music from the very beginning and felt you should win. Please let us all know where and when you will be performing because I can’t wait to hear your beautiful music again. A CD would be good but a DVD or best of all in person. You lay your whole heart out there.

  83. chell

    I cannot believe you didn’t take first on AGT. The first episode you appeared on is what got me hooked on the show to begin with. Yours was truly the only act I would be willing to pay money for and hope to have an opportunity. Your talent cannot be overlooked!

  84. Diana Schenko

    Thank you you were great and are now on our bucket list.

  85. Stefanie lynn

    Every time I watched you perform I got goose bumps. Your music is beautiful. I NEED a cd. You are so talented and blessed.

  86. Anne

    William, you are a truly blessed and talented artist! You perform so elegantly, it would be an absolute pleasure to see you in concert soon, perhaps in Northern California. May your future hold much success for you and your family!

  87. Wendy Hillman

    I have not doubt that you will continue to amaze the world with your artistry! The architect behind the instruments is amaing and I will continue to follow your career and how you perform in the Great Lakes area sometime!

  88. adgt

    wish you won man

  89. Edward & Charlene Swenski

    I was all set to make reservations to Vegas, when I also turned off the show when you were sent home! My wife and I will be following you on the web till we can find a show to see you live. You are an incredible artist!

  90. Shana Crawford

    You were the winner of AGT in my eyes!!! Your music touches the soul and means something. Keep on building and playing, and if you ever come anywhere near me I will come watch you perform. What you do is amazingly beautiful!!!!!

  91. Patti Moore

    We witness the harp of angels when you play. It is magical, mysterious, and divine. You move us to tears and delight our souls. We are blessed by what we experience with you. May you continue to bless souls everywhere with your exceptional talent and genius. Thank you for the sublime.

  92. Paulie

    As a Canadian watching the show, I was appalled that a comedian and a dog act were considered talent and placed ahead of you.

    I wish I could have voted for you and your talent. the others were “acts” whereas yours is God given talent… beauty in action and you make the earth sing!

    I am also saddened because those same voters might vote back in the GOP and ruin the planet ….

    You are wonderful and I hope you continue to bring joy and your REAL talent to the world!

  93. D

    Where can I get tickets to see William in the Boston area?

  94. Veronica Spriggs

    Hi William, I think you have a wonderful act. My family and I have decided not to ever watch another season of AGT. You should have won and you were far better than any of the other acts in the competition. Your blessings will still come. God Bless to you and your family.

  95. Joyce K. Smith

    You should have won AGT. This was the first chance I had to go on line to see who won. I missed the televised version. We live near Charlotte NC and I will certainly keep my ears open for an appearance in this area. Thank you for introducing us to this most beautiful instrument. Having played violin and viola during my school years your instrument inthralls me.

  96. David Allenson

    William YOU should have won America’s Got Talent! We look forward to watching where you do from here.

  97. Kris

    Saw you live in the Riviera Maya in April. Phenomenal!! TV doesn’t do you AMAZING show justice. Come to Philly!

  98. Pierina Gómez

    You are absolutely amazing. You have all my admiration and respect. Thank you for being avant garde and bringing art and aesthetics to te world! My applause from Venezuela!

  99. Niket

    Hi William,
    Thank you so much for bringin such talent to us. U r da best i havent seen anythin like this nd u r really gr8. I wish u cme to australia nd do a concert nd i wuld luv to watch u

  100. Marco Borda Vila

    THIS IS MY OPINION : A MASTER MUSICIAN, CREATOR,POET AND INVENTOR . WITH THE HEART OF A KID IN A MANS BODY . MY ADMIRATION FOR YOU IS ETERNAL. THANK YOU FOR SHARING WITH HUMANITY … BROTHER. (ps) my goal one day is to sing your music. Saige

  101. Curt Peterson

    Bill, I met you in an musical instrument building workshop at Elgin Community College, in the mid-90′s. Your performances are truly electric! I hope your career has been boosted by the exposure on AGT. I look forward to hearing more about your career successes!

  102. I have to say YOU were the million dollar act from AGT. The judges and America should be ashamed to have put dogs ahead of you and your wonderful instruments. Easy enough to see trained animals…go to the circus, however if one wants to see true inspiring musical art…well then they need to come see you :) Thrilled to see you still found a good measure of success with your talent and life. Congratulations!!

  103. Oh please please bring the Earth Harp and beautiful wonderful show of MASS ensemble to Vancouver, BC in Canada. I definitely think this town has enough art and music lovers to welcome you with open arms!

  104. Truly an amazing musical artist and an extraordinary musical instrument!!
    I don’t really watch talent shows, but in my opinion William Close would have to be in a totally different class from the rest of the so-called artists.
    Thank you William for the great music and the amazing instrument!

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