Resources

Main Menu

Strings Attached: Instrumental Innovator (and TV talent) William Close and his Earth Harp Turn Monmouth U’s Renovated Pollak Theatre into a Sound Sculpture

 Back to All News


9/20/2016

WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ (August 30, 2016) – As the first in a new schedule of Performing Arts Series events at the Pollak Theatre, The Center for the Arts at Monmouth University has announced that tickets are now on sale for a September 24 concert by installation artist and multi-instrumentalist master William Close and the Earth Harp Collective.

Earth Harp

Rescheduled for weather-related reasons from January 2016, the 8 p.m. show promises to be an intriguing fit for the recently renovated flagship auditorium of the Monmouth campus. It’s a room that boasts nearly 700 new seats, new carpeting and other improvements designed to enhance the concert-going experience for audiences. In addition, the Pollak offers guest artists a newly enlarged stage area — a space that Close and his Collective will be commandeering with a one-of-a-kind performance that’s every bit as visual as it is auditory.

As much a self-described architect as he is a performance artist; as adept at tinkering as he is with the tailoring of breathtaking soundscapes, William Close is the inventor of more than 100 fully functional musical instruments with names like The Aquatar, The Percussion Jacket, The Drumbrella — and The Earth Harp, the world’s largest stringed instrument and the centerpiece of a stage show that casts its spell through state-of-the-art lighting, dazzling choreography, passionate musicianship, and even the occasional suspension of the law of gravity.

Augmented by an ensemble of vocalists, string and percussion players at work on an array of Close’s signature sound creations, the Earth Harp Collective builds upon Frank Lloyd Wright’s definition of architecture as “frozen music;” exploring the harmonic possibilities of every venue, and in essence creating a unique work of living, moving, multimedia art wherever they appear. Far from remaining a “best kept secret,” the group has amazed millions of viewers as a finalist act on NBC TV’s America’s Got Talent; finishing in third place, and winning over a panel of judges that included the legendary curmudgeon Howard Stern.

From there, it was on to a successful residency at the Palazzo Hotel in Las Vegas — and a series of globetrotting tours that have seen the Harp ‘s strings stretch to the top of Seattle’s Space Needle, resonate across ancient temples, and send its cello-like tones through halls ranging from NYC’s Lincoln Center to the Grand Theater of Macau.

With its giant strings running from the stage to the back of the theater, extending out above the heads of the audience, The Earth Harp promises to turn the entire Pollak auditorium — from the walls, floor and ceiling, to the people in the seats — into a magnificent music machine that makes for a listening experience seldom duplicated from concert to concert. It’s an encapsulation of the Center for the Arts mission of bringing cutting-edge performance to the coastal New Jersey audience in a popular forum — and a fantastic way in which to experience our new and improved Pollak Theater.

Tickets for the September 24, 2016 concert by William Close and the Earth Harp Collective are priced at $45 and $55, and can be reserved through the Monmouth University Performing Arts Box Office at 732-263-6889, or online at www.monmouth.edu/arts. Tickets for other upcoming Performing Arts events — including “CSNsongs,” a tribute to the music of Crosby, Stills and Nash (October 1), and “Strings of Passion” starring Spanish guitarist Benise (October 15) — are also on sale now. To schedule interviews, please contact Kelly Barratt at 732-263-5114.