When the entire theater is needed for one instrument, you can expect the show to be unforgettable.
Third place finishers of “America’s Got Talent,” William Close and the Earth Harp Collective, brought a more than exciting show to the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center, on Friday, Sept. 5.
Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, the noted architect, the group’s founder, William Close, creates unique instruments and then brings them to life through his musical talents.
Close and the Earth Harp Collective are known for turning the space they perform in into a work of art that audiences can both see and hear.
The star of the show on Friday was the Earth Harp: the largest string instrument created by running strings from a wooden resonator on stage to the balcony railing.
The harp gets its name from its first use—being strung across a 1000-foot gap, turning the land, the earth, into an instrument.
The harp sounds like a cello and is also played with rosin gloves, just as a cello is played with a rosined bow.
Close compared the process of making the cello tones with running your finger around the rim of a glass.
The harp was created in 1999, when Close was inspired by a quote from Frank Llyod Wright, who said “Architecture is frozen music.”
Audience members had only good things to say. “It’s so cool and impressive that he made a new instrument that sounded so beautiful,” said sophomore Kelly Fergus.
The most impressive aspect seemed to be that the harp turned the theater into an instrument.
Ashley Miltich, a sophomore, said that she really liked how the strings stretched across the stage to the balcony.
Other instruments featured in the show included the Drum Cloud and the Percussion Jacket.
The Drum Cloud is made of different sized drums shaped like the sun and stars.
The Percussion Jacket is an actual jacket with trigger pads placed on it that make the sound of drums when tapped.
The set list included powerful renditions of popular songs, such as the Beatles’ “With a Little Help From My Friends” and Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah.”
There was also a touch of Classical music with Pachelbel’s “Canon in D.”
Other songs played included ones from their time on NBC’s “AGT” and their album, “Behind the Veil.”
“I loved that he made the songs into his own version. I feel that it would be more like karaoke if he did not add his own original, unique style to the songs,” Fergus said after being asked what she thought of the song covers.
A couple from Titusville agreed with the rest of the audience that the show was very good. “It was our first time here, but certainly not our last.”
Every song received huge applause, and the show ended with a standing ovation which led to a one-song encore performance.