“Some may say that I couldn’t sing, but no one can say that I didn’t sing.” – Florence Foster Jenkins ...
Saturday, March 25 is Earth Hour. I always get excited at this time of year because I share strong feelings about the importance of Earth Hour’s mandate. And from a creative standpoint, Earth Hour has given me such a wonderful platform to share my music and feelings.
It all started on March 28, 2009, when I was invited to perform at an Earth Hour party hosted by a law firm in one of Toronto’s skyscrapers in the Financial District. As the who’s who of Toronto’s elite hobnobbed admiring the lack of lights in the sprawling skyline, I quietly improvised. Once 8:30PM hit, the lights went out and all the partygoers congregated in a room on the opposite side of the building to listen to speeches. I was left alone quietly playing away, immersing myself and enjoying the darkness…this is where Earth Hour, my composition, was born.
Later in August of 2009, Lisa and I rented a small cottage on a farm near Markdale, Ontario. I’ll never forget that town because that’s where the Chapman’s Ice Cream factory is located and our trip there was just a couple of weeks before the factory burned down. Anyway, while on the farm enjoying the peace and solitude (only hearing the constant clanks of bells on the cows in the field), enjoying the beautiful views of nature and using the free time to contemplate, we devised a plan for me to complete an hour-long solo piano composition to be played in the dark and a tour to support it. It was on that farm that my album, A Little Dark Music and the Green Keys Tour was born!
Fast forward to March 27, 2010 (Earth Hour one year later), ALDM was released to the world and the Green Keys Tour launched with an opening concert here in Toronto. From then to April 2011, I had the opportunity to perform over 60 piano concerts in the dark across North America. There were so many fabulous people I met on that journey both those who cared about the environment and loved music.
So it’s this week that I think back to that cocktail piano gig 8 years ago and the launch of something big 7 years ago with very proud memories. It was a pleasure to use my music as a means to bring about more awareness on the importance of protecting our world’s environment. But I also look back with the simple thought of “wow, I can’t believe I did that!”
Whether you spend this Saturday’s hour in the dark with the recorded version of me or doing something else of great fun, here’s wishing that Earth Hour’s spirit continues to live on always. After all, every hour should be #EarthHour!