String quartets around the world are standing up for Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) who have lost their lives for protecting environmental values and human rights. Leading up to World Human Rights Day on December 10th, they are sharing videos of themselves, performing movements from Frank Horvat’s 70-minute, 35-movement string quartet composition, The Thailand HRDs, on their social media networks to raise awareness. See the latest videos at music4HRDs.com.
Check out the very first video by Prague’s Bennewitz Quartet.
This 35-movement string quartet was inspired by a photo essay by Thai-based photographer Luke Duggleby called For Those Who Died Trying. Duggleby’s collection details victims of murder in Thailand. All the victims were killed or went missing because of their efforts to stop powerful interests who wanted to destroy their community’s environment and impede human rights. Very few charges have ever been laid against the perpetrators in any of these crimes.
Each movement in The Thailand HRDs composition is an elegy to the victims featured in each photo in Duggleby’s essay. The musical themes for each movement are derived from the musical pitches/letters found in the names of the victims – their musical DNA implanted in each movement. The music is not intended to be purely melancholic but have a tinge of defiance so that these deaths do not mark an end but a continuation of the fight for justice – #music4HRDs
Both the composition and the photo essay were commissioned by international human rights NGO, Protection International
Background on the Project
– Artistic Collaboration out of Brutality
– Winner of the OAF’s inaugural Kathleen McMorrow Music Award for contemporary composition plus support given through the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council
– Aug 6, 2018 – The Thailand HRDs was premiered in Toronto by the Mivos Quartet
One of the most inventive songwriters to come out of the contemporary scene in Canada (WholeNote Magazine), this award-winning composer’s music explores a wide array of themes from love to social justice issues. Musically emotional and intense, Frank Horvat is an accomplished multi-genre composer and pianist who has made the tricky musical leap that allows him to pursue a niche of his own (Edmonton Journal). With a continuously growing discography and composition premieres on four continents, his works have been featured in plays, films, and on TV and radio networks internationally.
With a growing portfolio of social justice compositions, Frank has been involved in numerous projects on top of Music for Human Rights Defenders including The Green Keys Tour, The Current Agenda, and The Piano Therapy Tour. Discover his latest projects at www.frankhorvat.com.
An award-winning British freelance documentary and portrait photographer, Luke Duggleby has been based in Bangkok for over a decade. Traveling the globe yet focusing on Asia he undertakes assignments and works on personal projects all over the continent for many of the worlds most respected publications and NGOs. For Those Who Died Trying has been exhibited across Europe and Thailand including the UN Headquarters in Geneva and the European Parliament in Brussels, and was the topic of a Tedx talk he gave in early 2018. His work can be viewed on www.lukeduggleby.com.
An international non-profit organisation that supports human rights defenders at risk worldwide since 2004. Protection International works with local partners in over thirty countries, empowering defenders and demanding from those who have the responsibility to protect them to fulfil this obligation. Building upon a foundation of research, partnership and fieldwork, Protection International finds durable solutions to protection issues and builds the capacity of defenders to manage their own protection effectively and holistically. Learn more about their work at www.protectioninternational.org.