Som Hompornma and Tongnuan Kamjen (photo credit Luke Duggleby / Protection International)

#music4HRDs

Ever start working on something that started off all “normal” and under control but then started to get crazy exciting and borderline-out-of-control?!? That might be what I’m feeling right now.

With the new album, For Those Who Died Trying, soon to be released on November 16, it quickly became apparent that the subject matter was also having great impact. And as it should. I have been so fortunate to have had the opportunity to compose, The Thailand HRDs, string quartet music paying homage to the memory of human rights activists in Thailand that have been murdered or gone missing because of their work.

But I always felt that an album release was just not enough. Since last year, I’ve been getting feedback from string quartets around the world who also feel passionate about the plight of these Thai Human Rights Defenders and the music. So we are rallying together in a social media campaign. The world’s string quartets will video record themselves playing 1 of the 35 movements from The Thailand HRDs, then post it online to spread the message to their audience.

This campaign is called #music4HRDs. With such a positive reply from so many string quartets around the world, we have felt that it’s important to get organized and adequately have a central hub to best represent this movement. So we’re officially launching a website dedicated solely to this project –
www.music4HRDs.com.

The Bennewitz Quartet from Prague is the first to lend their musicality to the cause…

…and there’s much more to come as we lead up to the 70th Anniversary of World Human Rights Day on December 10.

So if you know of any string quartets that you think would like to participate, please share our new site or this blog post with them. The more string quartets we can get involved, the more impact we can make in bringing awareness to the plight of Human Rights Defenders around the world.

And sharing this is so important. This past week I shared the story of how Thailand’s military regime is now suppressing musicians in their country who speak out against the government. Artists and musicians bring beauty and hold up a mirror on our world, but we also play an important role in bringing awareness to the injustices. Please help us spread the word as best you can about music for human rights defenders. Thank you!

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