Earth Hour

2009 – for solo piano – 60:00

Sheet Music

Score (pdf)


World Premiere:
March 27, 2010
Frank Horvat (piano)
A Little Dark Music CD Release
The Assembly Hall, Toronto Canada

July 13, 2017, Music & Beyond Festival, Horticulture Building, Ottawa
Frank Horvat (piano)

Performed, in its entirety, as part of the 60+ city, solo piano concert tour of North America named, The Green Keys Tour.

Plus more concerts across North America since 2010 supporting the album, A Little Dark Music including the Concert in the Dark in Vancouver.

  1. Earth Hour Frank Horvat Buy on iTunes 05:00
  2. Earth Hour - Section B Frank Horvat Buy on iTunes 05:00
  3. Earth Hour - Section C Frank Horvat Buy on iTunes 05:00
  4. Earth Hour - Section D Frank Horvat Buy on iTunes 05:00
  5. Earth Hour - Section E Frank Horvat Buy on iTunes 05:00
  6. Earth Hour - Section F Frank Horvat Buy on iTunes 05:00
  7. Earth Hour - Section F1 Frank Horvat Buy on iTunes 05:00
  8. Earth Hour - Section E1 Frank Horvat Buy on iTunes 05:00
  9. Earth Hour - Section D1 Frank Horvat Buy on iTunes 05:00
  10. Earth Hour - Section C1 Frank Horvat Buy on iTunes 05:00
  11. Earth Hour - Section B1 Frank Horvat Buy on iTunes 05:00
  12. Earth Hour - Section A1 Frank Horvat Buy on iTunes 05:00


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Album: A Little Dark Music
Buy Song: iTunes or CDBaby
Date: January 2010
Location: CBC Studios Toronto, Engineer: Dennis Patterson
Musicians: Frank Horvat (piano & synthesizer)


Programme Notes

On March 28, 2009, 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, this composition, was born.

Composing a 60-minute continuous piano piece is something that at first seemed a little daunting. As a composer, I was challenged – how do I make a composition interesting where both the performer and listeners are immersed in the dark and ensure that the sound of the piano and the darkness are equal partners in the experience? I quickly realized that creating a soundtrack to being alone in one’s thoughts can be so many different things: reflective, calming, scary, empty, or happy, just to name a few. This made me realize that even though it was one cohesive piece, the music could change thematically to reflect the many varied emotions that one can feel when being in the dark.

From beginning to end, Earth Hour takes exactly 60 minutes to perform, not a second less or more. Performers are to use an earpiece so they can play along with a metronome to ensure accurate timing. Earth Hour is divided into 12 sections/themes, each lasting exactly 5 minutes. The first 6 themes are contrasting from each other based on a sort of random note picking pattern formula I created that is correlated and based on the letters of my name and my wife’s. The last 6 themes are variations of the first 6 themes, except that they’re presented in reverse order giving the overall composition a palindrome structure. One of the reasons I did this was so the ending of the piece could be seamlessly connected to the beginning, allowing a performance of the piece to last more than just one hour, if a performer (or performers) so desired. A sense of start or completion isn’t as important as the experience itself.

Whether you listen to the entire piece or just a snippet, my hope is that a listener will be able to find peace and time for inner reflection when listening. Giving them time to think about how they can make themselves and the world a better place. Sitting in the dark doesn’t just have to occur on the last Saturday of every March.

– Frank Horvat



  1. Earth Hour is two weeks away and... - Frank Horvat - March 15, 2014

    […] I just realized I haven’t yet organized a performance of my piano piece of the same […]

  2. Earth Hour… Nooooo #momentofdarkness - Frank Horvat - March 25, 2014

    […] I’ve been participating or you could say, celebrating, WWF’s Earth Hour from the start. One year they invited me to play an Earth Hour party and that’s when I realized that music sounds different in the dark. [more on that party here] […]

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