The Thailand HRDs

2016-17 – for string quartet – 70:00 (35-movements, each movement is 2 minutes)
Commissioned by Protection International

  Recipient of the 2017 Kathleen McMorrow Music Award

Happening NOW: #music4HRDs

Sheet Music

Score (pdf)

“It is impossible to escape Frank Horvat’s mystical hypothesis that music
is somehow part of all human DNA…a testament to the genius of Horvat
that he is able to craft this into each segment of this unique 35-movement
string quartet.”
– Raul da Gama, WholeNote Magazine


Album: For Those Who Died Trying

Date: November 16, 2018
Location: Canterbury Music Co., Toronto
Musicians: Mivos Quartet
Producer: Frank Horvat
Label: ATMA Classique

For Those Who Died Trying album - composed by Frank Horvat

Premiere Performance

World Premiere: August 6, 2018, Toronto, Canada
Mivos Quartet – Olivia De Prato (violin), Lauren Cauley Kalal (violin), Victor Lowrie Tafoya (viola), Mariel Roberts (cello)

European Premiere: May 20, 2019, Brussels, Belgium
Tana Quartet – Antoine Maisonhaute (violin), Ivan Lebrun (violin), Maxime Desert (viola), Jeanne Maisonhaute (cello)

Programme Notes

The Thailand HRDs is a 35-movement string quartet inspired by a photo essay by 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 is an elegy to the victims featured in each photo in Duggleby’s essay. The music is not intended to be purely melancholic but also have a tinge of defiance that the memory of these heroes still lives on.

The musical themes for each movement are derived from the musical pitches/letters found in the names of the victims (see title of each movement)…sort of their musical DNA implanted in each movement.

– Frank Horvat

Find out more about the story behind this collaboration.

Mvt 2 - ChAroEn wAt-Aksorn - photo by Luke Duggleby/Protection InternationalMovement 2 – Mr Charoen Wat-Aksorn.
Photo by Luke Duggleby/Protection International
Mvt 16 - monthA ChukAEw, prAnEE BoonrAt - photo by Luke Duggleby/Protection InternationalMovement 16 – Ms. Montha Chukaew & Ms. Pranee Boonrat.
Photo by Luke Duggleby/Protection International
Mvt 27 - somChAi nEElApAijit - photo by Luke Duggleby/Protection International
Movement 27 – Mr Somchai Neelapaijit.
Photo by Luke Duggleby/Protection International
Mvt 35 - thongnAk sAwEkChindA - photo by Luke Duggleby/Protection InternationalMovement 35 – Mr Thongnak Sawekchinda.
Photo by Luke Duggleby/Protection International


European Premiere (Mvts 2, 16, 27, 35): January 15, 2017, Dordrecht, Netherlands
Rosalie de Zeeuw (violin), Maartje Rosmulder (violin), Viola Koopman (viola), Evert-Jan Hekkelman (cello)

Thailand Premiere (Mvts 2, 16, 27, 35): January 31, 2017, Bangkok Arts and Cultural Centre; February 4, 2017, Think Park, Chiang Mai; February 8, 2017, Prince of Songkla University, Songkhla; February 22, 2017, Mahasarakham University, Maha Sarakham
90s String Quartet

American Premiere (Mvts 3, 11, 18, 23, 35): Artaria String QuartetNovember 18, 2018, Sundin Music Hall, Hamline University Saint Paul, MN; November 19, 2018, Antonello Hall, MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis, MN

Human Right to Water and Sanitation Conference (Mvt 23): Babylon QuartetMarch 13, 2019, Peace Palace, The Hague, Netherlands

Ontario Arts Council - Conseil des arts de l'Ontario    Toronto Arts Council



2 Responses to “The Thailand HRDs”

  1. Gunilla November 3, 2018 at 7:30 pm #

    Very moving, dramatic, tragic and at the same time visually so lush. The work feels new and interests me hugely.
    Thank you!

    • Frank Horvat November 4, 2018 at 10:40 am #

      Thank you so much, Gunilla! Coming from you, that means a lot!!

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