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Topic: The Fruits of Silence

  1. #1

    The Fruits of Silence

    In late 1996, I wrote to Mother Teresa saying that I was composing a choral work in celebration of her, her sisterhood, and her forty-five years of service on behalf of the "poorest of the poor". Soon, I received a letter in response from Mother Teresa, herself, in which she expressed her gratitude for my gesture.

    Enclosed in her letter to me was a small card on which was printed this simple prayer:

    The fruit of Silence is Prayer.
    The fruit of Prayer is Faith.
    The fruit of Faith is Love.
    The fruit of Love is Service.
    The fruit of Service is Peace.

    Not having found any text for my new work or even any title, I immediately realized that those few lines would fit the music almost perfectly. So, I set her words to my notes, finished the work, entitled it THE FRUITS OF SILENCE, and through good fortune had it performed in May of 1997 at the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption in San Francisco. I sent a recording of the performance to her, and she wrote back thanking me for it and then, early that September, she was gone.

    The Fruits of Silence is here rendered using several organ stops from GPO as well as three soundfonts: Florestan Ahh Choir, Papelmedia Ahh Choir, and Papelmedia Irina Brochin. As it is, these two choir patches each have their own positive and negative attributes. FAC has a good "small ensemble" sound but is degraded by an obvious looping break in the lower range of the bass voices. Also, there is a gender identity problem in the high tenor/low alto range, that is, the men sound like women and the women sound like men. Similarly, PAC has a good "large ensemble" sound but it is degraded by a strange portamento attack throughout most of its range. It was, however, my great joy to discover that when these two soundfonts are used simultaneously the result is a mutual masking of the obvious faults. Moreover, the unison of these two patches creates a greatly enlarged virtual choral group with which to work.

    The solo part was actually written for tenor, but in the absence of a good tenor voice, I settled for Irina Brochin.

  2. #2
    Senior Member sd cisco's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
    Southern Ontario, Canada

    Re: The Fruits of Silence

    How very beautiful, Sean! Inspirational choral work and powerful organ make for a thrilling combination and you handled it perfectly. Very nice! Well done!!

    Best regards,
    sd cisco

  3. #3

    Re: The Fruits of Silence

    Wow, very beautiful work. Would have enjoyed hearing the live performance. I'm sure that was awesome to experience.

    A wonderful tribute.

    "...Wiktor's a Jekyll-Hyde personality..." - Lycos Music

  4. #4

    Re: The Fruits of Silence

    Great work!!!
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  5. #5

    Re: The Fruits of Silence

    A very beautiful and deeply moving work, Sean. The
    haunting vocal lines in the early central part, especially;
    and the work as a whole... Mother Teresa's simple prayer
    has been brought to musical life superbly.

    May I hope this finds performance, as it richly deserves
    to be heard.

    My best,

    David Sosnowski

  6. #6

    Re: The Fruits of Silence

    Hello, Sean - I was drawn in to take a listen simply by the title. I spent last week in retreat at St. Benedict, Oregon. It was a wonderfully restive experience among the priests, monks and other visitors at this beautiful and peaceful hilltop in Mount Angel, Oregon. I have new admiration for people like the residents at St. Benedict who are living their lives in such a spiritually inspiring way.

    And now another special gift comes to me - this moving story about your correspondence with Mother Teresa and the equally wonderful inspirational piece you composed. It's a really good recording, and your composition features the under-rated GPO organs very well. THANKs for describing the layering job you did with the various vocal Sound Fonts - you definitely created a better sound than you would have had using the fonts separately.

    Thank you much for this. A great experience to read your post and hear your soaring music.


  7. #7

    Re: The Fruits of Silence

    Hi guys, Im a newbie. Nice to join this forum.
    This is an interesting discussion. thank you for sharing
    I like fruit very much. They looks great.

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  8. #8

    Re: The Fruits of Silence

    I wanted to listen too, but could not see a link.
    Those words are powerful indeed.

  9. #9

    Re: The Fruits of Silence

    this is a nice piece of music, and is worthy of other's hearing it too.
    At your leisure, please feel post the link in your original post.


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