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.