A Prayer of St. Thérèse

sound collage/musique concrete

St. Thérèse of Lisieux had hyper-sensitive hearing. In her writings, Thérèse describes the annoyance of having to kneel near a nun who would not stop fidgeting and clinking her rosary during meditation. Though exasperated, Thérèse was determined not to hurt the feelings of the other nun. Instead of expressing her irritation, she decided to change her own perception of the sounds and make her act of listening into an act of prayer. First, she let herself be bombarded by the noise, accepting it as a form of suffering. Tiring of this, she then embraced the noise as music, listening attentively to every nuance and offering it to God. My piece is inspired by this story and is made up of the recorded sounds of numerous clinking rosaries, rosaries interacting with other sound-producing objects (such as piano strings and metal music stands), and tuned wine glasses that produce sustained pitches.