Spark+Echo Arts founder Jonathon Roberts creates a musical groove to illuminate Philemon 1:17-21.
Composition, Music and Editing
Artist Curated by
17 If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself. 18 If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account; 19 I Paul have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it : albeit I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own self besides. 20 Yea, brother, let me have joy of thee in the Lord: refresh my bowels in the Lord.
21 Having confidence in thy obedience I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say.
While developing this work, I was mostly struck by the first phrase, “if you consider me a partner.” I’ve been writing music and editing sound for years, first alone and then with my wife, Emily. Now we have a new partner in our life, our one-year-old Walter. Emily and I now run voiceover recording sessions at home while trading off who holds Walter and who is performing.
It’s a long road, but I’m learning how to be a better creative partner, both with Walter and with Emily. As I edited this piece, I tried to create a musical groove and soundscape that naturally weaves in the outbursts and exclamations that occurred when we recorded Emily performing the text. A drum hit here, a synth line there, a word or phrase got replaced with their interjections. If I “consider them partners” in my life, I need to welcome them, as Paul insists, in every way.
Jonathon Roberts is a composer and sound designer for games, film, theatre, and ensembles. His style grew out of classical and jazz training, and evolved through quality life adventures: touring the country in an RV with a one person theater piece on the Apostle Paul, living in Brooklyn with an improv music ensemble, performing in a downtown NYC absurdist comedy band, and a long stint writing music for the renowned slot machine company, High 5 Games. He has released four albums including the latest, Cities a song cycle personifying biblical cities. He created the popular podcast/web series ComposerDad Vs. Bible, in which ComposerDad accepts intense compositional challenges from a mysterious Bible while out with his kids. He frequently collaborates on music and theater projects with his wife, actor Emily Clare Zempel. They live in Beacon, NY, with their two boys and a tangled box of electrical cords. www.jonathonroberts.com