This fast-paced sound and vocal collage by composer Jonathon Roberts sets Paul's urgent words, "The night is nearly over, the day is almost here."
10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; 18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. 19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. 20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: 21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.
1 Corinthians 9:24
24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
1 Corinthians 16:13
13 Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.
1 Corinthians 15:51–52
51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
2 Corinthians 5:14
14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
This sound and music collage sets the urgency with which Apostle Paul spoke to people about what lies ahead. The beats are made from chopped vocal sounds while voices join Paul in many languages from around the world saying “the day is almost here.”
The focus of this piece is Romans 13:12, “The night is nearly over, the day is almost here.” Additionally, twenty-four other passages from Paul’s letters related to this theme are incorporated in the piece. Additionally there is a brief line of poetry from Christy Bagasao:
If the battle ends and your heart is still beating, it is because you have lost. If the battle ends because you have breathed your last, then you have won the race!
We imagine Paul nearing the end of his life, racing forward while countless thoughts and phrases race through his head from years of traveling and preaching.
This piece is part of the larger theater work, Project Paul.
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