Spark & Echo explores Psalm 126 this week in their new song, “How to Be Free” from their album Inheritance. Also see “We Were Like Those Who Dream“, a video piece which explores the first verse of Psalm 126 by Joshua Stamper, Lea Fulton and Ben Stamper.
Listen: “How to Be Free”
When you saved us from our captors
We were like those who dreamed.
Our mouths were full of laughter,
Our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
“Oh lord you’ve done great things for them.”
You have done great things for us
And we are filled with joy.
You taught me how to be free,
Free as the river in the spring.
Now those who sew with tears,
Will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
Carrying seed to sow
Will return with a harvest
Carrying songs of joy.
This song is both a response to Psalm 126 and in honor of Jonathon’s Grandfather, Al Roberts. In this psalm we see the Israelites rejoicing in their return from exile, and their freedom from oppressors after many years. We see the reversal of tears to joy. It reminds us of Al, who taught the people he knew how to be free. His joy and sense of play were contagious, and it was hard to wear a frown when he was around. The sounds that eventually take over this song reflect that playful quality. We like to see this song as a large party, from its height around midnight, to the last dwindling revelers at 4am.
Featuring Alexander Foote on guitar and Jay Foote on bass
Mixed by Alexander Foot
Mastered by Christopher Colbert
This song is from Spark & Echo’s second album “Inheritance.” Click here to purchase a physical or digital copy of the album or this song.
Spark & Echo is a family band of songwriting-storytellers led by husband and wife duo Jonathon Roberts and Emily Clare Zempel, Co-Executive Directors of Spark and Echo Arts. Their music brings forgotten poetry and wild stories from the Bible to life: visions of sparkling wheels in the sky, hunger and thirst, and legends of love as strong as death weave with memorable melodies and captivating rhythms. Drawing from a classical background, influenced by the pianism of Rufus Wainwright and Ben Folds, and emulating Paul Simon’s narratival techniques, Spark & Echo sings epic tales of love and adventure.
They have a dual vision: as a band, they make music; as a non-profit, they seek to “create the world’s largest multi-disciplinary ‘illumination’ of the Bible.” Spark and Echo Arts engages artists from a diversity of styles and backgrounds working in the top of their field. The band grew out of and raises funds for the non-profit.
They’ve just released their second full-length album Inheritance which was recorded and co-produced with the Foote brothers (Welcome Wagon) and elucidates Psalm 42 in “Deep Calls to Deep”, Galatians 2:20 in “Buy Me a Hat”, Proverbs 31 in “What a Day”, and many more. Their voices harmonize like “it was meant to be.” They dance around complex stories with a whimsy indicative of their time spent in the theatre.
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