top of page

Loading Video . . .

Spark+Echo Arts founder Jonathon Roberts creates a musical groove to illuminate Philemon 1:17-21.

Philemon 1:17-21

Consider Me a Partner


Jonathon Roberts


Composition, Music and Editing by Jonathon Roberts. 2015
Vox: Emily Clare Zempel, Walter Kermit Zempel Roberts

Curated by: 

Spark+Echo Arts


Image by Giorgio Trovato

Primary Scripture

If then you count me a partner, receive him as you would receive me.
But if he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, put that to my account.
I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it (not to mention to you that you owe to me even your own self besides).
Yes, brother, let me have joy from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in the Lord.
Having confidence in your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even beyond what I say.

Philemon 1:17-21

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.

Spark Notes

The Artist's Reflection

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.

Jonathon Roberts

About the Artist

I Make Tents

The Sower


There Is Room

These are My Sons


The Day Is Almost Here



Remember Me


How Beautiful

I Am a Fool

The Constant

Ecclesiastes Cows


Fools for Christ

More Than Rubies