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Spark & Echo explores Psalm 126 this in their song, “How to Be Free.”

Psalms 126

How to Be Free


The Spark & Echo Band


Guitar by Alexander Foote
Bass by Jay Foote
Mixed by Alexander Foot
Mastered by Christopher Colbert

Curated by: 

Spark+Echo Arts


Image by Giorgio Trovato

Primary Scripture

When Yahweh brought back those who returned to Zion,
we were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with singing.
Then they said among the nations,
“Yahweh has done great things for them.”
Yahweh has done great things for us,
and we are glad.
Restore our fortunes again, Yahweh,
like the streams in the Negev.
Those who sow in tears will reap in joy.
He who goes out weeping, carrying seed for sowing,
will certainly come again with joy, carrying his sheaves.

Psalms 126

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.

Spark Notes

The Artist's Reflection

The Spark & Echo Band is a family outfit of songwriting-storytellers led by husband and wife duo Jonathon Roberts and Emily Clare Zempel. 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.

The duo has collaborated on three full lengths albums (Spark&Echo, Inheritance, Cities Project), one video album (In the Clocktower), in addition to many theatrical collaborations, this very nonprofit, and two children. They live in beautiful Beacon, New York, with all of the above.

The Spark & Echo Band

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