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"I Make Tents" by Jonathon Roberts is poetic prose with a rhythmic soundscape exploring Apostle Paul's life as a tentmaker and his writings on wisdom and foolishness.

2 Corinthians 2:17

2 Corinthians 5:1-4

1 Corinthians 1:18-31

1 Corinthians 9:6

1 Corinthians 15:8

Romans 8:20-23

Acts 18:3

Isaiah 29:14

I Make Tents


Jonathon Roberts


Text by St. Paul, Jonathon Roberts, Christy Bagasao
Composition and Voice by Jonathon Roberts
Additional Voices/Samples: Brendan Marshall-Rashid, Timothy Troy, Terry Rew-Gottfried, Governor Jim Doyle, Senator John Kerry, Lawrence University Wind Ensemble (recorded by Larry Darling)
Artist Location: Wisconsin

Curated by: 



Image by Giorgio Trovato

Primary Scripture

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Saying Paul was a unique and dynamic person is an understatement. During his ministry he worked as a self-supporting tentmaker, so no one would accuse him of “peddling God’s Word for profit.” He communicated with people he served in many different ways depending on what they needed to hear, sometimes even using humor, sarcasm or a biting wit to get his point across.

In this collage, sound samples from professors and politicians intertwine with lighter sounds and Paul’s playful and even biting words. This piece is also part of the larger multi-media theatrical production Project Paul. Like other parts of the production, this piece deals with some of Paul’s favorite themes: wisdom vs. foolishness, weakness and humility, and the painful “groaning” of this world.

Paul the Tentmaker: 2 Corinthians 2:17, Acts 18:3, 1 Corinthians 9:1-18

The World is Groaning: Romans 8:20-23, 2 Corinthians 5:1-4

Wisdom and Foolishness: Isaiah 29:14, 1 Corinthians 1:18-31, 1 Corinthians 15:8

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

The Sower


There Is Room

These are My Sons

Consider Me a Partner


The Day Is Almost Here



Remember Me


How Beautiful

I Am a Fool

The Constant

Ecclesiastes Cows