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The Sower is a song and group collaboration in response to Jesus' "Parable of the Sower" as told in Mark 4:1-20. Spark and Echo Arts led an audience of brave adventures in the Massachusetts Berkshires to create mini-soundscapes in response to the parable.

Mark 4:1-20

The Sower


Jonathon Roberts


Curated by: 


Image by Giorgio Trovato

Primary Scripture

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This piece was created at the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod North Atlantic District 2011 Labor Day Retreat in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Audience members were recorded as they pondered and improvised sounds in response to the different scenarios in Jesus' Parable of the Sower.

The audience explored the farmer throwing seeds on rocky places, among thorns, where birds can snatch it, and finally on good soil. We're always excited to create new work with other people, so we're thankful to the retreat organizers and audiences members for including us in this very fun weekend in the mountains.

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


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


Fools for Christ

More Than Rubies