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This soundscape by Jonathon Roberts walks with the Apostle Paul as he discovers God's grace among the struggles of life.

2 Corinthians 2:15-16

2 Corinthians 12:7

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Romans 8:15

Romans 8:18-19



Jonathon Roberts


Voices: Jonathon Roberts (Paul), Emma Sweet, Aram Monisoff, Charlie Christenson, Anneliese Dediemar, Emily Clare Zempel, Brendan Marshall-Rashid, Fred Gaines, Paris Brown, Jacob Allen, Maryl McNally, Marie Mikels
Additional Text by Christy Bagasao
Image by Scott Baye
Artist Location: Wisconsin

Curated by: 



Soundscape, theater

Image by Giorgio Trovato

Primary Scripture

For we are a sweet aroma of Christ to God, in those who are saved, and in those who perish;
to the one a stench from death to death; to the other a sweet aroma from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?

2 Corinthians 2:15-16

This sound and music collage explores God's grace and the concept of "power in weakness." The text is from Paul's letters to the Corinthians and the Romans with original writings by Christy Bagasao in reaction to his letters. The soundtrack is primarily crafted from ambient sounds, voices and performers on a balmy night on a main street in Santa Barbara, California. Listen on headphones to hear the world of sounds that circle the speaking voices.

This piece focuses on questions people have asked for ages, not just "Why do bad things happen to good people?" but "Why do bad things happen at all?"

Apostle Paul was an extraordinary and ordinary man who struggled with these same thoughts. "Why do I do what I don't want to do? Why am I weak?" This piece contains excerpts of his writings to the Corinthians and the Romans. Seven passages from his writings are used verbatim in this piece. Additionally Christy Bagasao's writing expresses Paul's point that we have sufficient power because God's grace works through our weakness.

"No matter how deep the pit, God's grace is deeper" is a quote from Corrie Ten Boom, read by my grandmother Marie Mikels.

This piece is part of a larger theater work called Project Paul. The image is a still taken from the video by Scott Baye that supports this scene.

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

Consider Me a Partner

The Day Is Almost Here



Remember Me


How Beautiful

I Am a Fool

The Constant

Ecclesiastes Cows