Max Richter

“Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.”
― Bruce Lee


I’m definitely a believer that your best effort is often good enough. As a creator, it’s easy to get mired in perfectionism.  The people who accomplish great things in our lifetime, get there product to market first — then make changes as needed, on the fly. Often, what’s not quite right to you, will be perfect to others.

However, you do need that burst of intense focus (and perfectionism) to initiate anything worthwhile. It’s just that knowing when to quit is the hard part.

All this begs the question, what universally constitutes perfection? Answer: refinement.

The 250

For instance, the perfect car is the Ferrari 250 GTO. If you’re not a car geek, this was the vehicle used in the dream sequence at the beginning of Vanilla Sky — while soundtracked by Radiohead’s Everything in it’s Right Place.

Interestingly, this is not even up for debate, or opinion. The going market value for the Ferrari 250 GTO (1962-1964) is $38-52 million dollars. This is the most sought after car in the world.

You only have to look at the car to imagine the ambition in the initial design: flowing, sexy curves. Then, like a beautiful woman with an updo, the final touches of the Ferrari 250 GTO are trimmed back, and slightly understated.

The Burst

The perfect guitar is 1959 Gibson Les Paul, also know as the Burst. Again, not really up for debate. The market has already decided, even if you personally like Fender Strats.

My first teaching job was given to me by none other than Vic DaPra, owner of the Guitar Gallery and one of (if not the) foremost expert in the world on the 59 Les Paul. Vic began collecting these guitars in the late 60’s, and since then has authored 3 books on this single guitar.

The forward of his first book was written by Jimmy Page. His new book, Burst Believers I & II, is a collection of entry and photos from some of the most famous guitarists and guitars in the world today.

Depending on the flame-top, the 59 Les Paul can range from $250,000-500,000 dollars.  Like the Ferrari 250, the classic design of this guitar is almost impossible to truly capture in a photo.

The ethos of Intellimusica

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I approach each and every guitar arrangement with perfectionism and thus, refinement. The ideas are always ambitious: I’m going to take a song without any semblance of guitar in it, and covert it to a passable solo-guitar piece that beginner and intermediate guitarists could play without a PhD.

Once I get my bearings, I try to locate a spot on the neck where I can make use of the most open strings, and the least amount of movement. Not because it’s easier, but because it sounds better to me.

Over-complicated instrumental guitar songs sound cheesy, and out of place. On the other hand, I try to create something that seems like it was meant for guitar — or even written on guitar in the first place.

I personally feel that true musical refinement is: the ability to convey an emotion with the least moving parts. That’s what all of the arrangements on Intellimusica strive to be — minimalist by necessity. Perfect.

How to play Dona Nobis Pacem for classical guitar

Composer Max Richter’s The Leftovers soundtrack is an excellent album that contains a few variations of the themes from the HBO original series. I’m a fan of The Leftovers — so I took pride in doing all of the major themes from program, including the introduction.

The guitar tab for Dona Nobis Pacem is spread across two pages, and easy to play — if you know a few basic chord shapes. I would consider Dona Nobis Pacem for intermediate guitar players.

Enjoy, the tab is available below:

Dona Nobis Pacem is played in standard tuning. 

Dona Nobis Pacem for classical guitar

Written by:

Matthew's dad, Jennifer's husband, bass player - New Invisible Joy, YouTuber, short-film composer, creator of modern content for guitar.