howard shore

Spotlight is an excellent and well acted movie — and very disturbing. I didn’t understand the magnitude of this story, and having just seen Spotlight, I formed a couple obvious opinions.

It should be noted at the outset, I regard the Catholic church as a force for good in the world. I’m admittedly a lapsed Catholic — but a Christian nonetheless. As a new father, I’ve been contemplating my own spiritual practice (or lack thereof) and how to proceed with my new son.

[Additionally, I have friends and students who are Penn State alum. I regard it as an excellent school and my criticism is only aimed at a distinct point in time.]

The Catholic Church sex-abuse scandal shares a lot of similarities with the Penn State sex-abuse scandal — where heralded football coach and pedofile, Jerry Sandusky, literally used his charity for underprivileged children to supply himself with steady stream of victims.

As a Catholic, and a father, the size and scope of this (ongoing) story is troubling to say the least. As I write this, a story is breaking in Altoona Pa  (50 minutes from Penn State as it happens) where hundreds of children were abused by priests and church leaders over 4 decades.

In both the Penn State and Catholic Church scandals, the culture of the institution was the main ingredient for a concealed, long-term program of abuse.

Both cases are closed societies where the institution took priority and precedence over everything else. Some Penn State alum creepily and brazenly defended their school after the Sandusky scandal. Where I live, outside of Pittsburgh, cars and lawns were adorned with signs of support saying, We Are Penn State — as though Penn State itself was the victim.

Embarrassingly at the time, as a Catholic, I had a general sense that the Church was being unfairly impuned by the media for the actions of a few priests and isolated incidents. As this story progresses, the large scale pathological phenomena is undeniable. This is a problem created by the culture of the Catholic Church — and to fix it — the Church will have to modernize its systems and requirements for clergy.

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How to play Spotlight for classical guitar

Howard Shore’s piano theme for Spotlight is very melodic and deliberate sounding. By deliberate, I mean there’s no room for interpretation, here’s the notes, that’s it. This melody weaves together the acts of Spotlight like a musical narrative. 

This short tune is excellent for beginner and intermediate guitar players to try something slightly advanced. Overall Spotlight is easy to play, but there’s a mega stretch at 0:25 of the video.

I have really small hands, but freakishly long arms, so it’s relatively easy for me to get into super-stretched out positions. To reach the frets, you will have dip your elbow underneath the neck of the guitar, and lower your thumb straight down. While fretting the chord, pretend you’re wearing a wrist watch and you’re trying to show someone (in front of you) the face of the watch.

The guitar tab for Spotlight is a single page long, and this song really acts as an é·tude: a short musical composition, designed as an exercise to improve the technique or demonstrate the skill of the guitar player.

I love pieces like this, because who wants to practice scales? Personally, I prefer to play and practice by accident.

Enjoy this, the guitar tab is available below:

Spotlight is tuned to a quasi open G tuning. Your tuning is as follows, from low to high: D G D G B E. You’ll then put a capo on the 4th fret. 

Spotlight for classical guitar


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