music, technology & life in pasadena, california

Reminiscence: Inside The Vatican

Last week's passing of Pope John Paul II reminded me of a recording session I played several years ago. Composer Mark Adler called me to play classical guitar for National Geographic's Inside The Vatican documentary. Mark wrote some beautiful guitar parts and I was looking forward to the airing of the show on PBS.

One night several months later, I fell asleep with the television on. I awoke, somewhat groggy with sleep, to the sounds of a solo guitar. It sounded so familiar but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. When I opened my eyes and saw the Pope on the screen, I realized what I was seeing and hearing. Mark had used the guitar piece as the Pope's theme and in doing so had given me a thrill, an honor and a reminder of my own Catholic boyhood.

April 11, 2005 | Link to this entry


Paul Viapiano is a guitarist working in film, television and live performance based in sunny Pasadena, California.

You can email me here.

Return to the front page