'Blackbird - The Beatles Album': Classical Guitarist Miloš Karadaglić Compares Beatles to Bach

By Steve Nagel on Jan 31, 2016 11:58 PM EST

As a classical guitarist, Miloš Karadaglić was reared in the strict and serious tradition of Bach, Segovia, and other classical guitar masters. But there's a branch of modern music in which he experiences similar challenges and just as rewarding of an experience. His latest project, Blackbird - The Beatles Album, released on January 15th, 2016, reflects his BBC claim: that "the Beatles are as important as Bach" when it comes to western music canon. In comparing the Beatles to Bach (whose lute suites are some of the most challenging works for modern guitar), Miloš assured the BBC that he was "never worried" his Beatles project would become "something light - because I'm not light, nor is the music."

Born in the small country of Montenegro, classical guitarist Miloš Karadaglić  told the BBC of how quickly he was noticed for his talent in the small community. The educational atmosphere of the region had placed him in the stoic world of classical guitar, and indeed Miloš (a self-admitted "control freak") takes his work very seriously. Still, Miloš also made a confession regarding his limitations with the instrument: "Our repertoire is not as big as for piano or violin but I feel there's more and more and more people who want to hear guitar - and who actually would rather hear guitar than any other classical instrument because there is nothing about it that scares them or makes them feel intimidated."

The result of this desire to connect with a wider audience spurred his idea to cover the well-known work of the Beatles. Although, as a child, classical guitarist Miloš Karadaglić had never been particularly familiar with the Beatles, his exposure to the arrangement of "Yesterday" by the Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu launched his intense interest in the group. As Miloš became increasingly fascinated by the smoothness of the Beatles' chord progressions, and how they function against such fluid melodies, he soon drew comparisons between the Beatles and Bach, and the album (which would be titled, Blackbird - The Beatles Album) soon became a much more immersive experience.  Hardly marketed as the novelty act of a classical artist grazing the pop scene, the artist's website calls the album "a tribute to the classic song writing skills of the iconic band."

In an all-encompassing project to recapture the spirit of the Beatles' work, the album was recorded at Abbey Road studio 2 using the original microphones the Beatles used in their recordings. Further commenting on the comparison between the Beatles and Bach, and other great classical composers, Miloš Karadaglić told the BBC, "I don't see a difference between those songs and Schubert. The Beatles left such a big mark on how we hear music today, so it feels equally natural to play the Beatles as it does to play Bach."

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TagsMilos Karadaglic, Classical Guitarist, The Beatles, Bach, BBC

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