LONDON (Reuters) - Montenegrin classical guitarist Milos Karadaglic says he felt “tingles” when he recorded tunes from the Beatles songbook at the Abbey Road Studios where they laid down the tracks 50 years ago.
“When you are here, you are surrounded by the energy of those people because they reinvented pop, they reinvented music -- without the Beatles, the musical world would be a very different place,” said Milos, 32, who goes by his first name.
“When I was in that studio where most of that music came alive, recording my own versions, I always got tingles, I always got little special things come to me.”
The guitarist, whose albums of music from the classical repertoire have won rave reviews and prizes, spoke to Reuters at a launch event for “Blackbird”, to be released on Mercury Classics in January.
As the title suggests, it is a compendium of Beatles songs, arranged for the classical guitar, but with Milos getting a little help from his friends.
One of the most arresting tracks features Milos playing a cover of the trippy “Lucy in the Sky Diamonds” with sitar player Anoushka Shankar, the daughter of Ravi Shankar.
He partners with cellist Steven Isserlis on “Michelle,” but because words are as important as tunes in Beatles songs, jazz vocalist Gregory Porter joins him on “Let It Be” and singer-songwriter Tori Amos does the honors on “She’s Leaving Home”.
Milos said he saw the Beatles tunes as being every bit as “classic” as what he usually plays. And he said everything about the album, from the partner musicians to recording at Abbey Road, to the use of the Beatles’ microphones, was by design.
“When I was making this album I thought, ‘Okay, I‘m not going to just do an album of classical guitar playing Beatles, I‘m going do something really bloody good’,” he said.
The album’s release will be part of a comeback launch for Milos’s concert career, since he has had to take a break due to a thumb injury.
“It’s the same like when a footballer kicks too many balls - I plucked too many bass strings with my thumb, I strained the mechanism of my thumb,” he said, adding that he had sought treatment from a sports physiotherapist.
He said he found out that other guitarists had similar injuries, but were reluctant to speak publicly, for fear of damaging their careers.
“Professional athletes travel the world with physical therapists, masseurs, people who are there to help them at any time of the day, and musicians are constantly suffering in silence,” he said. “That needs to stop.”
Reporting by Michael Roddy; Editing by Larry King