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"Tintarella di luna": Music at the inaugural NYRR Italy Run 5 Mile Race


This morning I raced the new Italy Run in Central Park, NYC. There wasn't any live music along the course (typical for shorter races), but at the finish line the local band Panorama Music was featured in the Naumburg Bandshell on The Mall. In this video clip from the event, Panorama closes out a set with an Italian song from 1959, "Tintarella di luna" ("Moon tan"-by Franco Migliacci and Bruno de Felippi). I knew the song previously from the 2016 television advertisement for The Venetian hotel in Las Vegas. (The lyrics seem to strike a racial tone as they describe becoming whiter and more beautiful by "moon bathing" rather than "sun bathing"; the advertisement, meanwhile, features a series of white, evidently bourgeois hotel guests.)

The original artist was the Italian singer Mina. She released the song on an album in 1960, but it appears it was first featured in a film the previous year (Juke box--Ulri d'Amore). This speaks to the category of nation-themed races, at which it would seem natural to hear music pertaining to the nation being celebrated. Basically, these are opportunities for national institutions such as Ferrero, the principal sponsor of this race, to gain publicity and promote commercial interests. Present at the post-race mall space were representatives from Nutella (the hazelnut spread) and Tic Tac (the breath mint), both produced by Ferrero, as well as Alitalia (the airline), Lavazza (coffee), and Colavita (olive oil and vinegar), with free samples for event participants.

Nation, sport, commerce, and music are intertwined here. I don't mean this cynically--it was, after all, a pleasant event. For now, I merely make this (somewhat banal) observation. Perhaps it is worth digging deeper into the race, class, and gender implications suggested by the song lyrics (and the use of "Tintarella di luna" for The Venetian advert), but that was just one song performed here and I am not sure to what extent any conclusions about that would be specific to the running context.

I do enjoy how this project can introduce me to music I don't know much about. Although that is to be expected in musicological research, it's curious that in this case it comes via running experiences.

#ItalyRunNYC #musicandrunning #soundstudies #ethnomusicology #wil2wir #MarathonMusicProject

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