Think of a famous Italian song from the past and even non-Italians would come with O Sole Mio, Volare, or even the Pavarotti favourite Nessun Dorma. Not so for viewers of Italian satellite TV programme “Buongiorno Cielo”, who launched a poll to vote the best Italian song of the last 150 years, and ended up with a surprise winner, the decidedly unknown song Aspettando l’alba (Waiting for the Dawn) written by Ricky Scandiani, musician and songwriter based in Ferrara. The song is part of a rock-opera Roadissea, a modern interpretation of Homer’s Odyssey, written some thirty years ago.
Competition organisers launched the poll through popular social network Facebook, but obviously weren’t aware that – at least in Italy – it stands as the most democratic means of communication, away from the politically controlled mass-media, including the state television service, as well as a host of private channels (Berlusconi’s Mediaset empire). Facebook users came into their own when they voted en masse for Scandiani’s song as their favourite. “They used the social network to reach a wider audience”, commented the song’s creator, “without forseeing that such an alternative and democratic system can bring attention to songwriters who are very different from the more famous ones”.
TV presenters were left surprised and embarassed when announcing the winner of the poll, which was meant to coincide with the publication of a new book “La canzone italiana – 1861-2011” published by (Berlusconi-owned) Mondadori, a huge two-volume tome packed with “classic” Italian songs. (see video)
source: Il Resto del Carlino / Monica Forti