Art, Travel & Life in Italy & Europe

Made in Cortona: Arturo in Letto, “Ciao Marco” video

The hot new American pop star Arturo in Letto [sic!], aka A.J. (Douglas) Weiss, has chosen Cortona, Italy as the inspiration behind and set for his latest video “Ciao Marco”, which is exploding to the top of the charts on YouTube right this minute. We who “knew him when” hope that the fame won’t go to this polite kid’s head. Arttrav met up with him before he skipped town and returned to Athens, GA (exchanging Jovanotti for REM?) to ask him a few questions.

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Me: You met Marco when you came to study abroad in Cortona, Italy. What part of this experience was most important to you?

Arturo: Meeting Marco has been a wonderful experience. I wrote a song about him! The thing about Marco is that he’s a modern man living in a modern world, but at the same time he and his modern world are both rooted in an ancient past. That’s why I’m glad I could take a course in Italian Renaissance Art while I was over here. It allowed me to be come more intimate with that past that has so much to do with where Italy is today. [editor’s note: he wrote that, i did not make it up! Not only is AJ a journalism student, but he’s a diplomat.]

Me: You were concerned that your portrayal of your Italian professor, Marco, was perhaps too superficial. After all, the guy does have two PhD’s! What did Marco say to this?

Arturo: I haven’t had an in depth discussion with Marco about these lyrics, but I think that’s because we are friends. He can hear in the song and read in the text that I have a deep respect for him. All I have received is smiles and friendly nudges since I first brought the song to Marco. He helped me edit the text because my Italian is broken and grammatically unsound.

Me: Tell us about making the video, once you convinced Marco to do it. Anything funny happen behind the scenes?

Arturo: There definitely would have been a bloopers reel had this been a feature-length film. When we first arrived at the bedroom we were shooting in there was some confusion about how scantily Marco should be clad. I was afraid that when I asked him what he normally wore to bed, he might reply “in the nude.” But then I guess I and the crew would have gotten a real life look at what Renaissance sculpture models looked like, or at least what Michelangelo wished they looked like.

Me: Your video and song test the limits of self-production. For the tech geeks out there, tell us what equipment you used.

Arturo: We’ll just have to leave that up to the expertise of our music and cinema peers to find out. But for everyone else just know that we had enough to make the dream a reality. (Spenser said we shouldn’t tell because the equipment is bottom of the line.)

Me: Does Marco have an email address to receive letters from an onslaught of admirers? And how will you deal with the screaming fans?

Arturo: I would give out Marco’s email address if I thought it was necessary, but given that the uomo already knows half of Italy I’m sure that he’ll have to change it in due time anyway. I will deal with the screaming fans by embracing them all. Love to the people!

Me: Can we have the lyrics?

Arturo: Of course! They’re at the bottom of this page, and translated too.

Songs and contact info: www.myspace.com/arturoinletto

Arttrav encourages friends to forward “Ciao Marco” to all the Marco’s out there, and to everyone else. Let’s help AJ make it to the top. Please give him a 5 star vote on YouTube!

Original Lyrics

Marco é un uomo
Che é molto forte
e meraviglioso
Ha occhi d’argento
A tutte le feste
Balla incantevolemente
Insegna agli studenti
Nella clase di italiano

Pensa molto
Sta cercando qualcosa
Aspetta solo
Un giorno lui trova qualcuno

Le ragazze dicono ciao marco ciao marco
Le ragazze dicono ciao marco ciao marco!

Marco é un uomo
Che é intelligente
Anche é arguto
Sempre parla bene
Lui é di Roma
Una bella città
Va in una macchina
Che é bellissima

Pensa molto
Sta cercando qualcosa
Aspetta solo
Un giorno lui trova qualcuno

Le ragazze dicono ciao marco ciao marco
Le ragazze dicono ciao marco ciao marco!

English translation of lyrics:

Marco is a guy
Who is very strong
He’s great
He has silver eyes
At all the parties
He dances wonderfully
He teaches students
In italian class

He thinks a lot
He’s looking for something
He’s waiting alone
One day he’ll find someone

All the ladies say “Ciao Marco!”, “Ciao Marco!”
All the ladies say “Ciao Marco!”, “Ciao Marco!”

Marco is a guy
Who is very smart
He is also clever
And always talks well
He is from Rome
A lovely city
Goes around in a car
That is really nice

He thinks a lot
He’s looking for something
He’s waiting alone
One day he’ll find someone

All the ladies say “Ciao Marco!”, “Ciao Marco!”
All the ladies say “Ciao Marco!”, “Ciao Marco!”

More Photos!
 
 

 

 

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By: arttrav

Alexandra Korey aka ArtTrav is a Florence-based art historian and arts marketing consultant.