When music and sport met, a powerful relationship was born and kept influencing drastically our pop culture.
In a physical dimension, music describes and organizes the movements of the body and time they scan. Dance, aerobic gymnastics, synchronized swimming, figure skating are example of sports based on human body and music interaction.
The meeting between dance and sport had been sealed in the 19th Century by Sport (Scala di Milano, February 10th, 1897), a ballet by composer Romualdo Marenco, costume designer Alfredo Edel and choreographer Luigi Manzotti. The trio was well established having worked together before in the creation of Excelsior ballet.
A few years later in 1914, French composer Erik Satie wrote Sports et divertissements, a collection of short piano pieces dedicated to sport.
From 1970s onward, pop music tributes to sports and soundtracks of movies dedicated to sport characters are uncountable. Just to name a few: Bicycle Race (1978) by Queen, inspired by Tour De France; Hurricane (1976) by Bob Dylan, dedicated to boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter; Rocky (Original Motion Picture Score, 1976) By Bill Conti; Chariots Of Fire (1981) by Vangelis, composed for the namesake movie for which he won an Academy Award for Best Original Score;Mama Said Knock You Out video by LL Cool J (1990) is directed directly on a ring where LL himself is compared to a boxer.
Besides composers, music often meets sport through iconic products. Since 1917, Converse Chuck Taylor All Star has grown a fanbase far beyond the sport superstars, trespassing on the music culture and conquering musicians and fans of many different musical scenes. Bob Dylan, Kendrick Lamar, Nirvana, Patty Smith, Ramones, Snoop Dogg and many more. Check out this post if you want to discover more.
In Hip Hop culture particularly, sneakers have always been a protagonist of the look, a product of cult, a fetish object. Since 1986, when Run-Dmc and Adidas set a milestone in pop history, the strong relationship between player artists and footwear has created important cases of collaborations and endorsement with brands.
During 2016, I got in contact with 3run for a free running trainer concept I designed. Our collaboration expanded and I got musically inspired by free running and parkour energy and aesthetics: I composed and produced my first track as Notes: Flying High.
If you have something to add, or any knowledge about this subject, I will be happy to read your comments!
Author: Gino Pillon