Category Archives: In the media

March 5, 2019 – Jack O’Malley speaks about Geomusic for “In Aria” (Radio Rogna)

From 7’38” for three minutes you can listen to Jack O’Malley explaining (in Italian) how the idea of “geomusic” was born and how he is working on this with the Metalliferous Hills Jug Band. Jack then introduces a song on the subject of dreams. Kudos to Linda for the invitation!

Here is a transcript:

Hi this is Jack O’Malley, drummer and scientific director for the Metalliferous Hills Jug Band. What we are developing as a project is something we called “geomusic”, and I would like to explain to you what this is about, in two or three points.
I am an engineer, a PhD, a sort of a scientist. In 25 years I have been to some 1000 conferences and scientific events. At the same time, I like music a lot, so in 25 -let’s make it 40- years, I have been to 1000 concerts.

Out of these conferences, at least half are about the enviroment, about doing good for the Earth, remediating, cleaning the air. On the other hand, when you go to concerts, there is a fair share of songs by artists who are concerned about the environment.

Now: when you go to scientific conferences, at the end of the day you get the icebreaker cocktail, or the dinner, with a jazz quartet in the background. Then, when you go to a concert, the artist will sing a song which will give you some feeling about an environmental issue.

Going back to the scientific conference, you will find many scientists complaining about the fact that, after their strong commitment in a research, they have issues in conveying their findings to improve the environment. On the other side, artists, who may excel in arts, have a hard time to get through to their audience actual concepts and action items to take home.

Geomusic, in its own way, intends to act as liaison between these two positions.

So, we are working on producing music embedding actual explanations in environmental engineering topics and scientific outreach, in a way that people will be entertained, while learning things that they can apply at home. This story started at the end of 2016, after about a year that I was interacting with Etruschi from Lakota. At the time they were touring with their second album “Non ci resta che ridere”, which has a lot of songs about territorial issues.

I also joined forces with a mad German bass player, 70 years old back then, who relocated in Tatti, which is the hamlet where I am also based (and which was my grandfather’s place).

Having formed this team, we started partly to study, and mostly to experiment, with jam sessions and inviting each other, like myself inviting Dario Canal and Simone Sandrucci from EFL to give scientific presentations at national conferences, or EFL inviting me to play on stage, and there we set off with geomusic.
Clearly, geomusic is not developed in the void, in space or in academia, but is “on the road” a lot, and comes by listening to a lot of other music.
Thinking about dreams, I think that a good precursor to what we are doing, and to which I have listened one thousand times, comes from Smashing Pumpkins and the Siamese Dream album. As an example and an introduction you can listen to Cherub Rock

For more information you may visit the JBCM main page, or write to

All the beauties of the Farma Valley will be showcased in Florence (Il Tirreno, Grosseto Edition, Feb. 21, 2019)

The article elaborates on a post I published on Feb 18, 2019: Florence, Feb 22-24, 2019, Hotel Lombardi: Culture, Environment, and Open Innovation from the Farma Valley and friends.

The photo is actually a shot I made in Dec. 2016, just before the first Farma Valley Winter Fest. The view is from Piloni, looking North, with Torniella in the middle, and some power or telecom lines in the image.

Jan 23, 2019: The “Jug Band” sings geomusic: a new artistic genre is born (La Nazione, Pontedera edition)

Original article by Ilenia Pistolesi (see source). Translation by Andrea Giacomelli. Please also see the blog post with the full presentation which inspired the article, or write to for more information.

Cecina Valley (Pisa), Jan. 23, 2019. Environment, land, and rural development. These are crucial topics, normally discussed in round tables by political think tanks, or as food for thought in conferences. Issues which make mayors suffer and environmental activists struggle. However, this time, we have music to blend high-level matters, with a thread of notes and melodies coming right from the heart of the Cecina Valley.
We are talking about the “Metalliferous Hills Jug Band”. This is a collective born in March 2017 and named in September 2018, with its base of operationi in the land of the Tuscan geysers.

The band originated from the collaboration of two young rock blues musicians, with three albums on their resume, an independent researcher with 25 years of international experience, musically active since 1986, and a German who relocated to Southern Tuscany.

On stage, the power of musical instruments alternates with talks and insights on the environment, thus joining in a single event live sounds and vocals to outreach and awareness raising on such paramount topics.
In a nutshell, they called this “Geomusic”: a brand new combination, an approach based on innovation, where two of the co-authors are original Cecina Valley musicians, i.e. Dario Canal and Simone Sandrucci.

This is a far from obvious approach to circulate ideas on “green” best practices.

In addition to the standard musical equipment by Etruschi from Lakota (Canal and Sandrucci’s main band), the collective brings on stage vintage instruments, found in their family attics, and actual scientific measurement instrumentation, such as a sky quality meter for light pollution monitoring, a lux meter, and various construction meters, occasionally used in the percussion section.

The collective, which has already performend on various stages, has also been presented to multiple research institutions, including the Italian National Research Council, the Politecnico di Milano and other Italian and foreign universities, raising a genuine interest for the rare and original combination of of art and the capacity of shedding a light on the environment from a very peculiar and unusual viewpoint.