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Ein Bericht von der deutschen Mission 2019

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From May 30 to June 3, 2019, the Metalliferous Hills Jug Band (in Italian: Jug Band dalle Colline Metallifere), with a formation including Dario Canal, Simone Sandrucci, Scheibe, Jack o’Malley conducted a mission combining musical, territorial promotion, twinning…you name it (you might want to check last week’s presentation article). This was quite challenging, but overall smooth and with an extremely positive effect for those who were there.

We had seven performances in three days, over 2600 km of whereabouts, night sky quality measurements, typical southern Tuscany product tasting, and various moments of audience engagement. We had participants singing, checking maps and articles related to the activities of the JBCM collective, and we are now working on the next events on this line of activity.

Below is a brief summary of the experiences of our last five days. For more information and booking: or +393317539228.

Thursday, May 30 Departure from the Metalliferous Hills (Southern Tuscany) to retrieve a night sky quality meter used for the Buiometria Partecipativa project at Radio Popolare Milano, and a seminar about from sound engineering to engineering with sound at the Dept. of Civil and Environmental engineering (also part of the 2019 Festival of Sustainability). For the scientific part of the performance, in addition to the talks by Jack O’Malley on rural area socioeconomics and buiometria partecipativa, we had a presentation by Wolfgang Scheibe on biodynamic agriculture, and -more in general- on the basics of quality agriculture.

Politecnico di Milano – geomusical serminar (photo by Vittorio Giacomelli)
Grand finale at Politecnico including Manuel Schianchi, beatboxer and painter.

Friday, May 31 Transfer from Milano to Sachsenheim, Germany, with a performance at Tender IBISA Kulturtreff. This is in the premises of the former train station, now used as a cultural community centre. On location we had goulash for all, a nice sunset background, with occasional trains passing by, plus travellers coming up from the stairs and finding a live band).

Sound check at the Tender in Sachsenheim
That’s all right, „train and ruler“ version (clip)
Young beatboxers with Dario Canal at the end of the concert

After the public part of the day, we were teleported in spaghetti and jam session with the dynamic Crissi, known in Germany as the Dizzy Bee frontman, and also active in other musical projects.

Saturday, June 1

Late AM in the Ludwigsburg Market Square, during the market (photo by Cristopher Mosselmann)
A close-up view of the band (photo by Christopher Mosselmann)
Preparing the set for the gig at the Brau Tage in Ludwigsburg
We also went to visit new cultural spaces.

In the evening we were at ristorante Salento in Vaihingen an der Enz. There was a peculiar situation during the final jam session on That’s All Right: Jack o’Malley’s stool collapsed, but some way he managed not to stop playing, and finishing the concert sitting on the floor. After the third live set, dinner at the Brau Tage in Ludwisgburg, including a night sky quality measurement in the festival square (17.7 mag/arcsec^2 around midnight).

High-visibility jackets to lower down the drumming volume indoor (photo by Crissi Mosselmann)

Sunday, June 2: Early PM situation at Caffé Bar Tatti, downtown Stuttgart…very, very peculiar, and groovy (we look forward to see the video, since the gig was filmed with professional gear):

…with the best regards of the Café Bar Tatti staff. Video and photo by Benni Scheibe.

On Sunday evening, a concert in the farmyard at Völkleswaldhof in Oberrot, with another night sky quality measurement in the fields by the farm (recording 21.35 mag/arcsec ^2 with the Scilla sensor)

The murder of Santa Claus – opening the concert.
A typical night kitten appearing on stage at the end of the concert.

Monday June 3 We had a visit to the Huober Brezel factory, running for almost 70 years, guided by Wolfgang, our official skinny farmer and biodynamics expert, who actually worked in the factory in the Eighties, managing its transition to biodynamic processes. The header picture shows the JBCM collective at the end of the visit. Following this educational opportunity, we headed back for Tuscany. Below you see Simone driving somewhere South of Verona, brainstorming about Samoan lawyers, Bonfiglio, and various community engagement ideas which we will work on in the coming months.

Acknowledgements in no particular order: Romolo Chiari, Vittorio Giacomelli, Az. agricola Il Fontino, Az. vinicola Ampeleia, Az. Agricola Loriano Bartoli, DICA @ Politecnico di Milano, Tatti Café Bar Stuttgart, Tender Sachsenheim, Ristorante Salento Vahingen an der Enz, Christopher Mosselmann, Pius, Andreas and the Völkleswaldhof bei Oberrot, Benni & Markus, Brigitte, Crissi, Theo & Anton, Andy, the Rossknecht brewery, the Huober family, and others which we will add to this list once we recover the „jet lag“.

Dario und Jack in Mailand und Brescia (15/16 Mai)

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Between May 15 and 16 the Metalliferous Hills Jug Band collective (in Italian: Jug Band dalle Colline Metallifere) took the shape of a power trio, embedding Federico Giussani, a nightscape photographer from Southern Tuscany, with Dario and Jack.

Our goal for these two days was to give two presentations. One in Milan, in one of the evenings with Off Topic in the Isola neighbourhood, and one in Brescia, with a national conference on interdisciplinary protection and promotion of the night sky

Below you will find a photo report based on Federico’s shots.
As our next meetup, save the date for Thursday, May 30, at Politecnico di Milano from 4 to 7PM for a lecture called „From Sound Engineering to Engineering with Sound„. This event is also part of the program of a national festival on sustainability. After this, the collective will head for Germany ( or +393317539228).

So, here goes:

A quick survey at Politecnico di Milano, in preparation for our May 30 lecture „From Sound Engineering to Engineering with Sound“ (May 30, 4-7PM).

After an excellent pistachio ice cream, here we are in the Isola area, just by the Vertical Forest, where you can pick diagonal mushrooms after the rainy period.
This was part of the exhibition by Federico at Piano Terra. We gave special care to the flyer preparation. It actually looks like any piece of scrap paper, hand written with a blue pencil.
We made an effort to explain where we come from, and what we did on May 11 in Torniella (Southern Tuscany, where many of our projects originated), with a delegation from Politecnico di Milano.
After an „aperitivo“ with typical products from Southern Tuscany, a brief introduction by Jack o’Malley…
…complemented by some press clippings and articles (see the full items online Tirreno 1, Tirreno 2, Langscape)
This is a POV of the drummer, including a shaker and two palla a 21 balls, waiting to the house to start rocking.
Diego Armando protects the quality of our night skies.
Dario starts his „talk“ (should we say „sing“?), with Federico’s images rolling in the background. On the set, maps of various sorts (including the Farma Valley community map, posted on the table). The cake hand baked (with hand-made jam by hand-picked fruit) by Aunt Anna from Tuscany for our departure, helped to bind the audience.
The St. Galgano Abbey, in Southern Tuscany, exposing an interesting case of „needs improvement“ lighting (in other parts of our events we explain how this can be accomplished without jeopardizing the tourism potential of such sites).
Things eventually start getting groovy (check out videos for Nella Vena di Vino, or Abramo e Mezzogiorno di grano, )
A break for Dario on vocals, with the Livin‘ Milano blues on air quality (see the video)
At some point Manuel S., a milanese beatboxer on the loose, enters the scene (see Three Little Birds and Supermarket)
In the JBCM various items have multiple functions. A plastic tank is also used as a bass drum.
The event in Milano was wrapped up at 2.30AM. At 9.50AM of the same day (May 16= we were in Council Hall at the University of Brescia, were we were to propose our „Interdisciplinary Promotion and Protection of the Night Sky“ conference. Professor Ranzi enters the hall to open the event…
…precedede by a May 15 article on Corriere della Sera (Brescia edition)
The conference on night skies starts with a title track about the sky (and various phones start shooting videos of such an unusual opening)
After the presentation by pibinko, Maria d’Amore from the Regione Emilia-Romagna administration tells us all the story concerning light pollution laws and guidelines in Italy.
After the lunch break, Federico gives an overview of Southern Tuscany by night, using the images which the evening before were the core of his exhibition. Pibinko occasionally provides his addendum, mentioning bike tourism itineraries connecting the sites presented at night, or ma-and-pa cafes where you can taste yummy stuff, in between a Millky Way shot and a light pollution case.

At 4.30PM the conference is over. The attendance certificates are signed. We are ready to close shop, but somebody from the audience asks: „...what about the closing track?

So the closing track was done. It turned out that one of the participants is a drummer. He asked for drum sticks, but they were in the car in the underground parking…too far to seize the moment…so he joined the rhythm sections by playing the table.

The most surprising comment which we recorded at the end by one of the participants was that „…The conference was really entertaining„.

What can we say…if you want more write to

Also, please save the date for Thursday, May 30, at Politecnico di Milano from 4 to 7PM for a lecture by the Jug Band Colline Metallifere with its full formation, called „From Sound Engineering to Engineering with Sound„,. After this, the collective will head for Germany ( or +393317539228).

Looking forward to see you!