Monthly Archives: May 2019

The Lecture “from Sound Engineering to Engineering with Sound” – how did it go

In addition to the “usual” talk by pibinko aka Jack o Malley aka Andrea Giacomelli on rural resilience, open mapping, night sky participatory monitoring, we explained how various songs (starting from Etruschi from Lakota) help us to convey issues on land and environment, we also had a talk by Prof. Wolfgang Scheibe, our one-string bass player. Wolfgang also happens to have some fifty years of experience in biodynamic agriculture, and he explained to our audience his “matter cycle” in relation to agriculture.

Professor Scheibe drawing some chart, followed with attention by Professor Canal and Professor Sandrucci

As a closing situation, a cool rock-blues-beatobox jam session featuring Manuel S.

From Tatti, Southern Tuscany, to Germany: “geomusical” waves from the Metalliferous Hills to speak about our territories (and do something about it)

Tomorrow, Thursday May 30, AM, from Tatti, a small hamlet in the area of Massa Marittima (Southern Tuscany), there will be the kick off of a “little feat”. Little, but a feat.

Picture a 70 year-old a 50 year-old, and two under 30’s, interacting almost daily for over two years now, on the grounds of their respective professional experiences (agriculture, engineering, music) to explain some issues which are important to them, concerning the development (or the lack thereof) of a rural area.

Or… picture two young folks from the Cecina Valley, born and raised in a combination of rural tradition and modern geothermal energy utilities, and two “less young folks” born in Germany (even though one is genetically from Southern Tuscany), who have been roaming and working for years in various European and extra-Europan countries, eventually meeting at 400 metres above sea level, around longitude 43 North in the Thyrrenian area, experimenting the coexistence of indigenous and local values and projects.

The overall result of this exercise to date is an interdisciplinary project which -starting from the “minimum common denominator” represented by music multiplied by a will to make an active use of it in the environmental field, i.e. geomusic– has taken the form of a collective called Metalliferous Hills Jug Band (in Italian “Jug Band dalle Colline Metallifere“, or JBCM).

The base quartet of the Jug Band Colline Metallifere: left to right, Dario Canal, Wolgang Scheibe, Jack o’Malley (Andrea Giacomelli), Simone Sandrucci (photo by Liliana Cafiero).

The feat will consist in giving five performances in four days. These will combine music, storytelling, land planning, agriculture, citizen science on light pollution, free/open source mapping, and other threads (including tasting of typical products from the area where the group is based). The opening event will be at Politecnico di Milano. Then, the band will head to in Germany, in the Stuttgart area (performing, in addition to the Baden-Württemberg capital, in Ludwigsburg, Vaihingen-Enz, Sachsenheim, and Oberrot). A detailed schedule of the story is explained in this post.

The JBCM collective went public in September 2018. During the cold months it played in several events in Southern Tuscany, and worked in parallel to explain the project. This has raised interest both in Italy and abroad. Among other feedback, the geomusical idea has been acknowledged by the European Citizen Science Association as an experimental project for empowerment, inclusiveness and equality in participatory investigations (where scientist and citizens co-exist), and is enticing research and outreach institutions from various countries.

The return to Toscana is planned for June 3, with a load of typical German products to balance the Tuscan products we will have shared on our way up. We then expect to arrange some event to let people know how the story went.

As Marcus King, young bluesman from South Carolina says “.. we don’t know where we’re headed, but we know we’ll meet you there”.

For more information: (all band members read it) or +39 3317539228 (Jack O’Malley).

Dates, times and venues for the Metalliferous Hills Jug Band tour in Germany, via Politecnico di Milano (May 30 – June 3, 2019)

In the past weeks we gave you a bunch of detailed information of explanations and rationale concerning the Metalliferous Hills Jug Band project, and its fractal ramifications on geomusic, art-science-Tuscan goodies tasting, etc. While we approach the final phases of our preparations before starting the tour, let us summarize directly where you may find us on tour. Looking forward to see you!

For more information: or +393317539228.

Thu. May 30, from 6 to 7PM, Politecnico di Milano, Citrini Hall (with a prologue from 4 to 6PM)

Partenza il 31-5 mattina da Milano verso nord, con cinque situazioni:

Fri May 30, 8PM, Sachsenheim, TENDER Cultural Centre

Sat, June 1, 1PM to XPM, Ludwigsburg, Beer Days

Sat., June 1, 8PM, Vaihingen-Enz, Ristorante Salento

Sun, June 2, 3PM, Stuttgart, Caffé-Bar Tatti ( Facebook event)

Sat, June 2, 8PM, Völkleswaldhof bei Oberrot

Lunedì 3 giugno – lenta discesa verso la Toscana con possibile sosta di defaticamento.

Per chi non ha confidenza coi luoghi tedeschi (di noi, tutti tranne Wolfgang), una mappa che riassume le località:

Foto di testa: Liliana Cafiero

-10 Days to the Launch of the Metalliferous Hills Jug Band Geomusical Tour

The Metalliferous Hills Jug Band (in Italian: Jug Band dalle Colline Metallifere or JBCM) is an international and inter-generational collective based in Southern Tuscany, close to the border of the Grosseto and Pisa provinces. This is an area where rural issues, geothermal energy, and decommissioned mining sites characterize one of the lesser known parts of the region.

The JBCM proposes a combination of music and environmental practice, where melody, rhythm, storytelling, and scientific outreach merge in a single situation, with a country-blues backdrop, played by two young professional rockers, and two environment and agriculture experts (less young, but still quite dynamic).

From May 31 to June 3, 2019 the JBCM will be on its first tour, which happens to be abroad, namely in the Stuttgart area, in Germany (here are the tour details). On its way North, the band will make a stop in Milano. Here the JBCM will give a seminar (Campus Leonardo, Aula Citrini, May 30 from 4PM to 7PM) about “From Sound Engineering to Engineering with Sound“. This event is also part of the official program of a national Festival on Sustainability.

The musical component of the JBCM, directed by Dario Canal (vocals, guitar, and washboard) and Simone Sandrucci (guitars and banjo), travels in parallel with the other ingredients which the collective proposes in each performance. It carries a merchandising desk which may be exchanged for a “micro-museum” or for a tourism board info point, or a delicatessen tasting table…it’s all in the eye of the beholder. In fact, the band carries its territory, in the form of maps (curated by Jack O’Malley who is an environmental engineer when not drumming), hand-made prints (created by Wolfgang Scheibe, the JBCM one-string bass player), balls from ancient games, and numerous other items collected in Southern Tuscany (and beyond).

The JBCM song list sums the influences and the experiences across three different generations, given the age range of the musicians. Starting from some Rock’n’Roll and Blues standards (some of which adapted to Italian by the band), it then covers some traditional Italian songwriter hits from the Seventies, and proposes several original songs. These include various tracks from Etruschi from Lakota (the main band where Dario and Simone work together), as well as new Italian authors.

The poster of the Politecnico di Milano +Germany tour. This was hand made by Wolfgang, our one-string bass player, in his secret print shop.

To complement this repertoire, we have the “geomusical“, part of the project. As an example, there is a blues on air quality in Milano, written by Jack o’Malley in 1991, and re-visited with the JBCM as a part of a path where music becomes a connector between cities and countryside, science and practice, urban innovation hubs and bars in rural hamlets…

…at the end of the day, you may find that the differences between these settings are more in form than in substance, and that a rocker, a researcher and a farmer can work as peers in a project concerning the protection and the development of their territory.

A taste (including typical Tuscan products) of the JBCM format was recently given in a duo mini-tour covering Milan and Brescia, with the collaboration of Federico Giussani, a professional nightscape photographer. We are also planning more events starting from the second half of June, always mixing entertainment location and scientific venues.

If you like the JBCM project, you can also support our mission. Find out how.

For more information: or +393317539228

36 Hours of dark sky-music-photo-participatory mapping between Milan, Brescia and the Metalliferous Hills (May 15-16, 2019)

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!