This is a transcript of a March 5, 2019, radio interview
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 environment, 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 (EFL). 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 in Southern Tuscany 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…..(you can follow the rest of the interview on pibinko.org)