The Metalliferous Hills Jug Band (or Jug Band dalle Colline Metallifere, JBCM, in Italian) is an international and inter-generational collective proposing a combination of music and environmental practice, where melody, rhythm, storytelling and outreach are merged in one situation. The JBCM is based in one of the lesser known parts of Tuscany, the Metalliferous Hills, spanning across the provinces of Grosseto, Pisa, Livorno and Siena, and where the typical “Tuscan postcard” themes are mixed with the legacy of one of the largest mining areas in
Europe, and a geothermal energy district, thus combining rural and industrial issues and perspectives.
The JBCM was launched 2018, after three years of preparation, merging different expertise by
professionals with multiple years of research experience on environmental, territorial, rural, and musical issues.
In the same event you will be rocking and rolling, taking light pollution measurements, following readings on Woody Guthrie, singing Tuscan songs about red wine, listening to “geomusical” lyrics, browsing books on lesser known topics.
To date the set has been proposed in numerous performances alternating typical entertainment locations to sets in universities and cultural centers. This has generated curiosity with artists, researchers, and the general public, with events to date in Tuscany, Lombardy, Trentino, Belgium and Germany.
A JBCM performance can be modulated between two “channels”, combining the musical part (with a track list of about 50 songs, of which about half are original compositions) and the cultural/scientific part, including talks, photo exhibitions, and various items, such as maps, sensors, press clippings, ancient game balls, live printing, typical Tuscan delicatessen (available for tasting). These components are assembled just before the event, accounting for the atmosphere of the location, thus creating a setting which is always different, while maintaining a line of continuity in our interdisciplinary approach. We have called the combination of these elements “concerPTs”, as a blend of giving a concert and proposing concepts.
Out activity has managed not to stop during the pandemic, by creating projects which could be run from home while maintainig a community engagement component, such as the Participatory Lithology project.
The core of the collective is composed by (from left to right in the picture): Dario
Canal, educator and musician, vocals, guitar; Andrea Giacomelli (aka Jack o’Malley),
engineer and PhD in the environmental field, percussions, guitar and vocals; Simone
Sandrucci musician, and producer, guitars and banjo; Wolfgang Scheibe, biodynamic
agriculture and graphics expert, one-string bass. Given its “collective by design”
approach and its strong liaisons to participatory projects, the JBCM, is also open to collaborations with other artists or experts in other disciplines. Among others, we would like to mention Alex Ritchie and Pietro Crivelli. In March 2020 a singing T-Rex, Mauro Tirannosauro (Mauro the T-Rex) has joined the collective.
- A detailed (six-page) presentation of the JBCM project is available here. This was written in January 2019, and some element need to be updated, but it still remains a valid source.
- In December 2020 the JBCM held a concert-interview of one hour at Deejay Fox Radio in Milano. This show was also streamed on Youtube and we have transcribed and translated the whole show into English, as it provides a very interesting framework for what we do. Please check out this page.
- A presentation given in March 2022 for the European Citizen Science Association (see this page on Slideshare, with the attached recording)