Lithobag #1: Rock and a Hard Place

In the Participatory Lithology project we are opening the sixth season of our branobag blog series. Given the context of the project, the articles will be issued as “lithobags”. If you don’t know what a branobag is, you can easily find out from this page.

There will be two important differences with respect to previous branobag series. The first one is that on this round we will make an effort to publish also the English version of these articles (most of the site is maintained in Italian and English, but due to their daily frequency and length of some articles, in the past we preferred not to translate the original Italian versions). The second one is that for the lithobag series the playlist has been created in one week from the launch of the project, as a brainstorming exercise by various folks with the base quartet of the Metalliferous Hills Jug Band. In the past the each track was selected “on the spot” by pibinko, day by day.

On this round we had the response of various musicians and music experts from Sassari (Sardinia), going North. They responded to the call of the Participatory Lithology project to play as “entertainers”, suggesting tunes which are related to rocks, stones, minerals, etc. These tunes will help to give the other characters in the project (we have collectors, classifiers, and sponsors, and please see the project presentation to review what these roles should do). As the project unfolds, we will be introducing to you our DJs, and we will relate them to one or more elements of the project (one of the samples in the process of being classified, some other character, etc.).

Take for example the header image, where you can see sample Z012. This comes from Guido and Valeria’s collection in Tatti. At the time of writing we don’t know what it is, but it reminds me of a bird’s eye view of the town portrayed in Dark City.

How long will the lithobag series last? This will all depend by suggestions we receive. At present we can run the show for about a month.

Without further ado: let us hear the track which inspired the motto for Participatory Lithology (“between a rock and a hard phase“).

…and we start with “them”, as Gabriele from Sassari calls the Rolling Stones. HE and his family are so incredibly into the Stones that they don’t even need to name them…and to refer to Keith Richards they just call him “him”. Below you will also find the Italian translation of the lyrics, made on-the-fly by Mauro Tirannosauro. In addition to being a participatory lithology expert, Mauro also has an excellent command of English, since he spent several years in the UK when he was a kid. Enjoy our lithomusic, and talk to you tomorrow.

The fields of Eden | I campi dell’Eden
Are full of trash | sono pieni di mondezza
And if we beg and we borrow and steal | e anche se preghiamo, prendiamo in prestito o rubiamo
We’ll never get it back | non ce li ridaranno mai
People are hungry | la gente ha fame
They crowd around | si raggruppano qua e là
And the city gets bigger as the country comes begging to town | e la città cresce mano a mano che la campagna viene a elemosinare in città
We’re stuck between a rock | siamo fra l’incudine
And a hard place | e il martello
Between a rock and a hard place
This talk of freedom | Queste chiacchiere di libertà
And human rights | e diritti umani
Means bullying and private wars and chucking all the dust into our eyes | voglio dire maltrattare i più deboli, guerre private e tirarci un sacco di terra in faccia
And peasant people | e i contadini
Poorer than dirt | più poveri della terra
Who are caught in the crossfire with nothing to lose but their shirts | stanno in mezzo al fuoco incrociato, con niente da perdere se non le loro camice
Stuck between a rock | presi tra l’incudine
And a hard place | e il martello
Between a rock and a hard place
You’d better stop put on a kind face | meglio che tu ti fermi, fai un’espressione gentile
Between a rock and a hard place
We’re in the same boat | siamo sulla stessa barca
On the same sea | sullo stesso mare
And we’re sailing south | e viaggiamo verso sud
On the same breeze | con la stessa brezza
Guiding dream churches | guidando chiese da sogno
With silver spires | con spire argentate
And our rogue children | mente i nostri bimbi molesti
Are playing loaded dice | giocano coi dadi truccati
Give me truth now | ora dammi la verità
Don’t want no sham | non voglio finzioni
I’d be hung drawn and quartered for a sheep just as well as a lamb | mi farebbero impiccare, sventrare e squartare comunque
Stuck between a rock
And a hard place
Between a rock and a hard place
You’d better stop
Put on a kind face
Can’t you see what you’ve done to me | non riesci a vedere quello che mi hai fatto