Tag Archives: PELP

Participatory Lithology, end of week 2: here comes geojazz

This was initially sent via our mailing list distribution and is being reposted here.

Hello, I hope you are well.

In Tatti (Southern Tuscany) the sun is shining and a lot of music is spinning around. We just published the daily Lithobag, and [CUUUUT…TOO MUCH INFORMATION].

Some of you may have seen updates via social media, but I like the idea of a weekly summary for our project, at least in these first stages.

The project is receiving international attention, for example by the Science+Technology+Arts inititiative by the European Union.

Concerning the household collections: several sample photos are arriving, mostly from outside Tatti, and out of Tuscany. In addition, other families from Tatti who didn’t know about the project at first have expressed their interest to join.
To avoid overloading the system, we have adopted some basic queue management strategies, but if you sent a sample photo over the past two weeks please be assured that it will be examined.
In parallel, we had other classifiers raising their hand to help. Some from Cagliari, Sardinia, some from Sterzing/Vipiteno, South Tyrol. These are people that we have never met in person, so we are seeing a familiar pattern.

Interaction #1 ‘This story is really cool, I’m in!’. Interaction #2. …takes a bit of time to be triggered and actually operate in the project.

On one hand this is easily motivated by everybody’s daily business and worries. On the other hand, there may be second thoughts (These guys are out of their mind!). With the pibinko.org we have been living in projects like this since 2006, so we are comforted by the fact that it could be no different, and we “keep on keeping on”…

In the meantime, Cristian from Torino, one of the classifiers since day 1, has conducted his review of over 90% of the current samples (some 200 items), and others will follow.
The developments in the entertainerment team have been very good. Last Thursday we published a geojazz tune featuring Liliana Cafiero: Tatti and its stones.
We are working on a third song, and we have received the first response to the Metalliferous Hills Jug Band call for an English mother-tongue vocalist. This came from South Africa, and we are now brainstorming in the team to see how we may collaborate.

Last, but not least, we remind you that it is possible to support the Participatory Lithology project in various ways, as explained in the page for prospective sponsors.

Best regards, and stay safe!


P.S. Mauro the T-Rex is on the loose.

Participatory Lithology: Options for Sponsors

versione 31.3.2020

To understand what Participatory Lithology is, and how we are proposing it, we encourage you to read the summary of the project’s first week (March 21-27, 2020).

In the project we have considered four roles: collectors, classifiers, entertainers, and sponsors.

To consider the effort involved in the project, you may review what the different roles are expected to do (follow the links above), and how we communicate it, in Italian and English. On the pibinko.org site we have post with the PELP tag, and on jugbandcm.it we have the daily Lithobag posts, by the Metalliferous Hills Jug Band and other entertainers. All the posts appearing in these sites are then circulated to a wide list of direct contacts (several thousands of people), in addition to being re-posted to social media and thematic mailing lists.

Let us now see what sponsors can do, with different levels of commitment.

What we figure is that the collectors will have a direct return from the project, since the classifiers are helping them to make sense of their collections, so they are ok. On the other hand, classifiers and entertainers are in fact providing a service: so it would be great to give them some real recognition, be it in goods, services, or remuneration (if this cannot be replaced by products or services they may need). Enter the sponsors, with four possible levels briefly presented below. To get more practical details on how to support the project, please write to micalosapevo@pibinko.org

Level 0. Moral Support

The more, the better, but this is never enough to make the project work on its own. Proceed to the next level.

Jack O’Malley from the Metalliferous Hills Jug Band (R), running the lithobag” article series for Participatory Lithology, explaining BuioMetria Partecipativa (Participatory Night Sky Quality Monitoring) to Salvo Sottile (L), on “Prima dell’Alba” (RAI 3 Mar. 26, 2018)

Level 1. Communication

From word of mouth, to interviews, reports and other forms of storytelling, anything goes. With “palla 21” in Chicago, in 2007, we were also covered by Comcast Sports News, and in the following years most projects by the pibinko.org network have received frequent media coverage. For some reason, this is never enough to explain what we are doing…possibly because it sounds strange that our team, generally working out of a bar in a rural area, can manage what we manage. Alas.

Level 2a. Products

Simone and Dario (first and third from the left) from the Metalliferous Hills Jug Band at a farm producing yummy products in Southern Tuscany.

We have consolidated relations with several small producers in Southern Tuscany. If you would like to join this list, please write to micalosapevo@pibinko.org.

Participatory Lithology was launched from Southern Tuscany, so -even though we work to engage other territories- we like the idea of sending to the classifiers and the entertainers who will turn out to be more in tune with our project some enticing products from our home region.

Level 2b. Services

At present we have received support by professional photographers, graphic designers, and video editors. Eventually, we may appreciate help from other hands and heads.

Also, sooner or later we will be sending some “rewards” to the most “participatory participants”. At that point we will need support by transporters (or, worst case scenario, to cover shipping costs we will need money, which brings us to Level 3).

Level 3. Monetary support

In addition to covering shipping costs for typical products for the coolest classifiers and entertainers, we can make use of monetary support for two purposes: (1) to compensate part of the time required to run the project, and (2) to create a reserve for initiatives to further promote the results of the project once this is completed. At present we are considering a first phase reaching the end of April/beginning of May, and the possibility of continuing with a “phase 2” if conditions allow.

Expected return for the sponsors

Sponsors will receive visibility through all communication activities related to the project. Please write to micalosapevo@pibinko.org for more information.

Who is the character in the header image for this article?T

This is Mauro il Tirannosauro, i.e. Mauro, the T-Rex. He has a cover role as the mascot for Participatory Lithology. In fact, Mauro is the mastermind behind the whole story. You may check what Mauro has been up to following his tag on the pibinko.org blog: https://www.pibinko.org/tag/maurotrex-en/

Participatory Lithology presented on S+T+ARTS.eu

S+T+ARTS is a European Union initiative focused on the promotion of projects where science, technology, and arts are integrated to raise awareness of the societal challenges and global concerns we are facing (see the starts.eu site for details).

starts.eu published an article about participatory lithology, presenting it as ” a rocky initiative launched by pibinko.org network” (and with the Metalliferous Hills Jug Band side of our project we are honoured about the “rocky” reference).

The article is availavble from this link.

For more information: micalosapevo@pibinko.org or https://www.pibinko.org/participatorylithology/

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 pibinko.org 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

“Between a Rock and a hard Phase”: our first week with Participatory Lithology (Mar. 21-27)

We might not be starting a weekly reporting of this initiative, but we want to make sure we can remember the first seven days.

We had the possibility of experiencing a series of events which proved to be interesting, curious, and at times genuinely entertaining. All this in the midst of an extremely severe situation, which we do not ignore. On one side, we could say we are “Between a rock and a hard place“, but the feeling we had starting participatory lithology was like being “Between a rock and a hard phase” [1].

As an opening act…a new title track, performed by Matti delle Giuncaie’s Francesco Ceri, with lyrics by the Metalliferous Hills Jug Band (a translation of the lyrics is provided here):

With this, we might say we e more or less explained all about our project, but please read on…

Project presentations

We were invited to give presentations of the project by two radio shows. One was on March 24 for Caterpillar, RAI Radio 2. This is one of the main radio shows in Italy and we were proud of having this as our first public sortie. The second one was for Radio Popolare Milano, which has more of a local FM coverage (some 100 km around Milan, plus web streaming). Since 2007 they have covered many of the projects we launched, and allowed a lot of air time to detail what we are doing and give more context and interconnections with our other projects. Based on feedback we received from several people, this interview was a sort of “eye opener” on a lot of aspects of the pibinko.org network’s operations.

Finally, Il Tirreno, one of the two main newspapers in Tuscany, published on March 27 a very long article about “Stone Collectors meeting on the Web“.

If you don’t speak Italian, you may still check the links above since they include additional links to English versions of various topics presented.

If you like to follow the project step by step, you can look for the PELP tag on pibinko.org (PELP stand for Piccolo Esercizio di Litologia Partecipativa ….our little participatory lithology exercise). Click here: https://www.pibinko.org/tag/pelp-en/

Some facts about the project…but please remember that this is not a competition (while not being a game)

Collectors: 4 as of March 21. 6 as of March 27. Overall we have received photos of 182 samples from Tatti (our home base), Vallerotana, close to Grosseto, Southern Tuscany, and Florence.

Some of the samples photographed this week, under Mauro Tirannosauro’s supervision.

Classifiers: four as of March 21, seven as of March 27. Active classifiers four (from Turin, Rome, Busto Arsizio, Pavia)…with 57 comments [4].

Entertainers: Eight in the creation of the “lithoplaylist” (songs mentioning rocks, minerals, or stones). Two on performances (plus one in the process of finalizing a third song)….stay -literally- tuned for updates

Sponsor: As of March 21, two. Three as of March 27.

What next?

In our second week we will continue along all four lines of activity (1) looking for more “forgotten rock collections”, (2) identifying samples thanks to our chartered classifiers, (3) proposing “lithomusic” à go go, and (4) the research of more sponsors to improve the rewards for the most active participants, and to cover at least part of our operational efforts on the project.

To have a part in this project or for information on how to support it, please write to micalosapevo@pibinko.org or contact + 393317539228 (if you don’t get an answer this may be because mobile coverage in Tatti is a bit shaky…so please send an SMS or a Whatsapp message).


We got to this point as a result of brainstorming and coordination of energies with (in alphabetical order by first name): Alberico Mattei, Amos Unfer, Carolina Cortesi, Cristian Carlone, Francesco Ceri, Guido Bendinelli, Jack O’Malley, Liliana Cafiero, Loriano Bartoli, Martina Busonero, Mauro Tirannosauro, Valeria Trumpy, Wolfgang Scheibe, and other folks you will learn about as their activities unfold.


  • [1] Italians don’t say literally “Between a rock and a hard place”…an equivalent expression is “Tra l’incudine e il martello” (i.e. between an anvil and a hammer)…but a lot of people know the Stones so we are using “Between a rock and a hard phase” also in our Italian articles.

Header image: Tatti and the land to the South (Mount Argentation is at the centre of the horizon).

The pibinko.org network, buiometria, and participatory lithology @ Radio Popolare Milano (March 26, 2020)

This was a long talk with Disma Pestalozza and Alessandro Diegoli, providing breaking news on Participatory Lithology, but also going into various flashbacks related to the pibinko.org network. These included “The Revenge of the Killer Chihuahua and of the Zombies” (2006), the ancient game of palla 21, buiometria partecipativa (participatory night sky quality monitoring), Aunt Eda’s yummy recipees, insight on Tatti, Southern Tuscsany, and how the COVID-19 lockdown is lived in lesser-known rural areas..all these stories are documented on the sito pibinko.org. You may consider using this page as an entry point.

For more information: info@pibinko.org

Mar. 24, 2020: Participatory Lithology Interview for Caterpillar (RAI Radio 2)

Caterpillar on RAI Radio 2 is one of the longest-running and most followed radio shows in Italy. We were honored to have our first public presentation of the project we started on March 21 with an interview by their crew. The audio is, of course, in Italian:

For more information in English on Participatory Lithology: see https://www.pibinko.org/litologiapartecipativa/, write to micalosapevo@pibinko.org or send a message to +39 3317539228 (SMS o whatsapp).

Kudos to Gabriele Sanna for the live recording. The whole show is available as a podcast from the Caterpillar web site.