Three years in the making, G.R.E.A.T.E.S.T is a unique, live, interactive, virtual performance by Tin Men and the Telephone, brought to you by Oxford Contemporary Music.

The stunning modern jazz soundtrack uses soundbites from campaigning figures and global leaders (from Greta Thunberg to David Attenborough) and offbeat visuals to combine with the storyline’s twisted comedy. 

“It’s, hugely innovative, engaging and gloriously off the wall, providing a glimpse into what the future of live music might look and sound like,” Oxford Contemporary Music’s Juan Reino explains.

Pushing the boundaries, for three nights from June 4-6, OCM is presenting this brand-new show online to a limited audience through three host partners; The Birmingham Conservatoire, Sage Gateshead and The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama.

Through the use of Zoom and the band’s revolutionary bespoke smartphone app, Tinmendo, audiences can become a part of Tin Men and the Telephone’s multi-faceted, interactive show in real time.

Audiences at home are asked to download Tinmendo, type, swipe and shake to interact with the band. They can guide the set to become part of the narrative, craft melodies and create beats from which the band improvise. 

“All this serves as a jumping off point for the band’s highly acclaimed, riveting jazz excursions that thread throughout the performance,” Juan continues. 

G.R.E.A.T.E.S.T or ‘Global Relocation of Evolved Apes Towards Exoplanet Suitable for Terraformation’ is an immersive multimedia performance headed up by composer, pianist and electronics-guru Tony Roe, that addresses the very timely topic of global pandemics and climate change, with a twist.  

Following the show, audience members are then able to download the music they have created with the band via Bandcamp. 

So what is its motivation? As the music industry rises to the challenge of a global pandemic and life in lockdown, online streaming has, at least for the time being, become the new normal,” Juan explains.

“But what is missing, for both artist and audience, is the coming together, connecting, and enjoying a shared experience. The need to innovate has never been greater.”

Tin Men and the Telephone are Tony Roe (piano), Pat Cleaver (bass) and Bobby Petrov/Jamie Peet (drums)

Now, following weeks of trials and tribulations, plus investment in the very latest Wirecast technology, you can join Tin Men and The Telephone as they deliver their new show.

As for what to expect, Juan advises that the piece depicts a global health crisis taking hold as the climate crisis escalates, and the time comes for humanity to leave planet Earth. Audience members are on board a space ship heading towards a newly discovered planet, however, it’s far too cold!

“As they travel through space, they must collaborate to warm it up,” Juan explains.

For those of you who haven’t come across OCM, it works to develop and present high quality and innovative new music and sound-based live events, to engage diverse local and national audiences and bring music, artists and audiences together to create memorable and meaningful experiences for all.

G.R.E.A.T.E.S.T by Tin Men and the Telephone looks set to do just that.

In partnership with Birmingham Conservatoire, tickets cost from £6. Visit www.ocmevents.org to take part from June 4-6.


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