A new docuseries that chronicles five Cincinnatians and the soundtrack to their lives premieres this Monday.
On Nov. 20, the first episode of Songology will debut on the IWPTV Channel of YouTube and the VR platform Spatial.io. The six-week series was created, directed and produced by local artist Ingrid Woode.
Songology was filmed in 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, during nationwide demonstrations surrounding George Floyd, the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement and a pivotal presidential election. Woode says in a synopsis of the series that it was a time of "new normals."
“While people all across the US took a moment to put the magnifying glass on the cracks of America that don't often allow the humanity of Black and Brown people to be in consideration, the cast in this docuseries uses music to advocate for their life experiences and intimate moments of self discovery,” Woode says in the synopsis.
CHECK OUT THE SONGOLOGY TRAILER BELOW:
Throughout the 20-plus episode series, the Cincinnati subjects reveal how music helped them navigate life and share stories behind some of their most beloved tunes. An all-Black cast, including the perspective of Woode, explores themes of grief, love, social and emotional connection, cultural identity, self-identity, emotional health, friendship, musicianship and mental health. Songology is a vulnerable revelation and a glimpse into the cast’s personal life journeys.
Cast members are Alexis Rogers, Yemi Oyediran, Kei Marie, Louis Rideout and Norris Ryan.
“This first season of the docuseries features an all-Black cast, including the series director/filmmaker, reflecting an authentic and purposeful approach to storytelling,” Woode says in the synopsis. “Historically, stories from Black and Brown communities have often been told by non-Black storytellers. While this doesn't diminish the storytelling abilities of talented individuals from different backgrounds, there is a unique perspective and authenticity that emerges when voices from within the Black community are involved in documenting and sharing stories from the Black diaspora.”
Woode is a multimedia artist, musician, filmmaker, photographer and storyteller. She tells CityBeat that since music is an immersive experience, she added the VR aspect to Songology to create a higher level of interaction with the audience.
“I wanted to take the tech side of what I do – VR, AR, 3D – and create an immersive experience over time for the audience wherever feels most comfortable for them,” Woode says.
The 20-plus episode docuseries Songology premieres Nov. 20. Until then, explore the VR Songology Theatre here and visit itsingrid.com for more information.
Katie Griffith is CityBeat’s arts and culture reporter. She proudly hails from the West Side of Cincinnati and studied journalism at the University of Cincinnati. After freelancing for CityBeat for many years, she is happy to continue sharing arts and culture news and stories in novel ways as a staff writer.