Best Of 2022

Best Bizarrely Mind-Bending Cincinnati Streaming Experience

As part of its CSO Proof new music initiative, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra co-commissioned an avant-garde and super-hip video production called The Meta Simulacrum Vol. 1, a look at the dangers and disorientations awaiting us in the future. The creation of composer/producer William Brittelle, filmmaker Isaac Gale and editor/computer coder Patrick Marschke and based on the environmental writing of William deBuys, it streamed for a short period last spring on the CSO website (and then moved on to the Walker Arts Center in Minneapolis). If you were lucky enough to see it, it may still be messing with your head. With a musical score flitting between experimentalism and easy-listening New Age plus images that sometimes had the psychedelic deadpan of the Teletubbies and sometimes the look of a schlocky 1970s cop show, it was hypnotically disorienting. An unseen narrator revealed a secret history of our times that connected German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, cyberpunk sci-fi writer William Gibson and, repeatedly, television producer Steven Bochco. At the conclusion, singer Holland Andrews had a short song, performed as an ensemble played while wearing scary metal-like masks. It was breathtakingly beautiful. You can still find Meta Simulacrum on YouTube.