Like A Whisper In The Dark. Interview with Anna-Varney Cantodea (Sopor Æternus & the Ensemble of Shadows)

Sopor Aeternus & the Ensemble of Shadows, for those who do not know yet, is a darkwave/gothic musical project based in Germany, founded in 1989 by Anna-Varney Cantodea. Anna-Varney’s work is extremely personalized, melancholic and pessimistic, drawing on a number of different musical and visual styles, and has garnered a cult following. Well, we just had a talk about music and feelings, or something like them, but in a short and unconventional way… with a hint of sarcasm.

Baldo, Cultartes: Hello! Is society a kind of disease which, through doctrines and norms, tends to infect Man?

Anna-Varney Cantodea: Humans are sick by default. Anything created by them can only be tainted. So, yes…

Is sadness a weakness or rather an elitist status that places us in a nobel universe?

Sadness or depression? As for the universe… it’s a cruel and cold place… – but with a fabulous sense of irony.

A world without God, as Nietzsche preached, is it somehow closer than we actually realise, given to the current progress of the world?

A world without “God”… or without a “soul”? There is a difference, you know. Believing in a God is a serious sign/symptom of insanity… and, yes… by the looks of things, it’s all heading down the drain.

If you could choose to be born in another era, what would it be and how it would look like?

One that has not yet happened.

Emil Cioran, a Romanian existentialist philosopher, once said : “The fear of death is a sickly fruit of the morning suffering.” Do you think that the fear of death in relation to the rush of achieving our goals make us forgive the simple and pure feelings?

Forgive? Or forget? Either way, I have long given up on any goals I might have had.

Anna has an affinity for the author Edgar Allan Poe, adapting his poems to music on several occasions. Anna is a very spiritual person, with devotion placed on the Roman deity Saturn. She combined Saturn’s astrological symbol with that of Jupiter’s to create the symbol of Jusa, an icon that reflects her spirituality and has become an insignia for herself and her music.

If you could give back time and stop it at a certain moment, just to relive it once, just one, what that moment would be?

There is none.

People are always there to judge, to label. In this context, is your music an art that appeals to human conscience to be understood or it’s simply a solitary creative act?

Who said that it cannot be both?

When was the last time you felt that revolt feeling that made you give up everything and just hide somewhere far away, in a complete solitude?


What is happiness? Going on the principle that happiness is a place where the individual feels good, do you think there can be happiness while being sad?

I think “happiness” is completely overrated. After all, once you get used to it, being miserable can be just as agreeable. I should know…

Is there sincerity anymore in the artistic performance nowadays, considering that everything has a price and there is a market for any kind of expression?

Of course there is still sincerity in creation. At least in the VERY MOMENT of creation.

Let’s play an imagination game! What artist of our time or any other time, you would consider a collaboration with?

I don’t believe in collaborations.

What’s the last fragment of a literary work or a film that remained stuck into your memory for a long time now?

Right now, the chorus of “Power of the Night”. And before you ask, NO… I don’t enjoy it. But, as with misery, I have learned to live with it.

Was there or is there any composer or artist that inspired you?

Yes and no. Everything around you can inspire you to a certain degree. And it does. However, when I actually create, I absolutely CANNOT listen to other people’s music.

Do you have a song that is a kind of a self-portrait of your soul, that’s part of you more than any other?

They all are.

You have just announced a new album. Is there room for some new shades or is it somehow different from what you’ve accustomed your listeners?

I will know that when it’s completed.

What would make you visit Romania, for example, anything but a possible concert? If there is anything, of course.

I don’t think that there is anything.

Would you like the history to remember your music and everything is known about you or to be lost?

Who is this History? Is he cute?

14 thoughts on “Like A Whisper In The Dark. Interview with Anna-Varney Cantodea (Sopor Æternus & the Ensemble of Shadows)

  1. Great musician, great songs composer. She? He? I would say, it. IT should be quiete. Just with it mouth shut and play music. We did not learn anything useful with this interview, so Anna, just play and let the talks and the speaks to somebody else.

    1. We are able to learn plenty about a person by what they choose to write. Telling Anna to keep her mouth shut tells us that you don’t understand her music, and that your mind is closed and rotten.

  2. I discovered Sopor Aeternus’ music 15 years ago, I’ve always found it very interesting. I just came across this interview by chance and I must say that even though I like the music a lot he/she is insufferable, what an annoying person.

  3. More than anything, I feel Anna was annoyed by the questions. I would be, too, honestly. They feel VERY try-hard. As if the one who wrote the questions went like “Oh, she’s so dark and mysterious, i need to ask pseudo-philosophical questions that seem deep and complex”. Listen, this woman for what I’ve seen has a great sense of humor, she’s written songs about golden showers and being a little bar of soap, for god’s sake. She also strikes me a someone who can catch tryhards and bullshit from 30 miles away, so I assume this attempt at a OH-SO-DARK interview just made her facepalm, hence her ironic, uninterested one sentence answers.

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