Sopor Aeternus (Latin for “eternal sleep”) & the Ensemble of Shadows is a one-woman Goth/darkwave band from Germany led by Anna-Varney Cantodea, who may be the world’s most theatrical performer who doesn’t perform live. She’s released several videos in which she crawls and staggers through dimly lit, claustrophobic spaces, looking androgynous and vampiric as she keens her Dead Can Dance/Bauhaus-inspired songs of darkness and doom. But she never does concerts.
“Singing is a very intimate thing,” the transgendered Cantodea explains on her website. “The mere thought of repeating what I created in the seclusion of the studio on a stage in front of people is not only ridiculous…it is almost a perversion.”
So if you want to experience a Sopor Aeternus show, you’ll have to settle for lighting a bunch of candles and projecting this video onto a dirty bedsheet. Just remember that the act you’ll be committing will be almost a perversion. Although if you’re really into Sopor Aeternus, you’re probably cool with that.
Did you recognize that song as a Marianne Faithfull cover? Then bonus points to you, my friend.
Many thanks for reader Andres for introducing us to the amazing Ms. Cantodea. If you want to hear and see more, hit up Sopor Aeternus’s Bandcamp page or YouTube channel. You can also find most of the Sopor Aeternus catalog (perversely) on Amazon.com.