As Atrium Carceri he created a bunch of highly acclaimed albums with cinematic dark ambient. As Cryo Chamber he became one of the most resilient dark ambient publishers becoming a sort of “godfather” to a whole lot of young and talented adepts of droney atmospheres. Simon Heath talks about this passing year. Enjoy.
Tell us your way for a succesful or happy life. Do you think that man is able to live free from religion? What do you think is the meaning of our existence?
The realization that life is pointless and fleeting can seem depressing, but is something that has helped me become a better person with a stable psyche. It is liberating to live life knowing that there is nothing that can stand the test of time, everything is temporary and of course anything that will be devoured by time becomes pointless in the end. We can then structure ours lives under the rule of creating illusions to bring happiness and false meaning since our brains are hardwired with a reward system. Since we then are in control of our own goals, those illusions are our own choice to set within our own limitations. I personally set my goals barely reachable and once I reach them feel a sense of pride of my accomplishments having my brain feedback that reward, it’s part of the reason why I work so hard with Cryo Chamber, try to perfect my skillset in whatever I chose to practice.
As for religion, I am not religious and grew up in a majority Atheist/Agnostic society (Sweden), it seemed to work perfectly fine to me, with a flexible moral code based on not being an asshole more than taking cues from an old book.
How would you sum up your musical activity in 2015?
365 days of studio time, more collaborations than I can count.
How are you going to spend the upcoming holiday season?
Staying here in Oregon with a cup of tea, herb and my lovely wife. Taking one week off managing Cryo Chamber should be a nice breather from the hectic tempo this year.
Is there any film / book / theatrical play / exhibition / computer game which made a particular impression on you in 2015?
Books: The Futurica Trilogy, Syntheism
Computer Game: Life is Strange, Metro: Last Light, Rocket League
Did this year change you in any way, changed your perception of the world, perhaps opened your eyes on something?
Drifting deeper into American Society (I’m a transplant since 4 years back) I started to see emerging patterns of the Slave/Master mentality within the country. The tipping culture, customer is always right, fear of being wrong, ignorance in fear of subservience, sexism, capitalism, self entitlement vs unfortunates. But I also started seeing how many people are opposed to that culture and how a new upcoming generation, while with naivité, is fighting the old power structures.
Any moment of 2015 you’ll remember on your death bed?
I seldom look back and am very non nostalgic, so probably not.
Your predictions for the world (in the political and cultural context) for 2016?
The increased polarization of society as a result of social media and confirmation-biased digital tribalism is on the rise. It will be interesting to see how as society becomes more global, also becomes more fragmented and tribalistic in these growing confirmation-bias echo chambers, be it feminism/mens rights, religious/atheist, environmentalists/climate change deniers etc. We see how every movement is pushed to extremer views in a time where attention is king, not content itself, and the speakers with the most provocating views are becoming the spokesmen of the leaderless movements. We will also see how evidence of statements becomes even less important and emotional statements takes over. It is a natural development in a free-for-all uncensored environment without press ethics and the like.
Your personal plans, hopes, expectations for 2016?
We have many releases lined up for 2016 and I am very excited to go back and working with Robert (Apocryphos) and Pär (Kammarheit) again for a followup to the Onyx album we put out in 2015. My personal goal is to travel up to Mt. Hood on of these weekends here in Oregon to see some snow (it’s been over 4 years since I left Sweden and haven’t seen snow in a long time).