After Syngeneia’s international Ambient Unity compilation has been released, label’s manager Otto K. Schwarz met Ludvig Cimbrelius to talk regarding the future of Ambient music, sources of inspiration and philosophy of life.
O: Ludvig, on your web page you have noted that music is a language capable of expressing glimpses of the depths of beauty and wonder that resides within us all. May you tell us about how music helps a person to better understand his / her true essence?
L: Our true essence is known intuitively, not understood by means of logical thought. Music can assist us in releasing resistant thought patterns that we have taught ourselves along our life path. These resistant or negative thought patterns is the only thing that stands between us and our true essence. By not engaging the intellect but still capturing our attention, a musical experience can accomplish the same result as meditation, and for most people with active minds it might actually be one of the best and most practical paths, since music is so accessible to us in today’s world, and can be experienced anywhere at any time.
O: In our recent conversation, you have mentioned that once you recorded sounds of the windchimes while living in a small house deep in the forest. How do you see your connection with nature and how much is it reflected in your music? Does solitude necessary to focus and write a high-quality ambient track?
L: The idea of being connected with nature implies a separation that does not exist. Humans are not connected to nature—we ARE nature! Still, there is obviously a vast difference between a forest and a city, although both environments are in essence natural expressions of consciousness. For me, music has been a way to experience something I long for, so from that perspective, it would seem logical that the most peaceful and restful ambient music would be created by someone living in a highly stressful environment because of their intense longing for that calming experience. Yet, I think these processes are far too complex and multifaceted to extract any general truths from. Music is a mysterious force, and like some plants and flowers, it thrives in the most unlikely environments.
O: How did you come to write ambient music? Are there any interesting life moments that have affected your musical creativity in general?
L: I think my first ambient adventures took shape when I was about 15 years old. I’ve always wanted to give form to the emotions I’ve been carrying inside. I couldn’t pick out any special moments that we’re especially defining – creativity is an endless flow for me, and I’ve had so many incredible experiences with music throughout my life.
O: What inspires you? Are there any personal secrets or instructions on how to find an inspired state to create deep and meaningful musical compositions?
L: Every song comes in a unique way. I think it is best if you have something you want to come out – some emotion you want to explore, expand, dive into, transcend. I love it most when music just comes to me, almost without me looking for it… just by being attentive and listening inside. It is always a different process. I have no secrets, only a deep desire to explore and express my inner world through sound.
O: Back to the question of knowing yourself. One good friend of mine once said that ambient is a very fair music: it shows not what you can do, but who you really are. Now we live in a time when most of the albums being published shows how the composer adjusts to the music market. Will this trend change? Will we be able to see more sincere and independent music in the nearest future?
L: I believe that people will eventually gravitate to expressions that feel true and authentic – expressions of the heart. Music is sacred to me, and I’m convinced there will always be people who treat it like that. This doesn’t mean it can’t be commercial or that you can’t make a living from it, but personally I would not be able to create music that doesn’t feel true to who I am. The music is an expression of my soul, and there is no need to adjust it to anything. I believe there is room for all authentic expressions in today’s market, probably more so than ever before.
O: Do you have further creative plans that you would like to talk about, or you following the flow of life and prefer to express yourself spontaneously?
L: I want to continue to evolve my piano playing and my singing, that’s what calls me most these days. One of the main processes for me these past few years is finding a natural way to share my music in a live setting, using mainly acoustic sound sources and finding a balance between structure and openness to the flow of the moment. And I definitely want to continue to explore live collaborations (like the two shows I did in Los Angeles together with Ecovillage recently) – and yes, always following the flow of life and being spontaneous. I want to be surprised 🙂
You may find Ludvig’s music on https://eternell.net