“Do you believe in music?” This is the question posed in a new advertisement which goes on to describe a custom-made coffin with speakers. Fredrik Hjelmquist, a Swedish music and video equipment store owner, told Reuters of his decision to design a coffin which provides “life after death entertainment” through a 4G connection and LSC display system that the family of the deceased can control.
When asked why he chose to create such an expensive vessel – it will set your back more than $30,000 – he replied that someone needed to design a casket that’s “really rock n’ roll… but at the same time beautiful. Ozzy Osbourne should buy one I think, or Keith Richards.”
Not surprisingly, Hjelmquist’s predominantly secular home country has not expressed much interest in this idea dedicated to the afterlife. “In Sweden perhaps we don’t believe in it, but in many parts of the world people believe in a different way,” he told Reuters. However, the international community has already begun to call in. “We’ve had an unbelievable amount of inquiries, not so much in Sweden, but many from the United States and Canada, also from Taiwan.”
Elaborate burial customs, of course, have been carried out for thousands of years. Even today, cultures around the world spend time and energy on ensuring that their loved ones’ lives are brought to a close through celebration and ceremony. These range from food offerings and group cremations in Bali, to predator burials in the Maasai tribes of East Africa where bodies are left outdoors for animals to dispose of.
Whatever way we decide to go in the end, Fredrik Hjelmquist has offered up a new option for funeral parlors. Although he has yet to sell any of these musically inclined coffins, which are also fitted with a cooling system and “god like comfort and angelic interior,” he plans to have his body buried accompanied by the sweet melodies of opera. As the advertisement reminds us, this is the chance to “embrace your passion for music in this life and the next.”