News Performing Arts

Mathilde Limal, “the lady with the golden voice”, on life in Kuala Lumpur and appearing in Hands Percussion’s ‘OPIUM’

LISTENING to Mathilde Limal share her thoughts on life, being an artist and creating beautiful moments with HANDS Percussion leaves you with a sense that this lovely lady has so much beauty and passion inside her. Mathilde radiates positive energy, the source of it is clearly her abundant love for life.

“I have always been a dreamer, I love to imagine!” she states in between practice sessions.

Mathilde does not watch television nor does she get caught up in anything negative. A trained classical singer from Paris, she believes that music encourages peace. She adds, “It’s why I am here; it’s what I do best.”

Backpacking solo in 2013, she settled in Kuala Lumpur, keen to meet people and understand different cultures.

Like many capital cities around the world, KL has its fair share of talented musicians as well as a bustling underground art scene. Open mic opportunities were aplenty — Mathilde embraced these with a passion, growing in confidence with each appearance.

Things took an even more lyrical turn when she met a singer-guitarist named Santiago, with whom she started a band called Bechamel Mucho. Through the band, Mathilde performed in several popular spots like Fresca, Table 23 and Pisco Bar

In 2015, Mathilde was introduced onto the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) stage by The Swing Kings as “the lady with the golden voice”. She deemed the experience exhilarating, claiming “everything just felt right” during the special performance.

It was during this exploration of the Malaysian entertainment scene that she saw HANDS Percussion perform for the first time at the Damansara Performing Arts Centre (DPAC) last year. Mathilde was very impressed with what she had seen and soon became one of Bernard Goh’s (Artistic Director of HANDS) dearest friends.

The team’s work ethic, dedication to tradition and culture, passion for creation and improvisation impressed upon Mathilde that HANDS is very special. Listening to HANDS perform was musical meditation to her. Soon, she was invited to work with HANDS on OPIUM — an honour and a challenge she embraces.

With OPIUM, Mathilde was given freedom to create and express herself while remaining true to the vision of the show. Singing in English and her native French in the upcoming showcase, Mathilde will be using the opportunity to share her love for France and Malaysia, both places she call her homes.

“Bernard dares to dream and dares to make it real!” she exclaims. “It is people like him we need in our lives, to push us and to challenge us out of our comfort zones. It is easy to dream big but it takes a lot more than hard work to make it happen.”

Being here has given Mathilde courage to go beyond her fears and insecurities. Encouraged to write and compose her own music, she released her first EP, Raw, six months ago. Currently, she has more than 10 new songs for a first album to be launched next year in Spain.

“This process is new for me and as an artist it’s good to constantly challenge yourself in order to show the world who you are,” she concludes. “It’s time, and I’m ready!”

Follow Mathilde Limal on Facebook to keep up to date! Hands Percussion presents Opium at the DPAC Arts Festival from 26 – 31 July 2016. For more information, make sure to check out their official Facebook page and keep an eye out for more details to come over the next few weeks! Written by Sueann Tilaka and edited by The Daily Seni.

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