Matilda wrote Invisible while on holiday with her family in rural Italy in 2015. She wanted to record the song to remind her of happier times and to celebrate World Down’s Syndrome Day.
The video is a joint project with Matilda and her sisters with Amelia on backing vocals and Flora producing and editing the video.
Matilda’s Mum Katy tells us about how Invisible came about:
“In what now seems like a past life we used to holiday in a rural village in the south of Italy. There was little do but swim at the local lake and sit on the balcony gazing at the surrounding hills. There is no TV, no landline, no pub or shop in the village and a very dodgy mobile phone connection Holidaying here with 5 teenagers over the last few years has produced various results, from the wonderful to the traumatic. It takes everyone a few days to come down from their technology norm and revert to Selvone-time. But it’s in that space where technology, school, clubs and everyday commitments usually reign that little bits of magic can happen. And so it was with Matilda’s song writing.
The last time we visited Selvone Matilda was 15 years old. For the first 10 years or so of her life Matilda was almost impossible to contain – clambering over balconies, disappearing into lifts, sprinting round corners in foreign streets, she caused us many an anxious hour or so, then her teen years hit and she became almost impossible to move, motivate or inspire. I know it’s similar with many teens, but Matilda’s extra chromosome can make the stages that little bit more extreme and protracted. But the last time we were in Selvone she surprised us all with her sudden and prolific love of song writing.
We were sitting on the grassy banks of Lago Selva reading, lazing, swimming, playing bat and ball, when we became aware that Matilda was very engrossed in her new notebook. “Can you help me?” she asked.
“What are you doing?”
“I’m writing a song”
“Oh! Ok, what’s it called?”
She had the title and the first few lines and was very focussed on the song style and how it should progress. It was the first time I’d known her to show any interest in song writing and it was an interest that continued throughout the holiday and for many empty months of future lock down back home, filling several note books. We sat together on the banks of the lake, me offering her some rhymes and her directing the feel of the song, and by the end of the afternoon “Invisible” was born.
Matilda is an astute, sensitive girl and she absolutely loves singing, dancing and performing, although in recent years she has struggled with acute stage fright and anxiety. Which goes to show that even the most seemingly outwardly confident people have hidden depths that we may never see.
Matilda has been lucky in lockdown. She focused all her energies in lockdown 1 into her kitchen concerts on Facebook. Winter lockdowns haven’t been so easy, but we know how lucky she is, surrounded by siblings, she hasn’t experienced real isolation. But there are certainly days where she lives in her pjs, glued to her phone, watching Glee and musicals on repeat, memorising obscure cast members’ names and biographies, days when she meltdowns at the near constant squabbling of her siblings, and all we can do is dream of that distant future when we may sit on the banks of Lago Selva once more and she gets the quiet, solitude and space to start pouring her feelings and ideas into more heartfelt songs.
We hope her single will raise awareness of the many and varied abilities of people with Down’s syndrome and the amazing things that can be achieved when the right support and encouragement is put in place.”
Invisible will be available to download and stream from Sunday 21st March, World Down’s Syndrome Day via iTunes and Spotify. All funds raised will go to Down’s Syndrome Scotland.
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