Dulcinea: How a breakdown can be a breakthrough
By Patricia Hului
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so they say.
In the eyes of Don Quixote from a novel by Miguel de Cervantes, Dulcinea was the most of beautiful woman in the world.
For founder/guitarist Mathew Thomas of Johor/Singapore-based band Dulcinea, the character was a metaphor for what music and his band meant to him.
“In the end, Don Quixote does not find what he is looking for but comes to the conclusion that his ‘search’ and journey has led to some unforgettable and defining moments in his life,” he said.
According to Mathew, he formed the band with bassist Jason Ng to use music as a vehicle for self-expression.
The other members fell into place shortly after that with Gerard Richards as vocalist, Paul Yong as guitarist and Shahril Ossuary on drums.
So far the band has two albums and one EP under their collective belt.
In 2008, Dulcinea released their debut album ‘The Politics of Fear’ which was a theme album that dealt with fear and its negative connotations.
Their sophomore album ‘In the Shadow of the Sun’ came in 2012, gathering a number of local and international reviews across the net.
Heavy Metal Tribune wrote the album was ‘soothing and melodic progressive rock, with many passages throughout the album that seem to focus on the emotional and atmospheric aspects of the music, and each instrument (even the vocals) are utilised fully to meet this objective.’
Dulcinea returned in August 2014 with an EP called ‘Cosmic Renaissance’.
The band described the latest EP as orbiting around themes of rebirth while dealing with how sometimes a breakdown can be the beginning of a breakthrough and overcoming traumatic moments can lead to positive self-realisation.
There are four songs available in the EP: Stardust, A State Incarnate, Transcendence and Darkness to Light.
The EP is derived from difficult times they had as a band which forced them to reflect on their situation and rebuild things.
Thankfully, he said “Now, things are better than it’s ever been. The personal stuff is the same as what everyone goes through.”
Mathew shared, “Sometimes things get so difficult that you have to cleanse the palate and start over.”
But how do Dulcinea identify themselves as a band?
“The band’s identity is defined by the listeners and audience we play to.”
They do not consider they are belonging into any scene nor do they have associate themselves with any genre.
“It is not a pretentious thing because the truth is we do not even know where to begin,” he said.
But it seems the band has come so far since 2007 when they were first founded.
Mathew felt their music overall was still growing and evolving organically, which he hoped was a reflection of them as people.
“The sound is becoming more defined and focused while probably being less experimental than before,” he said.
The overall experience is still satisfying and they still like playing together.
Hence, the band will continue to look for something beautiful through music just like Don Quixote looking for his Dulcinea.
Dulcinea will be playing a headlining show for the JB Arts Festival this coming Sept 26.
Check out their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Dulcineaband for latest updates and their EP at https://dulcinearocks.bandcamp.com/album/cosmic-renaissance