Mathilde Mouw-Rao

Singing + Songwriting

I have been writing and performing music for over 16 years. Recently, I have been performing in the San Francisco Bay Area, organizing jam sessions with fellow musicians, taking classes in sound engineering at Women's Audio Mission, and recording new music. My lyrics are darkly witty,often humorous, with a strong melody and accompanied by an indie folk-rock guitar style. I am eager to stretch my musical knowledge, experiment with new techniques, and play with other musicians. As my art evolves, I aim to bring my work with sound and code together.


Alongside my songwriting and performing, I am learning sound engineering. I have taken the following classes at Women's Audio Mission.


I work full time as a software engineer, and unfortunately the bulk of the code I write is proprietary and not sharable here. The code I wrote before I was employed shows the seeds of my interest in coding as a creative and collaborative endeavor. At work, I enjoy working out optimal modeling and architecture, digging into problems with a pair, and trying to make our code readable and hopefully elegant or even beautiful. Below are examples of my early experiments in combining code and art, an example of a tech talk I gave, libraries where I have been an open source contributor, and a link to my software engineer professional profile.

Code + Art projects

This project was an experiment looking at how introducing randomness into a drawing canvas could result in an interesting image.

A few of the folks in my cohort at Dev Bootcamp and I worked together to create a 3D 8-bit Mario in ThreeJS in an effort to teach ourselves the ins and outs of the library during the program.

In my version of Snake, I made an effort to make the code object oriented and beautiful, in addition to making a simple, minimalist game.

Tech Talk: The Evil Tale of Evil Pair

This was a pair-programming talk I gave at Heroku for Fog City Ruby Meetup, 2017. It delved into the power of one of the variants of pairing, the Evil Pair, that is sometimes added during a Code Retreat to lighten the mood and teach lessons that we don't normally learn when we're too focused on being productive.

View the slides

Open Source Libraries




I have been fortunate to get to produce two shows that I wrote. I wrote the music and libretto for "Love and a Lion," an opera for 8 singers, cello, violin and keyboard, and produced it in the 2008 Minnesota Fringe Festival after an initial workshop production. I wrote the script and music for "No Catharsis", a musical with two actors, vocals, xylophone, keyboard and guitar, and produced the show in the 2013 Minnesota Fringe Festival. My theater work also includes designing and building costumes, designing and building sets, designing lighting, acting, dancing and running box office.

Putting on a theater production is necessarily collaborative. I love the process of bringing a theater production to life, all the way from the page to a performance. My background in theater, from my work through college and in the years after until I went to coding bootcamp, influence how I think about art and how I tackle large creative projects.

No Catharsis (2013)

"No Catharsis," a musical tale of video blogging despite well-meaning room mates, written and directed by Mathilde Mouw-Rao, performed by Parker Sera, Brianna Olson-Carr and Sean Phillips in the James Sewell Ballet Tek Box at The Cowles Center in downtown Minneapolis. We were well recieved by Minnesota Fringe Festival audiences who described it as, "A wonderfully creative look at the way people express themselves with other people, through music." One reviewer wrote "This production is second to none. The direction of this was well crafted with intelligent quips and [anecdotes] about the reality that our society faces, showing the parallels between technological and human interactions."

Below, is the trailer for "No Catharsis" and photo of the cast on stage.

Love and a Lion (2008)

Below, are the trailer for the second run of the "Love and a Lion", in the Minnesota Fringe Festival, 2008, and recording of the full show from the original run.

Costume design

Costume design for "Six Billion Utopias: A collaborative performance about gender and mental health", a thesis project by Taiga Christie, 2011.

Other Art

I enjoy exploring different techniques and media in my art. The examples below show my experiments knitting original patterns, drawing a comic series, "The Greatest Band Ever," with co-author Christopher Lander, sculpting with Sculpey clay, and paiting with oil paints.

Knitting from original patterns



Oil Painting


This is the portfolio for Mathilde Mouw-Rao. My artwork spans across music, code, theater and visual arts.

I work as a full-time software engineer, writing code in Ruby, Javascript, HTML and CSS, and using the Rails and Angular frameworks.