Videos from NYC!

In-case you missed it first time round:

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Myles de Bastion a.k.a Misled Bayonet’s NYC debut show this August 14th 2012

Incredibly excited to announce:

Misled Bayonets
NYC Debut, August 14th 2012 @ Arlene’s Grocery.
95 Stanton St, 8:30pm. $10 and 21+

After a significant hiatus from public performing and playing with the rock band VINYETTE, Myles de Bastion (a.k.a Misled Bayonets) is back and tentatively proud to present his new sound and original material.

If you’ve been curious as to the musical process of a deaf musician, this event offers a rare glimpse of the on-going pursuit from a unique sonic perspective aimed at making music more accessible to hearing impaired artists and audiences as well as bridging a gap between the typically segmented deaf and hearing worlds.

The music has been sculpted with the intent of conveying emotion, mood and texture through a mixed medium of music, vibration and light.

At the heart of it all through, remember there is no sound without movement and this is a relationship worth exploring.

Myles de Bastion – Guitar
Jon Price – Bass
Arei Sekiguchi – Drums

Visit the Event Page for more information.

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Summer Music Camp (hosted by Umphrey’s Mcgee) is happening!

Umphrey’s McGee sUmmer Camp Example Schedule

Great news! It looked like for a while that I would not be able to find either intepreter, funds and the time to attend the Summer Music Camp hosted by jam-band Umphrey’s Mcgee but at the last minute it has all come together and I will be headed out to the Catskills tomorrow for an amazing week of improvisation-focused music. Check out the impressive syllabus and schedule on the camp website.

My interpreter’s name is Matthew and he wrote to me last month expressing interested in helping be participate in the camp. Turns out Matthew is perfect for the role as he is double majoring in Performance and American Sign Language at the Eastman School of Music/University of Rochester. Whilst not a professional interpreter he makes up for it with his aspirations and interests; quoted from his email:

Since I’m already studying American Sign Language, I wanted to use it as a way to unify the Deaf community and the community of musicians at Eastman. I found out about my acceptance into the program only a few weeks ago (so my project is in its preliminary stages) but I’m really interested in learning about writing and recording my own music based on ASL poetry/themes in Deaf culture, and eventually writing my own poems and music and performing them side-by-side.

My own ASL studies are still at a beginner-intermediate level so Matthew will be typing into a laptop during classes and lectures which is ideal for me to get a sense of what is going on. With my profound hearing loss, high and low frequencies are not perceptible (except by vibration and light/movement) so speech is almost always impossible for me to discern in a classroom environment. I am fortunate that with hearing aids, I do have a small window of sound in the mid-frequencies (where my chosen instrument; the guitar happens to reside) and this is where I focus my interest in sound and music. So if you’re curious that is how I get by.

Some goals for the camp for me are:

  • Improve my improvisational and song-writing abilities
  • Explore Umphrey’s Mcgee’s use of hand-signs to direct musical improvisation
  • See if a connection between ASL and music can be made
  • Make new friends & Contacts
  • Share my experiences and lessons learned with my peers and others like me

All the while this week, I will also be practicing and rehearsing for my impending NYC debut show on August 14th which is just a few days after the camp is over. I have been working on my own music project with vivid fervor for the past few months and will share that story on here soon too.

So much to do but rest assured you’ll hear about it eventually! Check back soon

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Deaf Musician Seeking an interpreter to help them participate in Umphrey’s Mcgee Summer Music Camp School in Catskills, NY

Umphrey's SUmmer School To all in the deaf community,
I am seeking a musically-inclined interpreter to help me participate in a Summer Music Camp in Catskills, NY from August 6th to 10th 2012, organized by the talented band Umphrey’s McGee.

I am hard-of-hearing with a basic-to-intermediate grasp of American Sign Language so whilst some fluency in ASL would be helpful, it is not required as the interpreter duties would primarily involve typing into a laptop during talks so touch typing at or near 80 words-per-minute is necessary.
It would also be a bonus if the candidate has some degree of music training/performing experience as the camp is likely to be highly technical in nature with music specific terminology. I even hope that the interpreter could participate minimally during jam sessions and be able to fingerspell what music key we are in!

The band and camp organizers are kindly offering accommodation (tent camping) and meals for free to the interpreter which would otherwise be a $1098 fee, to help assist with my search, I personally may be able to help fund travel plans and negotiate a small amount of compensation for the interpreters time. More specific information about the Summer School itself is available on the Camp website.

If you or anyone you know may be interested, please forward this message or reach out to me at myles (at) debastion (dot) com.

*Footnote: I am aware that under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the camp organizers are suppose to provide for (pay) an interpreter and make reasonable accommodations as long as they do not affect the nature of the event however there is LITTLE-to-NO-SUPPORT from State or Government agencies to either small/new Camp Organizers or the student themselves to back-up this Federal mandate. You can read how one volunteer event organizer really struggled with this issue on their blog and the drama that ensued with no real resolution that helped anyone. I would hope to find a self-sufficient way to make my dreams come true without “passing on the responsibilies” nor behaving that I am entitled to any special treatment, thank you!

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What is “Deafness”?

Deafness, like most things is far from black and white. Hearing impairment differs from person to person and thus there is really a whole spectrum that spans from those who associate themselves as Capital “D” Deaf and have forgone any kind of assistitive hearing aid or Cochlear implant device because they are happy living in a world without sound (at least as most people know it). They are not oral and Sign Language is their primary language and method of communicating, they often goto Deaf-only schools and Colleges and only have Deaf friends. Deaf people have great pride in their unique culture and can be quite protective and rebellious when hearing people try to impose their ways or views upon Deaf culture. Deafness is not viewed as a disability but rather a difference in perspective that the hearing world does not offer.

At the other end of the spectrum you’ll get Hearing Impaired types Continue reading

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Beginning to answer the question: What is “Deaf Music”?

Goodness gracious me, I’m back from camp! Touched down again in NYC yesterday evening and my, what a trip it’s been, I learnt a lot about myself and Deaf Culture and I have a lot I want to share with you all which I’ll spread out over the course of a few write-ups.

The question that we were asking both the adults and teenagers right at the beginning of camp and it’s one that gets right to the heart of the matter; What is “Deaf Music”?. Everyone of course had different ideas about what the answer could be so we had many discussions and brainstorms trying to find common ground and form some conclusions about what works and what doesn’t work when applying our theories in a practical manner.

I personally found it easier to come to some sort of understanding by breaking the question up into two parts so let us begin!

What is “Deafness”?

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I’m in Michigan! Deaf Music is really happening!

As the title suggests, I made it out to the camp in Michigan, I haven’t had much of a chance to sit down and write since i’ve been mildly frentic in my attempts to secure a method of transport, prepare teaching related things and also finish up some lingering web design projects, whew! So in case you were wondering how I managed.. It was a fairly last minute decision to shift tactics and go with the simplest option which was to fly out, travel light and improvise the whole program and approach based on what kind of situation I find myself in and what sort of things the students are interested in doing themselves.

I’ll admit to being slightly on the ambitous side and wanting to take every sort of musical instrument and device with me so that I could be prepared for anything however the cost of a car rental was too phrohibitve in the end and my car-borrowing-leads fell through… Thinking about it though, I can still be prepared for anything, after all the mojo is all up here *taps forehead*.

Rosa the camp director agreed that this was all a sensible course of action and wasted no time in buying a plane ticket for me which immediately was a relief as I no longer had to worry about running around securing equipment not to mention the prospect of a grueling 10 hour drive that could potentially wipe me out before I even got started at camp!

So I finished up what I could of my work to keep my various web clients happy, said goodbye to my NY friends and now here I am at camp!

It’s truly beautiful here, pictures to follow soon I’m about to meet my fellow camp counsellors and the adult students tomorrow. No idea what to expect really but It’s going to be incredibly exciting. Tune in for more updates soon folks.

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