Myles de Bastion is a guitarist for the Misled Bayonets and the creator of CymaSpace, a place in Portland where deaf and hard-of-hearing performers can get together and create music in a way that can be felt and seen, not just heard!
Miles de Bastion was born in the U.S., but he grew up in England. His grandfather played piano, his mother is an artist and his father is a sculptor, so Miles has had a lot of artistic people in his life. In an interview with D-Pan, Miles says that at first he struggled with being deaf, and would sometimes pretend he understood lip reading when really he did not. But as he got older, Miles became more comfortable with his special challenges, and he decided to find a way to succeed.
Miles has always loved music, but since he is deaf it was hard for him to keep time with the other musicians. He says he remembers being taught that white light is made up of lots of colors, and that lesson showed him “to recognize small details that other people tend to miss.” So Miles began experimenting with turning sound into light. He found a way to create a light system that changes brightness and color in time to the music, letting him “see” the sounds.
With that in mind, Miles created CymaSpace, a place for performing arts events like music, dance, and theater. CymaSpace is designed to be very Deaf and ASL friendly, and the shows let the viewers use all their senses, including sight, smell, touch, taste and hearing all at the same time!
Miles and his team used new technology to create the CymaSpace effect. For example, the chairs and couches at shows will vibrate with the music, and lights will flash along with the different instruments. Best of all, performers at CymaSpace don’t have to understand electronics or computers themselves, because Miles and his team will help them set it all up, for free!
Miles hopes that CymaSpace will inspire many more artists to perform the art they love, without barriers.