Jason Lescalleet plans subscriptions for monthly series, new collaboration with Aaron Dilloway, answers our questions!

Jason Lescalleet plans subscriptions for monthly series, new collaboration with Aaron Dilloway, answers our questions!

Tape maestro Jason Lescalleet, who really always wanted to be a magazine when he grew up, has recently announced that he will soon be one step closer to achieving his childhood goal by becoming something to which you can subscribe! Or, more specifically, beginning in 2015 with Volume Five in the series, you can subscribe to his This is What I Do monthly CD releases. The series returned back in October after a nearly four-year hiatus since Volume One in 2011. Volume Two, which kicked off the return, is a lovely, autumnal roil of a thing that is throughout punctuated by off-kilter and sample-based moments of left-turn surprise. In many ways, its occasional gentleness is a pretty stark contrast to the often harsh, and yes, needling assaults of tracks like “Needles” on Volume One. The first track of Volume Two, “Autumn Leaves (October 2014)” lays bare in its title the immediacy of Lescalleet’s project, while also perfectly encapsulating the sound and vibe of the whole release. You can read Asha Sheshadri’s take on the track over in Choco.

The deal with Volume Two in the context of the This is What I Do series was simple: it would be available from Lescalleet’s Glistening Examples Bandcamp page right up until he dropped Volume Three, at which point it would go away in a flurry of enforced ephemerality. And lo, it came to pass that Volume Three, with its even more under-the-table droning, angular sample work, and occasional blasts of noise entered our lives. On the whole, Volume Three is a bit more structurally varied than Two, with shorter pieces like “Sunset in C” and “As Seen from an Egg” counterbalancing longer works like opener “Holiday in November.” In “Complex Nova Systeme” there’s even a full-fledged beat that fulfills the dream that those of us who heard “Old Theme” on Songs About Nothing have been nursing ever since we were all like, “But I mean, you could also maybe do that for a little longer if you wanted?” Listen to it below.

Each new release is planned to arrive right around the middle of the month, with Volume Four scheduled to drop on December 16. You can find the full specific subscription details over on the Glistening Examples site, but there will also be the option to purchase each release individually throughout the year. Lescalleet is also planning a quarterly level of the subscription, in large part out of consideration for his international fans who might find themselves really taking it in the teeth with shipping costs if they bought each release individually. What a guy! In fact, speaking of Lescalleet being a guy, and one who can type using a computer no less, he was gracious enough to answer a few of my questions via email about the project, as well as about his recently announced and soon-to-be-released collaboration with Aaron Dilloway entitled Popeth; it’ll be out December 16 too, and it’s up for pre-order now. Peep the Q&A below.

Looking at the This is What I Do project as a whole, do you have any sort of an arc planned out for the way the 12 releases over the course of 2015 will unfold? Do you have them plotted out already, or maybe even have some of the recordings in the can already?

No. Part of this project’s value comes from the immediacy of the material. It will usually contain material that was recorded within the past 30 to 60 days. If not, it would then be material that might be weighing heavily on me during that month, or perhaps a retrospective release of material based on anniversary date. The series is also free from format. I have no predetermined criteria for what will appear on these discs.

I guess my only true criteria would be that it’s a peek into my creative work on a real time basis, and I hope that my selections will always be interesting to my audience.

Could you tell me a bit more about why immediacy is so valuable to you in the context of this project?

Immediacy means that I won’t have time to over think anything. Raw. Pure. Also, timely, current, now. A glimpse into my state of mind on a real time basis. Keeping it real.

It seems that putting a requirement on yourself to create and release that much material on such a clear schedule will have the effect of really honing your process—a process, which based on your work up until now, I imagine is already pretty well-honed. Do you foresee it having any measurable effects on how you work, or do you have any goals in that arena?

Absolutely. I now need to be as organized as possible. This series will require discipline.

Another consideration that eluded me when announcing this series is the monthly requirement to produce interesting cover art. This is a good thing, since I enjoy photography and visual art, so I will be honing these skills as well. The other disciplinary challenge will be to still allow myself ample time to study and to work on new concepts for future detail-oriented compositions. I have two or three ideas for future solo records and it will take a lot of time and effort to bring them to fruition. Thinking this through, out loud, right now, I’m thinking that I may need to rely on other labels to produce and publish these works to set them apart from my monthly series.

You mention trying to leave time for yourself to still work on other projects and compositions. How do you think all this consistent work will effect your approach to those?

I have two main concerns that I consider challenges or problems to solve when embarking on this project:

1.) I need to maintain a level of quality work with artistic integrity in a manner that satisfies me as an artist.
2.) I don’t want to flood the market with a lot of similar material that might cause my audience to lose interest in my work.

This was the main motive for deleting each subsequent volume on a monthly basis. The music will belong to the people that were interested enough to buy it, but it won’t be hanging around as a tedious reminder to the casual audience member that doesn’t need to hear every single composition that I publish. I have a large catalog of available work and I still plan to release the occasional large scale solo album. Those releases are often very specific to a certain concept and they stand alone based on those concepts, away from this crazy schedule of artistic output.

I’m wondering how literal the This is What I Do title is. Is this process of constantly creating new compositions a thing you have been doing for a while simply without releasing all the results?

Yes, I’m always working with sound, and yes it has mostly gone unheard. I consider it my practice or something similar to a pianist or vocalist that practices regularly to maintain their chops. Now I am raising the bar for myself, since I’ll be showing my homework to the world. It’s like a monthly open workshop.

In light of that idea of “showing [your] homework to the world,” I’m thinking about how much of a personal/risky type thing this could be, to let listeners in on your process over such an extended period. Do you think you would’ve done something like this at another, earlier stage in your career?

No, I doubt it. This is a combination of technological convenience and my path of exploring myself as an artist. In addition to the personal (intimate) risk you mentioned, it’s also a challenge to myself and my discipline, stamina, and artistic depth.

Were you planning something similar to this back in 2011 with Volume One?

Well, yes, it was always my plan to continue the series - but I never expected to do it monthly. Yearly, maybe, but never monthly.

Several of the pieces on Volume Two and Volume Three use samples pretty prominently. Could you tell me a bit about how you’re approaching those? With tracks like “Dwayne & the Bluebird Prophecy” from Volume Two, it’s clear that in addition to thinking of them as pure sonic material, you’re considering their “explicit” or surface-level content as well.

Yes, I think of them as pure sounds, much like phonography and field recordings - but I definitely consider their explicit/surface-level content since that’s part of the code that’s unavoidable. It is my goal to deliver more than just a listening experience. I want my audience to feel something when listening to my music.

And finally, if you could just tell me a bit about the new collaboration with Aaron Dilloway — how that came about, what to expect, and so on. I saw on the Glistening Examples Bandcamp that you recorded back in February — was the period of waiting between that recording process and the release just simply a reflection of the manufacturing process, or was there any substantial post-production work you did with it? (And if it was just a manufacturing time table, did that period give rise to any frustrations that might’ve led to the series we’re talking about?)

This duo came about quite naturally, since we’ve known each other for so long and we work with similar tools with a similar aesthetic, swimming in the same pools, talking to the same people about the same records, etc…

The raw material was recorded in February. We passed it back and forth a few times over the course of a few months before I gave it a final mixdown and mastering job. I think we were officially finished with it in June or July and I sent it off for pressing within a month from that date. The pressing took longer than expected, and yes that’s always frustrating, but it’s not something I like to bitch about in public. It’s part of the job, just like in any business, and I need to find a way to make my label a successful endeavor while being realistic about these challenges. I learn a little bit more about the business with each record I publish.

I’m still a fan of music and a record collector at heart so the idea of publishing music for a living is exactly what I want to be doing right now. I’m hoping 2015 will be year of further growth for Glistening Examples and I’m looking forward to publishing music from a wide variety of other artists. There are several projects in the works, and I’m hoping that the TIWID series will be successful enough to assist in funding these future projects. Look for albums of music from artists such as Olivia Block, Glen Galloway (Glen Galaxy, Soul Junk, Truman’s Water), Chris Cooper (Angt Hase Pfeffer Nase, Fat Worm of Error), Kevin Drumm, and others.

• Jason Lescalleet: http://lescalleet.wordpress.com
• Glistening Examples: http://glisteningexamples.com

Most Read