Five years separated Glistening Example’s first release from its second. “Glistening Examples was born because I needed to publish “The Pilgrim” in 2006,” Lescalleet explains. “This was a deeply personal project for me, and I wasn’t open to any creative input from a label or a producer, nor did I want the financial responsibility of “The Pilgrim” being a commercial success.” Not till 2011 did a second release become available, the first volume in Lescalleet’s ongoing series “THIS IS WHAT I DO”.
Since then, things have got a lot busier: with this month’s new entries from Caroline Park and Taneli Viljanen, the label’s catalogue now spans nearly sixty releases. While initially developed as a vehicle for Lescalleet’s own work — a means for him to retain full control while assuming all of the risk — a number of significant artists have now made music for the label, including Grisha Shakhnes, Marc Baron, Celer, Olivia Block, Frans de Waard (in his Modelbau guise), and Rutger Zuydervelt. Despite having developed such a strong roster, Lescalleet is reluctant to pin the label’s aesthetic down.
“I fight against statements that might define or quantify the material found on Glistening Examples, because I’ve found that past attempts at description have later become something of a restriction,” he states. “I don’t seek to fulfill the criteria of a genre, but rather I try to add something unique to the existing world of listening.”
The need to avoid being pigeonholed is an important one, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that the label’s catalogue lacks coherence, or that common themes don’t emerge — as Zuydervelt’s contributions demonstrate. Much of the Dutch wizard’s output under his own name and his Machinefabriek moniker, such as his scores for dance and for video games, would seem out of place on a label like Glistening Examples. Instead, the material released by Lescalleet — 2015’s “Sneeustorm” and “Concrete Scores” from 2017 — is rougher-edged and more open in form, and as such fits in nicely alongside other releases on the label. But then, as if to confirm the label’s resistance to being painted into a corner, a release such as Celer’s quietly elegiac “Another Blue Day” (2017) appears.
The Zuydervelt example shows that even though artists on the roster may also release music elsewhere, Glistening Examples achieves its mission of bringing something unique to the table — there are sounds you’ll hear on this label that you won’t hear anywhere else.
LABEL NAME: Glistening Examples
LABEL OWNER: Jason Lescalleet
FIRST RELEASE: “The Pilgrim” by Jason Lescalleet (2006)
Grisha Shakhnes “leave/trace” LP
Marc Baron “Carnets” LP
Christian Mirande “Trying To Remember A House” CD
“These are the three that immediately come to mind, other than my own music, for being most tightly aligned with what I consider to be the Glistening Examples aesthetic.”
“None, I don’t think about these things. The GLEX roster has developed quite naturally. I feel like the artists that are published on my label share something similar to a family tree. I’m quite pleased with this catalogue and I can’t recall ever being declined when asking someone to participate in my publishing. Maybe this is because I only reach out to friends, or people that I know to share common interests. There are a few artists that have agreed to submit material but for various reasons have kept me waiting for a long time. As an artist, I am completely empathetic to these delays. You can’t manufacture inspirado.
“In addition to these highly anticipated projects, I’ve been working on a long-form multimedia project that has been evolving and changing shape for two or three years. In a way, running Glistening Examples helps me keep in touch with the social network of this art form that I love, since I’m facilitating the efforts of other artists to add to the value of this universe while my personal output isn’t as great.”
CHANGES AND CHALLENGES:
“The biggest change in my outlook as the curator and manager of this label is directly related to the increased costs of pressing vinyl records in conjunction with the decrease in outlets offering quality journalistic discussion of music and art. A few years ago I drafted a business plan that included publishing LPs on a quarterly basis. I had even hoped that I could release these albums in pairs. Now it seems that my business model can only support CDs and downloads. I think there is just too much new music for people to dig into. Factor that with all of the recent deluxe reissue projects and you’ll find that it’s more and more difficult for an audience to take chances on artists that are unknown to them.”
MOST SATISFYING ASPECT:
“I am most satisfied when I hear about people finding value in something they discovered through Glistening Examples. I try to find music that might otherwise go unnoticed and I enjoy helping other artists find a larger audience.”
On Wednesday 11 April 2018, for one day only, downloads of Jason Lescalleet’s seminal 2006 release “The Pilgrim” will be available at the special price of $4.11 from the Glistening Examples Bandcamp site. The offer marks the birthday of Lescalleet’s father, whose passing the work responds to. The label’s latest albums from Caroline Park and Taneli Viljanen will be released on the same day.
Photo of Jason Lescalleet by Ben Stas