My son, Miles, is the technology wizard behind the podcast – The Sound of Cigars©. He’s the one with the knowledge, talent and skills, that when all is brought together, produce the wonderfully engaging sounds, fades, and music that make listening to the podcast a worthwhile experience. All I do is smoke a cigar and muse.
But a funny thing happened the other night when we recorded Moment #3. First off I could feel that what I was doing was off center. It was wrong. I could feel the pressure from the creative side of my brain pushing against the logical side. (This should be the case because I don’t always think logical, so that side of the brain is not as well developed.)
What was happening was that the pressure was building up so much in my cranium that I became a bit dizzy and my head began to throb to the sound of my heart. But we finished take one and gave it a listen. Miles was adjusting the sound dials and continued to come back to the beginning, the beginning, the beginning.
“There’s an electronic click that shouldn’t be there,” he said. “Here.” He gave me the headphones and I put them on. I heard his muffled voice say, “Now listen.” I did. Initially I couldn’t hear anything save for the surrounding noise and me talking. I shrugged my shoulders at him. More muffled prompts, “Listen to the background!” he said, sounding like Marlon Brando in The Godfather. I did and would you believe it – he was right. Given a quick listen and you heard nothing, but over time the micro clicks persisted.
Now, while I’m listening, I’m smoking a cigar – a lovely cigar by Karen Berger, Kiki Berger’s widow called K. It has a Habano wrapper to die for. It is luscious. So my concentration was on that – not this. But I was also listening to the content of the recording and it was Class A S%@T. “I hear it.” I stammered. “And I also don’t like the podcast,” I told Miles after I removed the headphones. “It’s not at all what I want.”
He looked at me, and I think that since the sound production wasn’t right, he went along with my suggestion that we re-record the whole show. And then it hit me why I hated the first take. It was antithetical to what I wanted to produce. The Sound of Cigars© is an “Ambient Podcast” – with a twist. It’s not just white noise, but an actual moment in this cigar broker’s life that I want to share.
“The term ambient has been used to describe a variety of things, particularly as it pertains to the environment, or more pointedly, space, whether that is a state-of-mind, i.e. metaphysical space, or your living room, and that of physical space. Ambient music is a music that’s used to complement or alter one’s space, not unlike most music, with one exception. It falls very easily into the background, and this is truly a place where it’s at its best.” (Wiki)
“The seed of ambient music was planted in 1975 when two things happened to Brian Eno (co- founder of the art-rock band Roxy Music in the early 1970s, a performer, and more importantly, a producer, and a . . . pioneer in electronic “ambient” music.) First, he was struck by a car one night after leaving a studio session, and subsequently spent much of the year immobilized. Second, while lying in bed recuperating from his injuries, he received a recording of 17th Century harp music from a friend. Finally, having gotten the strength to move across the room and put the record on, he realized that he didn’t turn the volume up all the way. Unable to make the move again, he surrendered to the low-volume listen.” (http://ambientsoundbath.com/).
What I’m doing is linking the clear, concise masterful idea of ambient music with the hazy and cloudy world of cigars by giving you the live sounds and actual experience of smoking a cigar and verbally interjecting whatever is on my mind into the space. You could call it “Stream of Consciousness of Cigars.” But The Sound of Cigars© rolled off the tongue a lot easier.
I’m taking this moment in time – this block of fifteen minutes – and letting you into my head. I’m allowing you to enter into my mind and listen to what I experience while smoking a cigar in the backyard, or the garage or wherever I decide to set up. It’s ambient in that you can listen to nature’s “music.” But the sounds of the cigar are ephemeral.
So I begin to argue with myself, do I re-record the same content sans clicking? Or do I listen to my gut and go with what I feel I should have recorded in the first place? I go with my gut like I always have. It seems that’s the best way for me to survive the cacophony of craziness we all live in.
I urge you to listen – and regularly experience – The Sound of Cigars©.