It's the fancier French description of what production crews call 'atmos'... a recording of background sound used to patch any gaps in audio editing during post-production.
But there is a little something lost in the translation here; a respect for or appreciation of the sound of a particular space.
Anyway, the idea really struck me and was the inspiration for several terribly pretentious film school audio projects recorded in abandoned and derelict hospitals, rough suburbs of Sydney, that sort of thing.
Having a bit of extra time on my hands at the moment, I thought to myself: "Gordon, you're really annoying and were evidently born without shame glands. Why don't you go and bother other magicians in their homes or places of work?"
So I did.
The creative goal, if you can call it that, was to deliver some of the immediacy and son mode that is lacking in a Skype interview. By and large, this was successful. Although I don't recommend interviewing someone in a pub during the Friday lunch rush. La mode est trop forte!
Nonlinear editing has changed quite a bit in the decade since I last cluttered up Pro Tools with the sounds of a soon-to-be-demolished hospital, so I'm releasing these out of sequence, in decreasing order of audio quality.
Also, the tools available today really activated my latent 'untalented hack' tendencies, so the intro is overly long and dramatic and I don't care one bit. Plus I totally stole an editing gag from my friend Heidi's absolutely hilarious series of fake London tourism videos. Hopefully linking to them has balanced out the universe somewhat.
After the bombastic intro, the idea is to sort of drop into the conversation midstream, like an optimal urine sample, and take it from there. I was and remain particularly interested in people's origin stories more than any potential book releases.
Many thanks to Jake, who actually came out onto the street to meet my car because, perhaps appropriately, he lives in some kind of geographic warp that set my satnav screaming and caused me to offend many neighbours with my slow, confused driving down tiny dead-end streets.