Transcript for "Connection - with Fred Martin Gutierrez"

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00:00.00
podcomm
Hello I’m Craig Constantine hi Fred as I say to everybody because I really mean it. Welcome. Thank you for taking the time I am perennially excited to talk to people who are passionate about podcasting and.

00:01.99
fred
Um, and I’m Fred Guterres hey Greg.

00:17.37
podcomm
Yeah, we do a little discussion beforehand and we were talking about you mentioned when I asked you mentioned connection and you started talking about audio as a medium and about how it’s it’s a single sense and how. Being able to focus on one sense lets you maybe tune out or dial in or focus on the topic itself. So my question like first obvious question is when you think about the connection in that sense. Was that something that you were aware of when you started podcasting or did you get into podcasting maybe as a consumer and then realize that it had that power of connection.

00:59.43
fred
Yeah I’ve always been drawn to sound as something that just felt I had more feeling with it. It started with music I Always um, really gravitated to that over visual visual art even though I’m an architect and visual is very big. Um, sound has always had much more of influence in terms of emotion on me and I find probably because sound you know when I was say live music when I was kind of growing up and listening to live music. It was There was never edited or curated you you got it you you felt that. Personality from somebody because it was direct and there was no editing that and I find that podcasting can be the same way even though I do do a little bit of editing but I think as I progress I’m doing less and less editing because I you know there’s this little fear that like.

01:47.78
podcomm
Right.

01:56.49
fred
People hear things that you don’t want them to hear but I think it’s the essence. It’s the root that people find and I think as long as you have good conversation those those things that I’ve been editing out can can start to remain so I don’t know if that.

02:09.68
podcomm
Yeah, that.

02:11.79
fred
Answers your requesting a little bit I mean I love sound I mean it’s the pauses. It’s even when I can’t find a word that means something.

02:19.90
podcomm
I I would yes I agree when you see somebody. Um, you know Hashtag watch Craig think when you so when you say something and then you see me like oh well that’s interesting you um I think it was. Carl Sagan said something like humans can work magic and he was talking about writing and how you know somebody who maybe long dead has written down this idea and then I perform this some kind of incantation in my head with my eyes and blam like that idea from the author is there. So I’ve always felt that. Yeah there’s a magic to audio and I always wonder because my my shtick is conversational types of podcasts and I’ve tried to do some host on Mike and I’m really I suck at it I I suspect if I worked that it I could get better but it’s not my bag and I’m wondering if. What your thoughts are do you think it’s easier or I think it’s harder to try and do the the intimate direct audio that you were describing to do that host on Mike like is it somehow easier when you have another person I’m just wondering what your thoughts are on that.

03:31.31
fred
Oh it’s so much easier. We have another person I mean the host on Mike I’m just I’m a wreck when I do that I mean it’s it’s you know before I forget what I was what I was thinking why you were talking is like sound gives you space. And I can’t think of where else you can get space so in writing where is the space and in the same with with say you’re watching a movie or or some sort of video. The space is coming from conversation. There’s a connection there and if so there’s silence. That’s the space. That we need to complete thoughts and to to think so in in in writing I guess I guess you can start and stop reading. Um, and that’s the space you have so it’s it’s it’s a controlled thing.

04:22.20
podcomm
Um, there’s a I don’t know I I was asking and the actual question I asked was about harder you know, but I had to keep going.

04:23.83
fred
But what was your question mean I jumped Away. Ah I know whether it’s easier to work part. Yeah.

04:35.98
fred
Ah, um, yeah when I do host on Mike you know what my host on mike is my intro and my outro so I’ll do my recording I’ll do a rough edit I’ll try to get it down. You know about 80% of what it was I probably take out too many um, repeat words.

04:43.23
podcomm
Um.

04:55.88
fred
Um, and I try to get a little bit of space I’m just I feel so I feel like I need to respect the listeners’ time. So I try to compress things and I need to get a little past that So I take a little bit of space out not too much., But my host on Mic is my intro on my outro and what I’ll do is I’ll sometimes write something and it just won’t feel right? So I’ll yeah so I’ll do it again and and again and I’ll finally find something I feel good about but the rhythm because I’ve edited. It doesn’t feel right.

05:18.61
podcomm
Yeah I I can’t do it I’m I’m with you.

05:31.60
fred
So then I’ll throw it into descript get a transcript of it and then I’ll act that out that seems like a lot but I guess it’s an experience thing I guess I’ll get more and more comfortable with it.

05:42.77
podcomm
Yeah, you know you say it seems like a lot my my mind is jumped to that’s where the magic happens. Um I’m I’m a nut about quotes right? but I think it was pen gillette from pen and Teller said you you know like everyone one will be fooled by magic. If the magician is willing to spend more time money or energy than you or any rational person ever would like so the magic is really in what went on behind the scenes and when you’re talking about like going around I didn’t enjoy I didn’t like it then I descripted it then I got a script and I edited and I’m just like.

06:11.12
fred
Um, okay.

06:20.13
podcomm
Yeah I’m over here going I I need to do I need to meet up my game because it feels to me like we since we know what we want to create and we know what the the medium could be you know lately I’ve been on this binge about talking about in the beginning. It’s all about simplicity because you don’t know. And then when you start to learn then you’re like oh this is complicated and it’s all about complexity and you overcomplicate everything and then in the ultimate level. You know as you move toward mastery then you have the informed simplicity idea perfections achieved when not when you’ve added everything but when there’s nothing left to take away is Anton Desanteubri so for me. The intros that I record for my bigger project somebody else actually writes them and it’s like the bio and the intro for the guest and the guest has that input and I’m like afraid to touch it because ah I don’t know maybe the ordering of these adjectives is super important to the person that I’m trying to. Showing the best light so I turned into like this today on the mover’s mindset I turned to like it’s it’s like a head forward Npr voice and I I don’t want to say I hate Npr voice but I hate when I do it because I’d much rather love it to be an organic natural thing. But um.

07:19.32
fred
Right.

07:24.87
fred
Right.

07:31.88
fred
Yeah, and and and our audience is getting. It’s getting more comfortable with that. You know I think there’s the maturation of the audience or listeners to start to accept. It’s like the degradation of the quality of video on Youtube is okay now.

07:33.55
podcomm
And and maybe it’s just.

07:48.50
podcomm
Yeah.

07:51.45
fred
You know people you know it’s the content now. So I think the same as with with podcasts I mean you have to have a certain level of quality in terms of audio and listening ability. But um, but I think people are okay with these openended conversations. Um.

07:59.14
podcomm
Right Had to be able to hear it.

08:12.65
fred
But I can go both ways I can go both with.

08:13.92
podcomm
I’m just thinking about in. Yeah I mean so some of the stuff I’m thinking of is um and I’m going to apologize if anybody listening has never heard of this podcast I’m sorry this is going to waste a lot of your time. There’s a podcast called memory palace by Nate De Mayo and hundreds of episodes in i.

08:25.56
fred
Oh yeah I know it? Yeah I can’t imagine how much time he spends on that.

08:31.84
podcomm
Oh my gosh I started. You know, somebody said memory palace and I’m like what’s that and I like wandered in and listened to a recent episode and I’m like whoa I went back episode one I’m like working my way through and what I really want to know I probably should just email the guy. What I really want to know is how many takes like. What is the actual time it takes for him to do it because I think I would be duly impressed if I found out that he spent days writing and wordsmithing and working on it and then dropped it in 1 take like that would be like really impressive. Um. Because I feel like it would be 1 um I don’t want to say cheating but like it only takes me 500 takes and I just do it over and over and over and over and eventual I happen to get it right versus like no I really know what I’m trying to achieve and I know like like you mentioned.

09:16.89
fred
Right.

09:24.70
podcomm
Put in the script I get the script I add this like to me that’s like yeah you have a process there like you know that if I do this looks like a Rube Goldberg but if I do all these pieces in the end then I can simply it looks like press record all I have to do now is you know, um, physically create this thing that I have perfectly. You know the model that I’ve built so yeah with every every one of these conversations I go oh I really should do everything better differently more. But I think that’s just the mastery drive like when you find something that is complicated enough to pique your interest. It just draws you in.

09:57.37
fred
Right? Have you seen any of these live recordings of podcasts. So I know there’s been a couple that’s come through Boston and I long ago ira glass came and he was gonna do one and for some reason I couldn’t go and maybe that’s.

10:03.35
podcomm
Um I haven’t I mean and I know of the thing and I’ve seen people talk about it.

10:16.24
fred
Ah, good thing that I couldn’t go because I couldn’t see the the match behind the the audio but I was impressed to think that oh you can do this kind of in 1 take but I’m sure it takes a lot of planning to do that. So it’s really not 1 take.

10:27.33
podcomm
Yeah.

10:32.79
podcomm
Yeah, exactly it’s like well just because we only spent one between record and stop doesn’t mean that there was ah huge amounts of effort put in Beforehand and in post-production like I know like this American life does a ton of you know they effectively storyboard it and.

10:35.60
fred
Yeah, so it’s a performance at that point. Yeah.

10:43.10
fred
Right.

10:50.20
fred
Right? right? right? right? But the podcast that I’ve had them had the most impact on me was Krista Tippett’s on being but her.

10:51.86
podcomm
People come in and with like here’s my rough cut of the episode here’s what I think you could be and they actually like you know, have dueling what’s the story and um, so.

11:08.75
fred
Unedited cut it’s the it’s what I would always listen to versus the edited cut and I felt there was just so much more in that unedited cut that to me to me getting feeling the space of like get them getting to know each other for the very first time like just that introduction.

11:17.32
podcomm
See I had to get off my lazy.

11:28.36
fred
And hearing them the you know the mic check and you know just just that conversation about you know setting the sound sound settings it it it builds this relationship between the 2 that you can pick up and it influences how they how they communicate all the way through the conversation and.

11:33.62
podcomm
Yeah.

11:46.95
fred
I Know maybe it’s the voyur and me or there’s something about it that there’s There’s just a lot of meeting there and a lot of humanity that we take away from people or or you just don’t see so I’d like that and I’m hoping that comes through in some of my audio. That’s what I aspire to is the humanity. There.

12:06.32
podcomm
I think that’s a wonderful like if you know if 1 person listens to 1 podcast and gets what you’ve gotten from Krista Tippett’s interviews. That’s like yes, please more of that. There’s. And I don’t want to say ah so many crappy podcasts because I don’t listen to those but there are so many millions of shows I’ve said before we don’t need another episode of anything that I’m making so why am I doing and I have very specific reasons and I check you know I check in with myself regularly to be like yep, still want to keep doing that or. Finished one and I’m like that was awesome. You know glad I did that one you know so I think that’s I just think it’s the more that you become um, steeped. You know you become a con of it’s like watching people listen to classical music. They’re like oh this is my favorite symphony but not the recording from this though you know I’m just like huh you know, but.

12:39.42
fred
Right.

12:57.76
podcomm
But you and you start to understand that once you you listen no podcast and you’re just like that that one wasn’t no, if was something and you listen other one. You’re like oh that that was yes and I just think that to me makes me a better person because it develops my um Mayor quoting my ear for understanding.

13:12.56
fred
Right? right? Yeah, my my current guilty pleasure is I’ve been watching these Youtube reaction videos will you watch somebody watch you know, somebody play you know.

13:16.24
podcomm
Other people through listening So I always think.

13:32.60
fred
Comfortably numb they they’re listening to it for the first time and you can see through them that impact and it and it and it connects you with that person because you know what they’re feeling it. It’s just it’s just I mean i.

13:33.97
podcomm
Oh.

13:44.48
podcomm
Yeah.

13:49.84
fred
Um, a strange guy but I just I just love seeing that impact on people I don’t I don’t know what that is and.

13:56.30
podcomm
Ah, to me, it sounds like empathy and compassion is what that sounds like but that could just be my my ¢2 I do remember once seeing a reaction video although I don’t know that I would have labeled it as that until just now that you said it. Um, father was showing his young children. The star wars movies and he gets to the reveal and like and there’s even a thing now called like machete order which is now that there are all the movies around if you watch them in numerical order the reveal. You know when Luke finds out that.

14:16.81
fred
Yeah.

14:26.43
fred
Right.

14:29.00
podcomm
Spoiler alert right? Darthha his dad finds out about vader as his father if you watch 1 through 3 like there’s no surprise so you have to like watch him in a different order so that the reveal works and he’s got this video of his two young kids probably like I don’t know 7 and nine two young boys and like he’s videoing them as they’re watching it and he’s like.

14:45.67
fred
Oh Wow Oh Wow! wow.

14:47.56
podcomm
Um, your father and the kids are like whoa you know like they like they just like their heads explode you know and and you go Yeah I had forgotten what it was like when because you had that moment too I mean you know different slightly different magnitudes but it’s a great point about watching.

14:59.40
fred
Right? right? Well isn’t it sad like I mean it’s sad like now they’ve got videos of people unboxing things from Amazon right? like there’s this one builder that that opens up his his his UPS boxes in front of the video camera and there’s some some sway.

15:08.40
podcomm
Yeah, right.

15:19.30
fred
Strange commodification there. So I guess it can go in kind of a negative way to but true. But I mean there’s this yeah this I guess there is this dopamine hit. That’s that’s happening when you experience something for the first time. Yeah.

15:22.43
podcomm
Yeah I refer to the UPS guy as the browns Santa Claus

15:32.60
podcomm
Um, yeah, yeah, definitely I I do like your I mean first of all like Fred sitting in front of not just 1 but 2 walls of books which is. Both a brilliant and be a wonderful sound-dedening strategy I’m in an echo box at the moment I’m not in my usual room and um, you you mentioned earlier that you’re an architect um and my mind immediately jumped to you know I wonder how much sound. I’m going to say sound design I don’t mean it in the way that you design sound for a theater production. But I wonder how much um consideration of acoustics plays into architecture and it’s got to play in if you’re making a movie theater. Of course it plays in but I’m just wondering have you had any new projects where you know where your pension for sound. Actually was like woo I get to exercise that on this project.

16:28.00
fred
Well usually it’s it’s solving sound problems. We get a lot of those So I’m I’m out of practicing architect now I’m what I do is I’m ah I’m a homeowner’s coach. So I coach people through the psychological.

16:41.12
podcomm
You can take this wall out right? ah.

16:42.97
fred
Or the or or the experience and that and that’s what my podcast is it’s but it’s about this experience of building something that touches humanity and and that’s my interest now. But I’ve I’ve gone through a career as an architect and as a builder and acoustics is always often overlooked. Unless you know that it’s going to be a problem but there’s so much I mean I always have this dream of building like the perfect bar or the perfect restaurant because I think this acoustics in those spaces is more important than anything else. Um, that ability to be with somebody but be in public and acoustics can influence that dramatically or it can make it a horrible experience.

17:21.35
podcomm
Um, yeah.

17:32.24
podcomm
I’m thinking of there was a restaurant with a humongous bar near me and everything by the place was awesome. You know what I’m going to say right? The food was awesome. The bar was awesome. The bars and the people the whole there like a whole thing was great, but it was basically in like a warehouse. It was a a strip mall and it was just open.

17:39.60
fred
Yeah, yeah.

17:48.97
podcomm
Girder ceilings to the sheet metal underneath and I’m like you know for a couple of thousand dollars. You can get those acoustic wedge tiles and just dangle those things nobody would notice them. They’re up there in the shadows and it would change the whole room that you know as before I’m I’m thinking.

17:55.54
fred
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

18:04.42
podcomm
Um, that’s long before I was in the podcasting I wonder I wonder if I have been an ah but.

18:06.97
fred
Well I visited a bar in in Northern Ireland and in it you know they had your typical irish bar but in it they had little booths that were separate rooms like they were like little doghouses inside and you could actually go in and you’d be in in another space just inside.

18:17.86
podcomm
Yeah, have it at door.

18:25.31
fred
Thought that was really interesting.

18:27.70
podcomm
Cool. What was the name we didn’t do that. What was the name of your show. Definitely want people to check that out.

18:32.46
fred
It’s homeowners Institute So I’m only I’m only a year in but I’m you know it I mean it’s been a fantastic experience putting those things together I mean I’ve learned so much about Myself. And I’ve taught myself a lot… It’s a really vehicle. You know that podcasting is is this tool that we do in our midlife Crisis. You’re much younger than me but that allows us to realize that hey we we can still learn a lot and.

18:56.67
podcomm
Yes, yes.

19:07.13
fred
That’s what it’s been for me.

19:09.47
podcomm
Cool. Well I always make the joke. This is a quarter mile drag race and I think that’s a wonderful place to stop talking about self-improvement and growth fred. Thanks as I said before for taking time to sit down and chat with me today.

19:23.10
fred
This has been fantastic. It is a nice conversation I’m curious about the edit.

19:28.40
podcomm
Um, oh there’s no editing. Yeah I’ll be done in.

19:31.94
fred
I Know exactly So that’s why I’m super curious. This will be the test that I need to hear because in my mind right now I’m like oh I could do some editing to this but we’ll it should be fine. We’ll see.

19:41.50
podcomm
Ah I’ll tell you what? Ah normally I would have let you have the last word but um, the the behind the scenes part of this is it takes me 4 minutes from when we press stop to when I have the whole thing published and completely done and if you want I’ll send you the wave files and you could make your own version of the episode and see what.

20:00.79
fred
How that we fund.

20:00.99
podcomm
Like what it comes out with if you work on it Anyway, I yeah I like to let I always hate to ruin the moments at the end. But as I said it was a pleasure and I hope we get a chance to talk to get talk again in the future and maybe work on something together. So thanks.

20:11.27
fred
Great! Great to be here today. Thanks for doing what you do.