Here’s a rough outline recording of an idea for the introduction to the ‘The Musical Version of The Time Machine’. All the instruments and noises used in this piece are ‘found sounds’, that is, they are recordings of real machines, steam, hammers, puma growls, rain and my trusty old ‘Premier’ gull-winged toaster (now deceased, burnt out, no more)—no ‘proper’ instruments are used.
Jeff Wayne’s musical Version of The War of the Worlds featured Richard Burton as the voice of the Journalist and begins with the following, incredibly powerful introduction:
“No one would have believed, in the last years of the nineteenth century that human affairs were being watched from the timeless worlds of space. No one could have dreamed that we were being scrutinized, as someone with a microscope studies creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. Few men even considered the possibility of life on other planets and yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this Earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely, they drew their plans against us.”
The the musical Version of The Time Machine’s introduction is inspired by Wells’ paper, ‘The Rediscovery of the Unique’—a criticism of science—written just a few years before the publication of The Time Machine (his first book) and goes:
“Science is a flame that man has just set alight. Imagining he was in a room—in moments of devotion, a temple—he believed his light would be reflected from walls inscribed with wonderful secrets and pillars carved with philosophical systems wrought into harmony. Now that initial splutter is over and the flame burns clear, he sees a glimpse of himself and around him—in place of the truth and beauty he anticipated—darkness still…”
Now we just need to find the voice of the Time Traveller, an actor of the same calibre as Richard Burton and who’s mad enough to be involved in this crazy project…