I’m constantly searching for new visual ideas for ‘The Time Machine’ album art, usually something dark, dirty and grimy to complement my music—well the beginning of the tale is set in the midst of the industrial revolution, so the dirtier and grimier, the better. I took this photograph from the bottom of a well at Uppark House, Sussex, another H.G. Wells-themed family trip I gently persuaded my family to come along on in 2014. The well is one of several connected via a network of ventilation tunnels running beneath the grounds from the old house to Uppark’s dairy and stables, restaurant and shop.
H.G. Wells spent part of his boyhood at Uppark, where his mother, Sarah, was housekeeper between 1880 and 1893. She and the other servants were accommodated, lived, slept and worked in the basement beneath the house serving the wealthy upper-class family above—it’s easy to see where a Wells as a young boy drew some of his inspiration for writing his first novel. But Uppark is not all darkness and shadows, the grounds are open and expansive and beautifully kept. I’m convinced that Well’s also took inspiration from Uppark’s formal gardens with lawns and rhododendron bushes for the landing site of the Time Machine, where the Time Traveller effectively crash lands, disturbing the serene tranquility and harmony of that perfect summer’s day in the year 802,701.
The visuals are a vital part of the project for me. They help inspire me to make music and I have in mind that at some point there will surely be another movie made about Wells’s ‘The Time Machine’. Hopefully this blog might in some small way pave the way to creating spectacular visuals for this movie that will come and perhaps keep the director on the straight and narrow regarding the plot—Wells’s story is so well constructed and beautifully written, being rich in mystic, Pagan, Christian and personal allegory, that it really does not require additional love story elements or ‘Planet of the Apes’ action scenes to spice it up to adapt it for the screen for a modern audience—no thankyou. Wells knew exactly what he wanted to say when he wrote The Time Machine and said it very well. You can be sure I’ll be taking my lead only from him for the script for the narration in the musical.