The Geometry of Time

I made a few final adjustments to the machine then sat astride the saddle. Tentatively I pushed the starting lever forward. For an instant I felt a nightmare sensation of falling. I quickly pulled it back — had anything happened or was my mind tricking me? I saw the workshop exactly as before; but wait! The clock had stood a minute or so past ten; now it was nearly half past three! I drew a breath and pushed the lever again — this time into the extreme position.

The workshop became fainter, slowly losing substance and reality blurred…

Then night came like the turning out of a lamp. In another instant came tomorrow, then tomorrow night then day again, faster and faster like the flapping of a huge black wing.

The dim suggestion of my workshop fell away, there was a fleeting impression of scaffolding… and then I was in the open!

The sun blazed a brilliant arc in space and I saw the moon spinning swiftly from new to full. The hands on the dials whirled round faster and faster and the sun belt swayed from solstice to solstice. Minute by minute the snow flashed across the world, and vanished, to be followed by a bright, brief spring.

Trees grew like puffs of vapour. In a moment they grew, spread, shivered and passed away. I saw great buildings rise up only to fade like dreams — architecture more massive than anything from my own time yet, built of nothing more than glimmer and mist.

As my velocity through time rapidly increased the surface of the Earth melted and flowed before my eyes. The years flew by — one-hundred-thousand years… two-hundred-thousand years… three-hundred-thousand years!

The machine lurched and swayed. I felt a horrible anticipation of falling, of an imminent crash as I flung myself into futurity, madness growing upon me. I felt I could never stop. But then with a sudden gust of resolve I sharply pulled the lever. The machine went reeling and I was flung headlong through the air.






Side: 1
Track: 3
Duration: 8.00
Mood: Racey, super-epic, Wagneresque (Waynesque!)
BPM: 144
Key: D#m
Status: Not completed.

Notes: This is the main theme for ‘The Time Machine’. The music is the perfect excuse to experiment with time signatures. Playing with time signatures here, 6/8, 7/4, 5/4 time for that odd or ‘rolling’ feel. Picks up to a driving bass line all the way through odd timing. Menacing to reflect the fear of this new way of travelling. The ‘machine’ the inventor has created endows him with god-like powers. The music should reflect the power and the strange energy of the machine. Perhaps an Eastern theme to the music. At this time the British Empire was expiring and bringing strange wonders back to Britain from all over the world. Perhaps the inventors’ idea for the machine came from ancient knowledge of some lost culture. Gradually opens out into a more ethereal sound to reflect godlike status of time traveller – he’s lord of time, but becomes urgent again as he realises he must stop at some point with the possible consequence of colliding with another object. Need sounds representative of time passing, this odd and new way of travelling. Also, new sounds for trees growing, the earth spinning, swaying sunbelt, etc. Sounds represent night and day – “The flapping of a great wing”. We could gradually speed this up then move onto other effects for the swaying sunbelt, then trees growing as the rate of travel gets faster and faster. Things move up a gear! High energy song. He’s time travelling, we need to create new, exotic and weird synth effects. Both capture that pulsating throb. This could almost be a dance track. First use of choir here. The choir represents the voice of reason/humanity at it’s intellectual peak. We need a counterpoint to this to represent entropy/degradation. Use of “Stutter phasing” of distorted keyboard or guitar. We want sounds that represent what the TT sees to reinforce the narration. What is the sound of night turning to day (the flapping of a great black wing), the sound of trees growing, mountains forming, erosion? Also, exhilaration. This is a fly by the seat of your pants experience. The Time Machine is a ‘lash-up’, an experimental machine. The ride is rough like an old motorbike or bi-plane. What sounds might the TT hear now that time is speeding up – sounds we might not hear in normal (real) time. I imagine a soundscape of tree growing like puffs of vapour. We need sounds for the dials spinning and whirling, something like the sound of an old projector. Also sounds for the machine time travel mechanism. Needs to be something rotary and big – powerful. Also gear trains and wheels. Perhaps modified steam engine sound. There must be large rotary parts in the machine – moving in a bizarre way. Time Traveller arrives (effectively crash lands) in the year 802,701 AD in a rain of hail. Up until this point the music has been building in intensity and speed, however as soon as he pulls the lever to stop the machine the music stops dead. At first he’s intensely afraid of this future age…