“Perhaps I am a man of exceptional moods. I do not know how far my experience is common. At times I suffer from the strangest sense of detachment from myself and the world about me; I seem to watch it all from the outside, from somewhere inconceivably remote, out of time, out of space, out of the stress and tragedy of it all.”
H. G. Wells
In July 2021, the Teatre Lliure management suggested that we make an adaptation of the H. G. Wells novel The War of the Worlds for radio theatre. The radio drama seems to be experiencing a second wind as a result of the lockdowns we have been forced to endure because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet we also think that it’s because of the advent of all kinds of devices designed to offer contents on a massive scale, yet always based on individual experience. The act of putting on headphones and isolating oneself has multiplied around the world, perhaps just like the advent of the printing press multiplied the act of opening a book and isolating oneself as well. In the case of the H. G. Wells novel, this isolation comes with an exercise of exuberant imagination in which its words lead the reader to events that are far from their everyday life, in fact, events that are far from any life on the planet Earth: an alien invasion. The evocative power of the word becomes clear in this novel, which has become engraved in our collective imaginary, an imaginary exploited to the utmost by cinema and literature. We want our proposal, just like the original novel, to be an exercise in imagination. An exercise in imagination by the listener based on the different stimuli we offer them. Wells offers us words, and we will offer a ‘sound translation’ of them.
(Our) War of the Worlds is a sound piece loosely inspired by the novel penned in 1898. Based on this text, which is regarded as one of the forerunners of science fiction novels, we have created a sound journey that spans the 27 chapters comprising the two books into which the novel is divided. Our intention has been to focus on the main character’s emotional journey. It is a subjective version updated for the twenty-first century which uses sounds drawn from the media, recorded sounds, sounds created with different instruments and machines (synthesisers, guitar pedalboards, pedals, etc.) and sound effects generated with the Foley technique used in the cinema.