Eve of the War

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I have long been a fan of the rich voice of Richard Burton. I only hope that I have done the great man justice here today. This is the introduction, read from the lyrics of Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds musical version of H.G. Wells' classic text.

A very difficult voice to perform and probably the longest piece I've made to date, this is practice for narration of story texts, which will form the backbone of my 2011 submissions.

I did seriously consider singing an attempt at Justin Hayward's sung thoughts of the narrator, the chorus line, but without music to back it up, I fear I am not capable of replicating the sound correctly.

"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 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.

At midnight on the twelfth of August, a huge mass of luminous gas erupted from Mars and sped towards Earth. Across two hundred million miles of void, invisibly hurtling towards us, came the first of the missiles that were to bring so much calamity to Earth. As I watched, there was another jet of gas. It was another missile, starting on its way.

And that's how it was for the next ten nights. A flare, spurting out from Mars - bright green, drawing a green mist behind it - a beautiful, but somehow disturbing sight. Ogilvy, the astronomer, assured me we were in no danger. He was convinced there could be no living thing on that remote, forbidding planet.

"The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one," he said.
"The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one - but still they come!"

Then came the night the first missile approached Earth. It was thought to be an ordinary falling star, but next day there was a huge crater in the middle of the Common, and Ogilvy came to examine what lay there: a cylinder, thirty yards across, glowing hot... and with faint sounds of movement coming from within.

Suddenly the top began moving, rotating, unscrewing, and Ogilvy feared there was a man inside, trying to escape. he rushed to the cylinder, but the intense heat stopped him before he could burn himself on the metal.

"The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one," he said.
"The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one - but still they come!"

It seems totally incredible to me now that everyone spent that evening as though it were just like any other. From the railway station came the sound of shunting trains, ringing and rumbling, softened almost into melody by the distance. It all seemed so safe and tranquil.

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Just like the original...

You did a grade-A job at recreating a fine piece of work. As echo'ed from other Review's the pauses were a few milliseconds long, but a fine piece of work without a doubt.

Coop responds:

Thanks very much - what did you think of the parts where I spoke the words of Justin Hayward (sung lines of the narrator), as opposed to trying to sing them, which might have failed the piece.

did anyone else notice

that this was a exert from war of the worlds? sorry I just found it odd that no one picked up on that considering the impact the play had in the 1930's. Aside from that nice narrating, a little monotonous but it makes sense because I always thought H. G. Wells would've sound like that if he did a book reading.

Coop responds:

Richard Burton has one of the best voices for narration of all time. Silky smooth, yet deep and foreboding.

Good voice

You have a very nice reading voice and this time you also took the time to pronounce the words very clearly. This extra effort really pays off. You managed to create a very good atmosphere with your voice alone. Even though I know the story, I sat before my laptop, listening to your story telling.

However, just lke SeeD pointed out, there are a few noticeable pauses. I guess this is because you recorded this story in parts, which is only natural. It makes it alot easier to correct mistakes (nothing more annoying if you have a slip of tounge on the last few words and have to record huge parts again because there's no way of editing it in a satisfying way).
But the few seconds where we can hear nothing, not even the surrounding sounds, destroy the flow of the story.

Anyway, back to the voice acting. I think you just found the right pace to read this story. Slowly, but very fluently, without any unnecessary pauses (except for the pauses mentioned in the paragraph above) and even though you read this long text very quietly, it never gets boring to listen to your reading.

{ Review Request Club }

Coop responds:

Perhaps if I made the pauses slightly shorter, it would sound better. I'm glad that you enjoyed the piece - there's hope for me yet :D


I've said it before and I'll say it again, you have a good voice for storytelling. Would be great for e-books or the radio. There are a few really noticeable pauses in the recording that somewhat interrupt the flow of the story. Not badly, but they are there. It's mostly obvious by the static from the mic. I guess that leaves it up to you if you feel like investing in a high quality mic to record clips and send them to Newgrounds.

The story is meh. You nailed the voice acting pretty well but the repeating lines in this story just seemed kinda cheesy, mostly because the line wasn't really all that epic enough to be repeated, in my opinion. The clip is only about two and a half minutes and I'm sure there's a lot more that you could have read from the story. Maybe a 10 minute story with some sort of buildup and a climax would be nice to hear.

Overall a good piece. I think you can do better if you really want to, but nonetheless the piece is still enjoyable.


Coop responds:

I'm getting there. On the audio front for 2011 is a mic stand and a pop guard. From there, I'd like to be able to record better, but I also need to learn how to edit the background noise out for balance with Audacity.

It's a work in progress, as my voice and the requirements are constantly evolving.

Albert Wesker

You sound almost exactly like Albert Wesker from Resident Evil and it sounds like he would say that too if he hadn't been killed in a volcano in Resident Evil 5. Very nice story though and the voice acting is very firm and strongly delivered. It is a very strange and weird story as well too.

I really wouldn't suggest changing anything done. I guess I could go to the writing forum and try to voice act one of the stories and see how it goes as well.

Overall, very strongly done, excellent job Coop!!!

Review Request Club

Coop responds:

Do a search for Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds - Eve of the War and see for yourself how close I got it to Richard Burton's original work :)

Credits & Info


4.25 / 5.00

Dec 31, 2010
11:06 AM EST
Voice Demo
File Info
2.4 MB
2 min 37 sec

Licensing Terms

Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.