Planetarium 2006


Saturday, September 15, 2007, 7:30 p.m.

Mallory Kountze Planetarium

University of Nebraska at Omaha



Heather Frasch, Prelude

Violent Femmes, “American Music”

James Tenney, Analog #1 (Noise Study)

George Lucas, Chase from THX 1138

Filippo Marinetti, Drama of Distances/Silences Speaking to Each Other

John Ellison, Cowardly Old World*

Joe Drew, In the Year 2889*

Giacomo Balla, Canzone di Maggio

Ridley Scott, Interrogation from Bladerunner

Rudolf Kamper, gelanstribastifrimacon*

Daft Punk, “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger”

George Lucas, Torture from THX 1138

Pierre Henry, The Screaming Souls

Chris Marker, Kingdom of Rats from La Jete

Peter Milligan, Eschatology 101*

*world premiere


Joe Drew, video projection

Denis Fitzpatrick, table

Heather Frasch, sound projection

Rudolf Kamper, video projection



Cowardly Old World

Libretto by Gordon Smith

Concept by Joe Drew & Gordon Smith


Prologue: Not so long ago, when the future was still the future and not the past it has become, and the past was a dream of all the futures that had come before it, Gil Rimple came unstuck in time. He felt it in his stomach, the way you feel love and fear and all the things that make a life move. Otherwise, little marked the moment. First, he was now; then, he was then.


As long as there has been a Today, there’s been a Tomorrow. The Future is still a pretty common thing. It happens to 10 out of 10 people, and we can’t stop thinking about it. No matter what Matthew says (“Do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will bring worries of its own”), we’ll never stop imagining what the future will hold. Whether it’s predicting the end of the world or what our food will look like in 100 years, people have been foretelling what’s to come since the dawn of time.


In Cowardly Old World, that choir of voices with fantastical visions becomes a disorienting din when our hero, Gil Rimple, gets lost in time. Is he in George Orwell’s 1984 or Al Gore’s 2056? If you could love someone in a steampunk future, what would it sound like?


This collection of electronic music and imagery is a menagerie of faded futures. Ideas of tomorrow that have come and gone. Some still captivate us, while others seem laughable. (Perhpas the real joke is that we persist at prognostication, even though we’re so bad at it.)


If what’s past is prologue, our memories form a kind of binary code that define us and should determine what we do next. Shouldn’t they? — Rene Edmunds



Joe Drew and Heather Frasch delivered a multimedia talk at 7 p.m. Heather discussed the principles of sound diffusion. Joe discussed the techniques of futurists such, using Al Gore as an example.