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Current Events

Academy of Media ArtsThe German film "Auf der Strecke" is part of the Live Action Shorts! program showing Monday, Feb. 16, at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen.

Calling Warren Haynes the hardest-working man in show biz is a bit misleading (and by now, worn out). The title suggests that Haynes made his name through nothing but dogged will. But his creativity is enormous. On 2007’s “Mighty High,” Haynes led his Gov’t Mule into new waters ” reggae and dub ” and they did a mighty fine job of it, giving the Jamaican sounds a hard-jamming twist. Haynes is at work on a pair of projects outside the Mule: one focusing on his singer-songwriter side; another influenced by old-school soul, but with all original material. Gov’t Mule is also at work on a new CD, and it’s anybody’s guess what angle it will have. The North Carolina native reveals his Southern roots when the Allman Brothers do a 15-night New York City stand next month; then he goes hippie as a member of the Dead’s spring tour. But first, he has a Mule date at Belly Up ” featuring new bassist Jorgen Carlsson ” Sunday, Feb. 15. OK, so Haynes is the hardest-working guy in the biz.

The Swiss short film “Auf der Strecke” bites off a narrow slice of life: a middle-aged security guard, the cute clerk he watches from a distance, a violent episode on the subway. The cinematography is on a similarly intimate scale, shot in lingering close-ups of its characters. But director/co-writer Reto Caffi explores this small episode in great depth, wringing themes of loneliness and longing, regret and opportunity from the 30-minute film. If there were an acting Oscar in the short-film realm, Roeland Wiesnekker, as the security guard Rolf, would have it sewn up. “Auf der Strecke,” which earned an award for best student film at Aspen Shortsfest, is among the Oscar-nominated works in the Live Action Shorts! program on Monday, Feb. 16 at the Wheeler Opera House. Also to be screened are a French meditation on death; an adaptation of a Roddy Doyle short story, set in Ireland and Africa; a Danish film about free will; and an exploration of German guilt over the Holocaust.

Jeffrey Kahane is curtailing his ties to Denver; last year, he announced that his tenure as music director of the Colorado Symphony, which began in 2005, would end after the 2009-’10 season. (He will maintain some relationship with the orchestra, and is in talks to determine how extensive that role will be.) In Aspen, however, Kahane appears to be a keeper. Having made his Aspen debut only three years ago, in his late 40s, he has become part of the Aspen Music Festival family, with regular appearances as both a pianist and conductor. Kahane performs a solo piano recital on Monday, Feb. 16 at Harris Hall, in the Winter Music series; the program is centered around Schubert’s Piano Sonata in A major, and includes works by Rachmaninoff, Mendelssohn, and “Django,” by Kahane’s 27-year-old son, Gabriel. Kahane is a prominent presence in Aspen this coming summer, conducting the Aspen Chamber Symphony, appearing as soloist with the Aspen Festival Orchestra, and playing chamber music.

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