November 24, 2006
For Aspenites, Nepal represents beauty, mysticism and the challenge of the highest peaks on Earth. But the day-to-day reality for the Nepalese is not so sublime. Among the poorest people on the planet, the Nepalese are afflicted in uncommonly large numbers by cataract blindness. “Light of the Himalaya,” a documentary by Michael Brown, follows a group that includes not only the North Face Athlete Team, but also a handful of eye surgeons, who offer their services to Nepal’s blind. The uplifting story of giving back to a community, combined with the ascent of a 21,000-foot peak, has helped the film earn a handful of awards, including Best Colorado Film honors in the Boulder International Film Festival. “Light of the Himalaya” shows at the Wheeler Opera House Friday, Dec. 1, hosted by local Dick Jackson and his Aspen Expeditions. A reception with the filmmakers and climbers, including Basaltine Jordan Campbell, precedes the screening; proceeds go to the Himalayan Cataract Project.
If ever there was a shoo-in candidate for the One-Hit Wonder Hall of Fame, it would be Thomas Dolby. His 1983 synth hit “She Blinded Me with Science” was the embodiment of the early MTV age. Dolby didn’t immediately disappear from the music scene; he just moved to the back seat, playing on albums by Foreigner and Def Leppard. In the ’90s, the London native did remove himself from the stage, to launch a Silicon Valley synthesizer software. Last year’s Sole Inhabitant tour ” his first performances in 15 years, which Dolby described as “a Dr. Frankenstein laboratory” ” yielded the CD, “The Sole Inhabitant.” The live recording finds Dolby’s music not only up-to-date (give or take the occasional ’80s flashback), but still futuristic ” sci-fi in sound. Dolby joins another musical visionary, BT, for the audiovisual show, the Sonic Duel for Virtual Supremacy, Saturday, Dec. 2, at Belly Up. The show will be preceded by a screening of BT’s “This Binary Universe.”
The old axiom, what goes up must come down, takes on a new meaning in Aspen, where “up” means uphill, and the hills are mountains. Such is the case Saturday, Dec. 2, when the third annual Storm the Stars challenges participants to skin, snowshoe or trudge up Aspen Mountain in the dark. This year, Storm the Stars organizer the Aspen Skiing Co. teams with the American Transplant Foundation and the Chris Klug Foundation to turn the event into more than an excuse to prove one’s fitness. It’s also a fundraiser for the two foundations, operating under the umbrella of the Aspen Summit for Life. Klug, of course, is the local snowboarder who won Olympic bronze in 2002 after a liver transplant. Racers may participate individually or in teams of three. The nighttime race, from the base of Aspen Mountain to the summit, covers 3,267 vertical feet over 2.5 miles. Dinner, live music and an awards party at the Sundeck will serve as an enticement to make it up. The $40 registration fee includes the race, the party and a goodie bag. Participants must also raise at least $160 in pledges to take part. Register at http://www.summitforlife.org.