Thursday September 8 Silent running: In the modern cinema, music is often incidental--sometimes you don't even know it's there. But in early film, the music, frequently performed live during screenings, was a major and propulsive member of the cast, setting the tone and color of each silent scene. The Alloy Orchestra, a Boston-based trio, has updated the concept by using synthesizers, percussion and all sorts of electronic doodads to enhance various wordless celluloid wonders. An instant success at last year's Telluride Film Festival (they appeared there again this past weekend), the group will appear tonight and tomorrow at the Mayan Theatre, 1st and Broadway, performing each night in separate showings of Harry Hoyt's Jurassic Park precursor, The Lost World (7 p.m., with the George Melies short A Trip to the Moon), and the futuristic Fritz Lang masterpiece Metropolis (9 p.m.). There will be a separate admission of $9 for each performance; for details call 744-6796.
Highland fling: No man will be wearing the pants in the house this weekend in Estes Park--they'll all be decked out in kilts instead. That's because the four-day Long's Peak Scottish-Irish Festival will return to the resort town for its eighteenth year. And this gathering of the clans will include not only the usual round of contests, concerts, demonstrations and general merrymaking, but also special events commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the Normandy invasion. There will be blaring "tattoos" featuring drums, bugles and bagpipes galore, Celtic dancers and a fine lineup of folk performers such as Alex "the Scotsman" Beaton, fiddler Alasdair Fraser and Irish folksinger Seamus Kennedy. Events take place today through Sunday at the Estes Park Fairgrounds, located off Hwy. 36 at Community Dr. Daily field admission is $10 ($3 kids) or $18 for two days; tickets for tattoos and concerts are an additional $15 each. Call 1-303-586-6308.
Ancestral maneuvers: Composer, recording artist and former Denverite Kenny Passarelli may have gotten used to the international limelight, performing with names like Joe Walsh and Elton John, but he hasn't forgotten his humble roots. Passarelli, along with collaborator and Mayan descendant Tze'ec, has created Visiones de Mis Antepasados, a music and dance paean to his Hispanic origins that melds elements of early Meso-American society with an adventurous Spanish soul. The program will premiere tonight at 7 at the Denver Civic Theatre, 721 Santa Fe Dr. Shows continue each evening through Saturday; the run wraps up with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday. Actor/comedian Cheech Marin, who will also visit informally with the community earlier in the day at La Alma Park, will be on hand for the Saturday evening show, a special gala performance. Tickets are $15 (a limited quantity will be available for Saturday at that price); call 595-3800 to reserve yours.
Friday September 9 On the street: Art enthusiasts will have to make only one stop tonight for a grab bag of LoDo gallery openings: On Wazee Street, between 17th and 18th streets, several interesting shows get under way this evening. The Metro State Center for the Visual Arts, 1701 Wazee, presents Chicano Connection, an exhibition of about forty works expressing the cultural concerns of Latino artists from all over the West. Visit the gallery until 8 tonight; the show continues through October 15. Call 294-5207. A few doors down on the opposite side of the street, The Art of Craft, 1736 Wazee, will hold an opening from 6 to 9 p.m. for its Wearable Art Extravaganza, a national show of unusual apparel--from beautiful handwoven sweaters to painted silk ties--scheduled to remain at the gallery through October 15. Call 292-5564. And it's a only a few more steps to the Robischon Gallery, 1740 Wazee, where works by Trine Bumiller and Brad Miller can be seen through October 8. For further information on that show, call the gallery at 298-7799.
Saturday September 10 A classic case: The metro area offers both low- and high-end opportunities for music lovers today. A free Classical Music Showcase will be held in celebration of Classical Music Month. From 1 until 5 p.m., several music ensembles from the Boulder area--including the CU College of Music's Facets Woodwind Trio, the Boulder Philharmonic's Centennial Brass Quintet and a trio of musicians representing the Boulder Bach Festival--will perform at the Boulder Public Library auditorium, 1000 Canyon Blvd. For information call 447-2422. The Colorado Symphony Orchestra kicks off its new season tonight at 6 with a bit of old-fashioned glitz. Una Notte Italiana will include cocktails, an Italian dinner and silent auction, followed by a CSO concert featuring piano virtuoso Simone Pedroni. It all takes place at Boettcher Hall, 14th and Curtis in the Plex; tickets are $125 ($250 patron). Call 595-4915.
Sunday September 11 One step at a time: One of Denver's highest-profile fundraising walks gets under way this morning at Cheesman Park, 9th Ave. and Gilpin St. The four-mile All Walks of Life, AIDS Walk Colorado event begins with opening ceremonies at 9 a.m.; philanthropic hoofers will set off at 9:45 a.m. Walk teams composed of groups of friends, family, co-workers and the like are encouraged. Register in the park at 9 a.m. on the day of the event, or call 861-WALK. Proceeds benefit HIV/AIDS programs throughout the state, under the auspices of the Colorado AIDS Project.