I apologize. I asked this without trying to open an autosave project. I just tried that and it worked. Apologies for jumping the gun on posting this. Have no idea why the autosaved file opened and not the original project file.
Okay, now the autosaved version had problems of its own before AE and my computer both crashed. These were the error messages I received:
After Effects error: Crash in progress. Last logged message was: <976> <AsioWDM> <0> The wdm driver appears to have hung, we're going to terminate the callback thread!!
& then this popped up:
After Effects can't continue: sorry, After Effects has crashed. For After Effects Help and Support, go to http://www.adobe.com/go/learn_ae_support. If you still can't resolve the issue, please contact Adobe Technical Support (2).
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Something with your audfio driver or an audio file in the project then...