There are many different festivals at the 2018 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. One could focus exclusively on dance, film or visual art; and even if you came just for the music, you’d still need to decide between jazz, classical, folk, electronic, choral, experimental and more. Within each genre one also creates one’s own festival, depending on the route you navigate among the hundreds of shows available. Here’s a snapshot of some of the sounds I’ve been lucky to hear. There was Gabrielle Goliath’s haunting experiment, Elegy, a ritual for the mourning of transgender woman Joan Thabeng, who was murdered in a possible hate crime in 2017. Seven women sustain one note for one hour, each picking up the note in turn when the breath leaves the preceding performer. Staged in the Nuns Chapel, the piece is a lingering lament for an unfathomable loss sustained by prejudice. Before this I’d seen A Feather on the Breath of God at the same venue, which featured compositions by 10 female co...

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