Upbeat: Life in the raw

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The Independent Culture
THE GREEN Party may be shaky, but the Nettlefold Festival lives on. South London's quirkiest music event - it takes place in tents and inflatable labyrinths on Clapham Common - has gone ecological. David Bellamy opens it at lunchtime today; assorted Greens will talk to audiences at strategic moments during the festival's run. In terms of the music, this means some intriguing prospects: continuous performances of George Crumb's Voice of the Whale, for instance, throughout the final Sunday afternoon on 20 September.

Earlier in the week there are appearances by Huellas, a panpipe group from Ecuador, and by the Kenyan singer and lyre player Ayub Ogada. The Bow Gamelan Ensemble has an outdoor session (near the Windmill pub). And through the week the public are invited to wear Musical Rain Hats created by the resident artist, Will Menter: the headgear includes tuned metal strips, and the wearer has to walk under a sprinkler.

For mere contemporary music by British composers, the main opportunity is this afternoon in a concert by Sounds Positive. All a long way from the earnest sessions in the Norwood hall before single-figure audiences with which the festival kept going a few years ago.

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