The Imagined Village is a folk musical project founded by Simon Emmerson. The collective produces contemporary folk music that embraces modern multiculturalism in the United Kingdom. They feature musicians from a wide variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
The project started in 2004, leading to the release of an eponymous album in 2007 on Real World Records. The album was a mixture of new compositions and re-imaginings of traditional folk songs. ‘Cold, Hailey, Rainy Night’, from the album, was voted as best traditional track at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.
The Imagined Village now records with ECC Records, and released a second album, ‘Empire & Love’, in 2010.
The name of the project comes from the 1993 book ‘The Imagined Village’ by Georgina Boyes, exploring ideas around English identity. The project was set up to find a way of presenting ‘Englishness’ in a progressive, modern way, still linked to the roots of traditional culture.
Founder Simon Emmerson’s passion for folk music began as a teenager, when he would spend holidays sitting around campfires in the New Forest singing the songs of the 50s and early 60s folk revival. He is still a member of the Forest School Camp organization, which has promoted scouting for socialists since the 1930s.
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