The Imagined Village

The Imagined Village

One of the most unusual collaborations of the past decade, The Imagined Village is a folk musical project founded by Simon Emmerson of the Afro Celt Sound System, creating modern folk music which represents modern multiculturalism in the UK; it features musicians from a wide variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds and has included Eliza and Martin Carthy, Paul Weller, Chris Wood, John Copper, Benjamin Zephaniah, Billy Bragg, Sheila Chandra, Transglobal Underground, Tunng and The Young Copper Family. Its name comes from Georgina Boyes' 1993 book The Imagined Village.

The Imagined Village made a significant impression with their critically acclaimed and commercially successful debut album (released via Peter Gabriel's Real World label), touring extensively and appearing on TV's Later…With Jools show, and winning a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award with the track 'Cold, Hailey, Rainy Night'. Subsequent albums, on ECC Records, include Empire & Love (2010) and Bending the Dark (2012).

  • Total duration: 12'42
  • MP3 | 320K 44.1 KHz
    26.1 MB
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The Imagined Village 


Composer Sheema Mukherjee's piece Bending The Dark has been written from the point of view of a second-generation immigrant tracing the path of the Indian diaspora across continents. It is performed by The Imagined Village, a band that unites some of England's finest traditional musicians alongside leading figures on the UK Asian and alternative, electronica music scene.

New Music 20x12 is the brainchild of Jillian Barker and David Cohen who wanted to put new music at the heart of the Olympic celebrations in 2012. It is delivered by PRS for Music Foundation in partnership with BBC Radio 3, London 20x12 and NMC Recordings. For a full list of funding partners click here.


20 outstanding new works, each lasting 12 minutes, commissioned to feature centre stage of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. New Music 20x12 is a UK-wide commissioning programme consisting of twenty new pieces of music, each of 12 minutes in length, celebrating the talent and imagination of the UK’s musical community as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

Over the next 12 months you will be able to enjoy performances of these 20 new works in a wide range of venues and unexpected locations across the length and breadth of the UK – from churches, arts centres and concert halls to public spaces, festivals and a train journey. Each piece will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and available to purchase as mp3/FLAC download from NMC.

Visit our New Music 20x12 Project Page for more information about the twenty works.



Produced in association with BBC Radio 3 and PRS for Music Foundation


Catalogue number:
NMC DL2012-19
Release Date:
3 September 2012