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Mercury-nominated folk artist brings First World War project to Calstock

By LeeTrewhela  |  Posted: February 10, 2014

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AWARD-WINNING folk singer Sam Lee brings a unique project to Calstock to mark the centenary of the First World War.

Unearthing the wartime folk songs and personal stories from four rural communities, Sam will breathe fresh life into century old traditions through new arrangements and songs.

In collaboration with fellow multi-instrumentalists Nico Brown, Cosmo Sheldrake and Gwendolen Chatfield, Sam will present an exclusive premiere of this new material at Calstock Village Hall on February 22 as part of a captivating evening of folk song, storytelling and more. This rural project will culminate as a larger scale production with The Unthanks to take place in major concert halls early autumn 2014.

The centenary of the First World War offers a unique opportunity to look back at the creative landscape of the early 20th-century and to rediscover the oral tradition from this time. Alongside high profile young artists such as Rupert Brooke, Wilfred Owen and Ivor Gurney, so many more were lost, and with the death of those in the folk tradition, died the continuation of many songs, tales and tunes.

Taking its name from Rupert Brooke’s Great War poem The Soldier, Forever England seeks to revive and preserve these traditions for the 21st century.

In late January Sam spent time meeting people who inherited songs and stories from the First World War plus visiting folk archives as part of a writing residency.

Calstock Village Hall will create its own unique event centred on Sam’s performance and is keen to hear from any local people with First World War memorabilia.

Shortlisted for the Mercury Music Prize in 2012, Sam Lee is one of the most exciting, fastest rising stars of the English folk scene. He has a passion for tracking down some of Britain’s most beautiful and moving folk music, much of it only surviving in the minds and voices of venerable exponents of the tradition.

His rich voice and brilliantly engaging stage persona carries the audience along with his tales of love, lust and all manner of human foibles. He is currently working on his next album due for release in spring 2014.

Forever England is part of Imperial War Museums’ Centenary Partnership Programme. Forever England is also part of an ongoing initiative established by sounduk and rural touring schemes to present innovative new music in rural England.

Got First World War memorabilia to share? Contact info@sounduk.net

The event starts at 8pm on Saturday, February 22, 8pm at Calstock Village Hall. Tickets are £8 adult / £6 child / £22 family (two adults, two children) from 01726 879500 / www.calstockhall.com

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