Bob Pegg words ~ music ~ place contact: catsback@gmail.com Since coming to live in the Highlands, I’ve spent a lot of time communing with the ghostly inhabitants of castles,  cathedrals, and neolithic tombs, finding out about their ways of life and, in particular, exploring  the kinds of stories and  music they might have enjoyed.  In partnership with schools, museums, woodland groups - and organisations like Historic Scotland, Scottish Natural  Heritage, Forestry Commission Scotland and RCAHMS - I have worked on sites ranging from iron furnaces and  Caledonian MacBrayne ferries to Iron Age forts, telling stories, playing music, singing songs, and encouraging others to  do the same.  The Year of Homecoming offered some fertile opportunities, thanks to RCAHMS and Forestry Commission Scotland,  with storytelling on a huge map of Scotland in Holyrood Gardens, and the show Come Listen to the Crofters. with  Gaelic singer Christina Stewart, which featured everywhere from Eden Court Theatre in Inverness to Arichonan  township in Argyll; and with Mairi MacArthur I organised two minibus journeys from Strathpeffer to Ullapool with Alec  Williamson, the great Traveller storyteller.  I’ve also been involved in recording projects which consider the kinds of sounds and music that would have been  experienced by earlier cultures, providing the soundposts for Pictavia in Brechin, and co-ordinating and recording Out of  the Stones for Orkney Islands Council. Out of the Stones was launched with a performance in St Magnus Cathedral,  Kirkwall, and tracks from it have been broadcast on the Radio Scotland series Scotland’s Music.  Out of the Stones CD cover Tales at Martinmas programme: John Hodkinson Vikings in Dornoch Stone Age band Stories at Auchindrain: Kate Moody Selkie stories on the Dornoch Firth: Adrian Clarke Eagle and deer-bone flutes, deerskin  and clay pot drums, and scallop shell  scrapers make up the Stone Age Band. It has featured in storytelling sessions  and hands-on workshops in places  which include Caithness Horizons and  Kilmartin House. Its unique sound can  be heard on the Out of the Stones CD,  and on the Learning and Teaching  Scotland website. One of the great things about this kind of  work is that it gets you out of the house and  into the fresh air (that goes for the  audiences, as well as me). Here I am,  holding the deer-bone flute, on the banks of  the Dornoch Firth, telling stories of the Selkie people - seals in the water, but humans  when they come on land. The event, which  was organised by Scottish Natural Heritage,  was attended both by humans and, behind in  the waters, truly, seals. Together with Mairi MacArthur I organised the  annual Tales at Martinmas storytelling festival,  which ran in Ross-shire from 1999 until 2005. The  festival championed both Highland storytellers,  and performers from the Scottish Traveller  community. Events were held in venues from  Ullapool to Cromarty, and were attended by  people from as far away as Ireland, the West  Country and the Western Isles. Local folk and  Travellers mingled in a way that reflected the old,  amicable relationship between the two cultures. Telling stories and playing music  at Auchindrain Township Museum, in late 2010. Auchindrain  township, near Inveraray, was  occupied until the 1960s, so the  buildings are still in excellent  condition. A great place to visit,  and to remind yourself of a rural  way of life that was widespread  not so long ago. And a great place to tell the old tales by the fireside. Orkney Islands Council commissioned  the Out of the Stones CD in 2005. I  worked with clarsair Bill Taylor to make  recordings of the kinds of music that  would have been heard on Orkney over  5000 years, through the prehistoric,  Pictish and Viking and medieval periods  Some of the leading early music  specialists in the UK contributed to the  project. We launched the recording in St  Magnus’ Cathedral, in Kirkwall. The Vikings are a favourite  theme for workshop sessions.  They’re good for costumes, and  offer plenty of roles for strong  women, as well as battles for  the belligerently inclined. They  have great stories too. In this  two-day holiday session in  Dornoch we had lots of music,  and ended with a performance  of How the Sea Became Salt.