Bob Pegg words ~ music ~ place contact: catsback@gmail.com I was fortunate to have been born into a family where music was an important part of everyday life. My Dad sang in local  amateur choirs, my Mother played the piano, and my father’s father and his Auntie Mabel were both keen violinists and  singers. Like many of my generation I learned to play the recorder at Primary school (I still play it - great instrument)  then graduated to the oboe, and by the time I was 15 I was playing guitar and singing regularly in the Nottingham folk  clubs.   By 1966-69, when I was doing research at Leeds University into the traditional music of the Yorkshire Dales, Carole  Pegg and I had become well-known as a duo on the British folk scene, and in 1970 we formed the folk rock band Mr  Fox and went on to make a couple of award winning albums. It was at this time that I began to find my feet as a  songwriter, writing many of the band’s songs. Mr Fox split  in 1972 and I continued to make albums, first with country  picker Nick Strutt, then solo. I also remember with great pleasure Carole and me making an LP, And Now it is So  Early, with Sydney Carter, who wrote The Lord of the Dance and many other great songs.  In the latter part of the 70s I began to get commissions to compose and record music for theatre, TV, radio and film,  including the soundtrack for Ken Loach’s Black Jack. Recent work in this area includes original music for the Scottish  Curriculum for Excellence website and a soundtrack for the Highland-based Zenwing Puppets  Since moving to the Highlands I’ve done a lot of work in community music, for example setting up the Ross-shire Junior  Folk Orchestra, and writing and directing the music for large-scale community theatre productions Macbeth and Storm.  I collaborate with clarsair Bill Taylor in both live performances and recording projects. Also I’ve also developed a great  enthusiasm for instruments made from the most basic materials - wood, clay, shells, stone, bone, hide (you can see  some of them below) - and their sounds form an integral part of my live performances, as well as featuring prominently  on recordings.   My latest show, Warrior Blues, which is based on Homer’s Odyssey, incorporates half a dozen brand new songs.  Playing the conch shell horn, one of the  many unusual instruments I use in the  show Roots and Flutes, and in storytelling performances. Others include scallop  shells, bone and stone flutes, Viking lyre  and panpipes, clay pot Iron Age, and  deerskin drums, jaw harp, snorrie bone,  bull roarers, and lots more. Sounds which  amaze and delight folk of all ages. Among my favourite instruments are  the ocarinas, egg-like whistles  whose history goes back 8000  years in China. Most are made of  clay, but I also have them in stone,  horn and plastic. Many are tiny (like  those in the picture) but the sound  that comes from them is  astonishingly loud and pure. Richard Alderson - “Neddy Dick” -  was a farmer from the Swaledale  village of Keld. He used to say he  could hear music in the air. This is ”Dick’sRock Band”, a xylophone  made of stones taken from walls  and the river’s bed. He died in the  workhouse in 1928. I wrote a  song - The Ballad of Neddy Dick -  for Mr Fox’s first album. The fabulous cover  for Mr Fox’s second  LP won an award for  Ann Winterbotham.  The 20-minute long  song was a homage  to the Dales, about a  young man’s quest  for his departed love,  the gipsy of the title. This was taken towards the end of  Mr Fox’s short existence, probably  in late 1972, when we were reduced  to three  members - me, Carole  Pegg and Nick Strutt, who’s playing  bass in the middle. I don’t know  where the picture came from, or  where we were playing. It turned up  after Nick died in late 2009. In 1978, with help from the philanthropist Ian  “Inky” Gibbs, I released a single called The  Werewolf of Old Chapeltown. While it didn’t  dent the charts, it was Sounds’ “Single of the Week”, a Melody Maker “Single of the Year”,  and the Guardian’s “Obscure Single of the  Month”. It looks savage, but told the rather  melancholy tale of a werewolf who lives in a  bedsit it Leeds’s Chapeltown, and goes to  work each morning in a Hepworth’s suit. Bones was commissioned by the  Ilkley Literature Festival in 1979, a  song sequence about the thoughts  that go through the head of a dying  Viking. George Macbeth, then the  poetry producer for BBC Radio 3,  recorded it for broadcast in the  poetry slot. It was finally released on  disc on the 2006 anthology Bob  Pegg: Keeper of the Fire. It was through Bill Leader, who had produced both  Mr Fox LPs, that I was contacted in 1976 by Ken  Loach to provide music for Black Jack, a film based on Leon Garfield’s novel for children, set in the  18th century. As a fixer I managed to bring in folk  scene icons Packie Byrne and Dave Brady, and as  a composer got to record my music in the same  vast studio that housed the Star Wars orchestra.  Among the cast were most of the little people who  starred in Time Bandits. Great experience! From time to time I make a recording for  someone whose music I particularly value.  Chrissie Stewart, a close neighbour, has  been waging a campaign in the Highlands  to encourage mothers to sing to their very  young children. Chrissie had heard an  earlier recording I made for Dingwall Gaelic  Playgroup - which had been a bit of a best-  seller! Together we worked on this CD, and  the earlier Kist o’ Dreams. Keeper of the Fire was released early in  2008, and includes all my Transatlantic  recordings from the 70s, apart from the two  Mr Fox albums (still available on one CD  as Join Us in Our Game). Difficult to get  hold of now, but worth the effort, stuffed full  of remastered goodies, including a couple  of tracks from a John Peel session and the  “lost” song sequence Bones, plus an insert  crammed with great artwork. I have a collection of Native  American flutes which feature in  both my recordings and live  performances. They are made  from many different woods  and  each has its own sound.  Audiences are entranced when  they hear them. This is a cedar  eagle flute, photographed at  Achnabreck rocks in Argyll. In 2007 I was asked by Forestry  Commission Scotland to write and record  the music for Between Two Worlds, a  spectacular night time forest walk in Glen  More in the Cairngorms. As well as playing  in different the outdoor locations, the music,  together stories from the area, was included  on a CD specially issued for the event. At  night, the legends of the forest come alive... Eagle Flute at Achnabreck Conch horn: Fergus Fullarton Pegg Ocarinas: Fergus Fullarton Pegg Werewolf single sleeve: John Hodkinson The Gipsy album sleeve: Ann Winterbotham Bairn's Kist CD Black Jack DVD Mr Fox with Nick Strutt Between Two Worlds CD Keeper of the Fire CD Bones: Bob Pegg Neddy Dick - Dales musician