Bob Pegg words ~ music ~ place contact: catsback@gmail.com Stories are at the  core of all my work, whether told, sung, played or written.   In the 1970s, most of the songs I wrote and recorded were narratives, including longer song-sequences such as The  Gipsy, The Shipbuilder and Bones. In 1989, when I moved to the Highlands and began to meet and work with some of  the great Scottish Traveller storytellers, I was inspired by them to tell stories myself. Since then I have worked as a  storyteller in schools, community venues and festivals, all over Scotland, in the Northern and Western Isles, and as far  afield as Iceland. The stories and legends of the north have been a great inspiration, and form the bulk of my repertoire.  My storytelling always incorporates music, song, and riddles. A lot of the performances take place in specific locations,  from neolithic sites to haunted villages, with the occasional cathedral included. In 2002 we received Scottish Arts Council  funding which helped set up The Merry Dancers Storytelling project. This gave great opportunities  for storytellers to  work with artists in other media, and produced the award-winning Gizzen Briggs animation (see Schools).  Recently I’ve been using traditional stories as a starting point for a lot of project work. In 2007 A Tale Gathering gave  great opportunities to work with schools, after-school, and community groups, in collaborations with Highland artists, to  produce hand-made books, large-scale artwork, drama for people with special needs and pre-school Gaelic learners,  and model making. Projects with Historic Scotland and Kilmartin House, and Walking the Stories, a series of storywalks  supported by a Creative Scotland bursary,  have opened up possibilities for using storytelling in fresh contexts.    The Shipbuilder album sleeve: Bob Pegg Knockfarrel storywalk: John McNaught The Storytelling Yurt in Lochcarron A Warning to Minstrels: Kate Mellor Nairn Book Festival: Iain Fairweather Duncan Williamson: Bob Pegg The Shipbuilder was released in 1974, by   Transatlantic Records. It was a Gothic  narrative which extended over both sides  of the LP, and was greatly inspired by  Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient  Mariner. While not being unaware of the  Seven Deadly Sins, I’m a little bit proud of  the sleeve design, all my own work, which  was included in the very first book of LP  cover art, Album Sleeve Album. In the late 70s I wrote a number of songs  which were much performed, but never  recorded. One was A Warning to Minstrels,  which told of a street singer whose music  charmed the Queen so much that she took  him in to the palace so that he might “sing  for her when she pleased” - with, of course,  dire consequences. The exquisite illustration  is by Kate Mellor. An even more beautiful  illustration to the song is in the Gallery. In 2001-02 I toured with the  Storytelling Yurt in Wester Ross.  My co-worker was drama worker  Judith Aitken. We learned to put it  up in an hour (and take it down  again when the inevitable rain  arrived). The yurt was the focal  point of all manner of activities,  from storytelling to felt making. Story Walks are great ways to  get some fresh air, explore the  landscape, and find out about the  spirit of a place. Here we’re on  the top of Knockfarrel hill, just  above Ardival where I live,  blowing a big horn, as an  invocation for a story of Finn  MacCoul, the great Irish warrior. Duncan Williamson is widely feted as one  of the great storytellers of the last century.  He was born in 1928, in a tent in a wood  near the shores of Loch Fyne in Argyll,  and soaked up stories and songs the  whole of his life. Duncan was a great  encourager of younger storytellers. He  taught me how to play the Jew’s harp, and, by example, how stories, music, songs  and riddles all work together as part of an  ancient entertainment tradition. When he  died, in 2007, it seemed as if everyone  you met had a Duncan anecdote to tell. Here I am, doing my bit at the Nairn Book  Festival 2007. I Photoshopped the Arthur  Rackham trees into the background,  because of my admiration for his work, and  because, whenever I tell a story that’s set in a forest, I see it in my head as drawn by  Rackham. I like to tell the old, traditional  stories, that have been around for maybe  thousands of years, moving from continent  to continent and language to language,  taking on the characteristics of their cultural surroundings like living chameleon  creatures. Where will they pop up next?