A MIX of live music, recorded audio drama and projected animation, with a story that travels from the Brazilian rainforest to the fairytale world of Red Riding Hood, The Dead Stations is one of the most ambitious projects to emerge in Scotland this year so far. Pulling it all together are the compositions of trad musician Mike Vass, whose In The Wake Of Neil Gunn album was released to great acclaim in 2014.

“The music is partly underscore and partly standalone tracks, including two songs,” he explains. “The songs add another dimension to the narrative as they continue to explore the dark themes running through the recorded dialogue, so in a way become part of the story. The underscore is quite sparse, usually just piano and viola or occasionally violin and bowed double bass. It tries to capture the mood of the story, so often it is creating tension or a feeling of unease.”

Vass, right, describes his work for The Dead Stations – which was written and conceived for live performance by author-director Charlotte Hathaway – as “less of a development and more of a side-step” from In The Wake Of Neil Gunn. It’s currently available in CD form at www.unroofed.com, while the live version of the show visits Woodend Barn in Banchory on Saturday, Glenurquhart Public Hall in Drumnadrochit on Sunday and the Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh on Friday, March 11.

A huge bonus for lovers of Scottish folk music is that Mairi Campbell (whose version of Auld Lang Syne was heard in the film of Sex And The City) sings and plays viola in both The Dead Stations and, during the tour, solo form as a first-half concert.

“Mairi is constantly striving to take her own music in new directions and is a keen improviser and experimenter,” says Vass. “She’s fresh from two very successful sell-out shows at Celtic Connections with her one-woman show Pulse. She has a very soulful delivery and is able to really convey the emotion in the lyrics .”