Friday, October 15, 2010

Hand-Fitted 'Pitching' Music

Live musical accompaniment is a key element of our walling festivals. The musicians tell us they get inspired watching us work. This video clip starts off with the Ancient Music Duo of Port Hope (Fred Cody and Deborah Henderson) playing at the bridge and then morphs into an explanation on 'pitching'.

Pitching, sometimes called rip rap, is a type of paving technique creating a similar look to a cobble stone surface. It is an ancient road building technique in which medium sized rocks are set on end, or "pitched" up on their side. The stones are hand-fitted tightly together with aggregate packed into the gaps to tighten the construction. Think of a book in a bookshelf, only the spine is showing and the rest of the book is hidden. Modern trail builders all over the world have revived and perfected stone pitching.

Here in this video, taken during the building of Kay's Bridge at the Canadian Thanksgiving festival called 'Rocktoberfest' recently held in Rockport Ontario this year. Gavin Rose, a trail builder with the National Trust, who lives and works in Cumbria England explains a little bit about this paving technique which we used on the bridge.

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