Portugal – July 26th – Macedos Pirotecnia

The Portuguese Odyssey

Designed by Diogo Vasconcelos; FireOne firing with ~3000 cues – Macedos-developed visualization software.

A threat of light rain gave way to excellent conditions for this display fired on the 30th birthday of the designer, making him the forth youngest designer in the history of the competition (Yanick Roy was 29 when Royal won Gold in 2003, Eric Cardinal was 27 when Ampleman won Silver in 1999 and Nikola Koletic was 23 when Mirnovec Pirotehnika won Silver in 2013).

This display was unusual in that it contained embedded narration throughout the display to help tell the story of the Portuguese and their voyages of discovery to different places, which were reflected in the music, hinting at Asia, India, Africa and South America.

Favourable wind conditions allowed the audience to see vibrant colours throughout the display, with sequences of blue comet mines used from time to time to represent sea voyages. A fairly wide variety of material was used, including Portuguese specialties such as relampagos (a type of photoflash shell) as well as a form of scrambling comets. However, there was some repetition through the middle of the display of more basic shells such as peonies with dahlia comets. The same is true with variety of firing angles. The first part of the display was good, then there was some repetition before we got to the closing segments.

Unfortunately, there were a couple of positions knocked out of service on ramp 3, but this didn’t detract too much. One very positive feature of the display was its density – a large volume of material was used which gave a rich and full feeling. All of the space available was made use of with ramp 5 as well as large nautical shells, though it was a pity the girandolas largely refused to fly, appearing to be tethered to the ground.

The build up to the finale was really well done with typically Portuguese silver “breaking glass” comets – these are sometimes referred to as “dripping comets” as the trail appears to form a sort of waterfall in the sky. Then a transition to gold comets, volleys of whistles and final thunderous volleys of salutes, bringing the display to a close to cheers from the audience.

This was definitely Macedos most powerful display in Montreal and was thoroughly enjoyed by the audience. Most definitely a contender for a Jupiter!

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