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2000 l'International Benson & Hedges Montréal Pyromusical Competition Report

Italy Rock 'n' Fantasy Sunday July 9th, 2000

Ipon S.R.L., designed by Joachim Berner, Pyrodigital firing, finale firing by Enrico and Benito Pagano with tradtional time delays and Pyrodigital cues

During its first visit in 1997, this company's emotion-charged presentation earned the grand prize. Its entry the following year, a display of the utmost finesse, won the Silver Jupiter. For their third visit, these charming Italians from Naples are sure to enchant us with their magnificent bombs [shells], designed to match the rockin' rhythms of their fantastic soundscape."

A continuing refusal of summer to start properly didn't damp enthusiasm for the third visit of this Italian team from Naples. Earlier heavy rains gave way to clear conditions for this display with a rock theme. More than 70% of the material used was fabricated by Ipon, with some devices specially constructed for this display, including four-break 8" shells weighing more than 55lbs and 6" fireball salutes. Winners of Gold and Silver Jupiters on their first two visits, this promised to be an exciting display.

Part 1 to the music Voyager by The Alan Parsons Project. The display opened dramatically with shells of tourbillons and repeated volleys of blue shell-of-shells multi-breaks and white comet shell-of-shells multi-breaks as the music moved seamlessly to:

Part 2 to the music We Will Rock You by Queen. Blue, then gold, then bright green note-synchronized mines exactly followed the music for some time before the colours changed to red stars and gold glitter, then green stars and gold glitter, all the time maintaining perfect synchronization. The mines were fired in different directions, adding to the rhythm and moving from left to right. Then shells of silver comets and salutes, multi-breaks of blue with salutes, then silver with salutes then more blue with salutes. This segment was brought to a close with firefly shells and mines.

Part 3 to the music Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple. This segment opened with volleys of multi-break gold comet dahlia shells followed by shells of blue with green pistils. Then shells with blue pistils and red stars and vice versa. Next, a volley of the really large fireball salute shells followed by the launch of nautic smoke devices! Then more barrage of the multi-break gold comet dahlia shells followed by shells with a flower-like colour star centre surrounded by a ring of pale gold star headed comets. Many of these were fired, some with blue centres and some with green. Then another volley of the fireball salutes and more nautic smoke devices. Gold comet dahlia shells exploding exactly on the beat were followed by single shot comets and stars moving along the floating firing ramp from left to right and then from right to left, in perfect synchronization. Then shells of bright white stars, another volley of fireball salutes and yet more nautic smoke devices. The segment was brought to a close with a barrage of gold comet dahlia shells followed by charcoal comet shells with the stars reaching to the ground.

Part 4 to the music The Happiest Days of our Lives by Pink Floyd. Two silver girandolas rose majestically into the air, to cheers from the crowd. Then another pair, a third pair, a fourth and to more cheering, a fifth. Next, multi-break shell-of-shells in orange stars, then the same in silver crossing, comets, then orange again, then silver crossing again, orange again and finally silver again. Next, shells of red umbrella-shaped clusters and silver comet multi-break dahlias. These were repeated and followed by the flower-like petalled tourbillon shells and then turquoise star shells. More large double-petalled flower-like tourbillon shells, the segment moving seamlessly after a silver comet shell into

Part 5 to the music Another Brick in the Wall by Pink Floyd. A line of mines was follwed by a huge multi-petalled flower-like tourbillon. Then barrages of charcoal comet shells, the stars trailing to the ground, then larger and with glitter frond stars followed by multi-break shells of bunches of stars and then more glittering kamuros and more multi-breaks. Next, a line of star headed comets with silver kamuros above. A barrage of multi-break ball and comet shells, the segment coming to a close with huge silver kamuros, trailing to the ground.

Part 6 to the music Crime of the Century by Supertramp. This began with multi-break shells of comets, then multi-breaks in blue, then more multi-break comets followed by huge flower-like petalled tourbillon shells with silver candle fans below. Then barrage after barrage of the multi-petalled flower-like toubillon shells with twinkling cores, the segment coming to a close with big silver rising tail kamuro shells.

Part 7 to the music Spread your Wings by Queen. Fan candles in blue and gold and then candles of hissing tourbillons were augmented by shells of blue with green pistils. Then really bright mines and more colour candles. Above these, the flower-like shells with rings of star headed comets and then shells of very wiggly tourbillons. Next, shells of pink with blue pistils, some with comet pistils. These were repeated and then followed by more of the blue flower-like ring of star headed comet shells. A return to the colour fan candles and the hissing toubillon candles were followed by more of the flower-like ring of star headed comet shells and shells of bright clusters of stars. Then more of the wiggling tourbillon shells followed by a barrage of orange multi-break shell-of-shells. The segment was brought to a close with more of the flower-like ring of comet shells and more wiggling tourbillons.

Part 8 to the music Love Hurts by Nazereth. This more mellow segment opened with a line of gold fountains in the centre with shells of weeping willow charcoal comets turning to silver above. More volleys of these were fired together with blue, then pink, shaped-bursts in hearts. Then shells of glittering kamuros, reaching to the ground with fan candles in gold glitter. Above these, shells of silver clusters and then shells of stars and comets. This was repeated and followed by a barrage of fireball salutes and more heart shaped bursts. Then multi-breaks in orange and large star shells followed by thick gold glitter candles with shells of blue stars and gold glitter above. These were followed my multi-break shell-of-shells in orange, then in comets. This repeated and was followed by large ball and comet shells and then a return to the weeping willow charcoal comets turning to silver. Mines of clusters of dense charcoal comets which turned to silver when they stared to fall were augmented by pale blue headed comet comet candles and shells of silver clusters above. Then more ball and comet shells. Next, the large flower-like petalled tourbillon shells with barrage after barrage, ending in a huge one and the lake filled with nautic fountains.

Part 9 to the music Still Loving You by the Scorpions. Small wobbling red stars rose in a line and then were replaced by wobbly green stars and then candles of double-ended tourbillons, hissing loudly. Above this, large weeping willow shells, repeated several times and followed by dazzling silver mines and shells of pale blue headed comets. A line of fountains opened up and then lines of single shot stars, note-synchronized with lots of ball and comet shells above. Then candles of glitter comets and candles of blue bombettes with shells of the blue headed comets above. The segment was brought to a close with large weeping willow charcoal shells.

Part 10 to the music Run Like Hell by Pink Floyd. This segment opened with the huge 8" multi-breaks with blue stars, then charcoal comets, then silver comets. Then other multi-breaks of blue then salutes and then shells of green and the double-ended tourbillons. A barrage of salutes and then multi-breaks in red, then large white shells, then more red and then multi-break white dahlias. This theme repeated and was followed by more large multi-breaks and then shells in turquoise with green pistils. This turquoise and green theme was repeated and followed by salute barrages and then more of the double-ended tourbillon shells. Then yet more multi-breaks of blue, then silver comets, then red and comets and then the segment moved into volley after volley of firefly shells and mines. Next, weeping willow charcoal comet shells with the stars reaching to the ground and then the same but as glittery brocade stars. Then really large silver kamuros reaching to the ground followed by multi-break shells of red and then multi-break shells of blue followed by silver comets. Barrage after barrage of these were fired, the segment coming to a close with a huge silver comet shell-of-shells multi-break.

Part 11 to the music Jump by Van Halen. This final segment, using traditional time-fuse based firing trains, but initiated from Pyrodigital cues, began with glitter comet candles and purple ball candles. Above these, shells with pistils, barrages of comet and salute shells, the flower-like ring of star headed comet shells. Then shells of the double-ended tourbillons, constant barrages of salutes, the flower-like double-petalled tourbillon shells, the pace increasing with more and more shells, larger and larger barrages of salutes with some real chest-thumpers. My notes couldn't keep pace, save to say the sky was being ripped by the constant salute assault. As the music returned to the initial theme, so did the pyrotechnics, moving back to the candle opening theme. The pace quickly built, following the same theme as the first half and then increasing intensity as everything switched to dazzling white kamuro and comet shells with tremendous barrages of salutes with some deafening chest thumpers. The pace increased still further as night turned to day, a momentary pause and then a final deafening aural assault as the display came to a fantastic end. The audience screamed in delight and my legs were shaking from the excitement!

This was an excellent display with a great choice of music. The synchronization was flawless throughout, the rock beats being used to good effect. As usual, wonderful material, especially the many flower-like and multi-petalled tourbillon shells and fantastic multi-breaks of all types. Whilst the overall display might have been slightly lighter on material than their previous one, it was all excellent quality and used to great effect. The finale, of course, was superb. My only criticism is that the smoke on the water effect was not easy to see and would have been better with some nautic strobes to light it up. The audience loved this display and the standing ovation in the press room afterwards was well deserved. I'd put this display just ahead of last week's excellent Swiss entry.


Thanks to the public relations people of La Ronde for the official press release material, shown in white.