2000 l'International Benson & Hedges Montréal Pyromusical Competition Report
Opening Show Swing Saturday June 17th, 2000
Panzera SAS and Performance Pyrotechnic Associates, designed by Pierpaolo Serafino and Eric Tucker, Pyrodigital firing
The sky over Montréal will definitely swing on the opening night of the Benson & Hedges International 2000! This special pyrotechnical display, staged outside of the competition, is a happy marriage between the extraordinay finesse of maestro Panzera's Italian bombs [shells] and the precision shown tiem and again by the very popular American pyrotechnician Eric Tucker. The exuberant spirit of the swing era permeates every moment of this passionate demonstration of pyromusical art."
The weather gods smiled on Montréal after a cool and dismal spring for this none-competing opening display. A collaboration between Panzera's designer, Pierpaolo Serafino and multiple Gold Jupiter winner Erick Tucker of PPA, this promised to be an interesting display. With an amazing one thousand three hundred roman candles, the precision of Pyrodigital firing, this unique blend of pyromusical styles was a fitting opening to this Millenial competition.
Part 1 to the music Sing, Sing, Sing by Lousi Prima. This fast-paced segment opened to multi-break shell-of-shells in red, then blue and gold comets with green comet candles below. Next, silver comets and crossette candles, with glitter comet shells above. This theme continued with more multi-break shell-of-shells of crossed silver comets, with shells of blue and charcoal comets, glitter candles and more of the same theme brining the segment to a close.
Part 2 to the music Shout and Feel it by Count Basie. This opened with multi-break shell-of-shells of glitter comets, then shells of blue and glitter, blue bombette candles with more blue and charcoal comet shells above. Then gold glitter shells, with bright note-synchronized mines in red below followed by more blue bombette candles. Next, more multi-break shell-of-shells with fan candles of crossette comets below. Then crackling comet shells and bombette candles in glittering fans. The segment was brought to a close with more large multi-break shell-of-shells in blue.
Part 3 to the music Night and Day by Cole Porter, performed by Ella Fitzgerald. Gold charcoal candles opened this more seren segment, followed by candles in blue and gold, with gold kamuro weeping willow shells above, their glittering fronds descending towards the lake. More blue and gold candles in fans, with some blue bombettes and more gold kamuros above. Then brigher gold comet candles and the same in shells above. This continued and then moved to an arrangement of candles with balls angled left and right and a cluster of comets in the middle with silver kamuro weeping willow shells above. Red glitter shells were followed by large shells of white turning to red fireflies, bringing the segment to a close.
Part 4 to the music Zoot Suit Riot by Cherry Poppin Daddies. This began noisily with tourbillon and salute candles. Then shells of yellow comets followed by cracking bombette candles with shells of the same crackling stars above. Then shells of comets which then burst into small bunches of comets, with glitter candles below in fans. This was repeated and followed by multi-break shell-of-shells in blue. Then more crackling shells, with comet candles angled left and right below. More of the shells breaking to small bunches were followed by tourbillon and salute candles. Then shells of white, with mines below, more salutes coming to a close with some multi-break shell-of-shells.
Part 5 to the music Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy by Steve Perry, performed by the Andrews Sisters. This segment opened with mines and tourbillons followed by shells of go-getters in red. After several of these, shells of go-getters in green, then shells of red turning to green. Next, tourbillon candles, with shells of glitter comets above, followed by mines turning from red to white with shells of green turning to red above with pistils of go-getters. More tourbillon candles and the segment was brought to a close with shells of the flower-like dense toubillons with double petals.
Part 6 to the music Jumpin' at the Woodside by Benny Goodman, performed by Harry James. Candles in gold glitter comets, with the same in shells above hissing quite distinctly were followed by shells of gold comets turning to balls. Next, candles of bright balls and comets, described as a new device combining a comet with an interior star followed by shells of fireflies in bunches. Then silver candles, glittering comet shells above in gold, the segment coming to a close with a barrage of star shells.
Part 7 to the music Over the Rainbow by Harold Harburg & E. Y. Harburg, performed by Judy Garland. This began with nautic fountains (which appeared to burn out too quickly) with firefly shells above. Then fans of white comet candles with bright silver comet shells above. This was repeated and followed by a line of V shaped silver fountains next to the lake with more firefly shells above. The segment was brought to a close with beautiful silver kamuro shells, the stars trailing all the way down to the lake.
Part 8 to the music Minnie The Moocher by Cab Calloway. This opened with crossed candles with star shells above, then a line of vertical candles with comet and star shells above. Then shells of bright orange, mines of fine bright gold comets with bombette candles above and orange shells above these. Then shells of purple and orange with some gold comets in as well. Then a repeating sequence of barrages of salutes from mines, orange shells above and more mines and silver bombettes below. Candles of screaming whistles and bombettes were followed by really great large shells of the dense double-petalled flower tourbillons, bringing the segment to a close.
Part 9 to the music Jump Jive and Wail by The Brian Setzer Orchestra. This began with fans of bombette candles with multi-break shell-o-shells in red above. Then silver comet and glitter shells, mines in silver glitter, salutes, multi-break shell-of-shells and bombettes of silver comets. More multi-break shell-of-shells in crossed silver comets, bombette candles below with the segment coming to a close with this multi-break shell-of-shells theme with dramatic crossed comets below (which lead to a unique problem!).
Part 10 to the music What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong. Thick gold comet candles with gold kamuro weeping willow shells above opened this more serene segment. This theme continued and the gold kamuros were augmented below with bombette candles and followed by shaped-burst shells producing hearts of red. This theme repeated with more gold kamuros followed by really bright gold ones, reaching all the way down to the ground with shells of red hearts at a lower level, bringing the segment to a close.
Part 11 to the music In the Mood by Glen Miller, performed by Joseph Garland. After the serene close of the last segment, this one opened dramatically with barrages of multi-break shell-of-shells in blue, with gold glitter crossette candles below. Then shells of crackling stars, with more crossette candles below. Shells of stars with a few spider-like comets with crackle were followed by candles of fat comets, the segment coming to a close with two really huge shells of stars and comets.
Part 12 to the music Swing, Swing, Swing by John Williams. This began with barrages of salutes and comets, shells in blue and silver, mines and candles of silver crossette comets. Then multi-break shell-of-shells in blue, then the same in silver comets with bombette candles bloew followed by shells of red rings. This theme was repeated, followed by mines, fat comet candles and screaming whistle fans. Then shells of silver comets, shells of tourbillons and silver comets followed by shells of blue and gold. Next, glittery silver comet candles, the segment coming to a close with salutes, silver comets and really large blue shells.
Part 13 to the music Jumpin' Jack by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. This segment opened with multi-break shell-of-shells in gold glitter and blue and gold comets. Then more of the same followed by bombette candles, with white strobe pots on the ground, comet candles in fans followed by shells of purple above. Then really large fans of comets and candles of screaming silver whistles, with silver shells above. This theme was repeated and followed by large silver and blue mines, lots of silver shells above the segment coming to a close with multi-break shell-of-shells in silver.
Part 14 to the music Stuff Like That There by Jay Livingstone, Ray Evans & Michael Goldsen, performed by Bette Midler. Slow falling fireflies were followed by gold butterfly shells with blue rings around. Then shells of yellow fireflies with tourbillon candles below. This was repeated and followed by blue mines with shells of the dense flower-like tourbillons above. Then shells of rings with tourbillon candles below. The segment was brought to a close with large shells of blue and double petalled flower tourbillon shells.
Part 15 to the music Sing, Sing, Sing by Louis Prima. This final segment began dramatically and soon exceed my ability to take notes! Barrages of salutes, huge shells of silver with blue pistils then barrages of silver comet shells. The pace increased and the noise started to become fearsome with enormous volleys of salutes from shells, multi-break shell-of-shells and candles, plus vast numbers of silver comet shells. The noise became incredible, the size and number of salutes increased. Then there was a momentary pause, followed by a line of incredibly dazzling silver candles and a final tremendous barrage of enormous salutes. The crowd screamed their delight at this fantastic beginning to the season.
This was a very interesting display with a style quite different to that
usually employed by Eric Tucker. The major triumph being that it wasn't
possible to tell that it was the work of two designers, but combining
the talents of both. Of course, there were lots and lots of candles,
but that is typical Panzera. There were some great shells and most
of the music worked really well, the rhythm and tempo being the perfect
compliment to the pyrotechnics. Then there was a fabulous pure-Panzera
finale to delight the crowd. After the show was over, the result of some
over enthusiastic comets in section 9 could be seen - the roof of
the log-flume ride at the extreme left of the firing site was ablaze!
I believe this is a first. Fortunately the many firemen standing by on-site
soon brought it under control. All in all, it was a very enjoyable beginning
to the year 2000 season.
Germany Visit in a Dance School, designed by Georg Alef, FireOne firing Sunday July 23rd, 2000
Weco Pyrotechnische Fabrik
"Winners of the Bronze Jupiter in 1996 and the Silver Jupiter in 1997, the Weco fireworks designers are determined to conquer the highest summit of the pyrotechnical arts in the year 2000. Always bold in their choice of themes and intensely loyal to their ambitions, they will explore the vast universe of dance, from Irish step dancing to the polka, including disco, the samba, the mambo, and the ever popular rock 'n' roll."
Late afternoon thundershowers manage to entirely avoid La Ronde, leaving a warmish evening for this display of seven different dance styles. With more than 50% of the material specially constructed for the display, there promised to be some special surprises. The two large cranes holding what appeared to be a 300 foot long, 150 foot high water fall being one of them!
Introduction to the music Deduction in the style Introduction performed by Scooter. An introductory commentry began with a countdown as glitter mines fired, with a large salute above and white flame projectors fired on each second of the countdown. Then a line of fountain pairs along the lake and on the centre structure fired with shells of white balls and crackle above.
Part 1 to the music Riverdance in the style Irish step performed by Bill Whelan. After a short commentry, the display proper began with yellow flares at the back with V-shaped fountains along the lake. Then groups of fountains firing in the shape of shamrocks lit up followed by three pairs of really huge V-shaped silver fountains. White crossed ball candles fired up and were augmented by cakes of bright blue stars with more crossed ball candles in pale green in front. Above these candles and cakes, shells of clusters of green fireflies followed by clusters of slow falling crackling comets. Then candles of purple stars with red flares on the ground at the back. Above these, shells of clusters of brocade, turning to silver as they fell all the way to the lake with synchronized white flame projectors below. Then a line of vertical wheels with white strobe pots along the lake and mines of clusters of red stars. These were followed by silver comets from the left and right, then a front of comets and followed by crossed glitter comet candles and candles of wiggly whistling comets. Next, shells of colour stars and crackling comets with mines of the same below and then candles of blue-headed glitter comets and candles of double-ended tourbillons with shells of star headed comets above. This theme repeated and was followed by crossed cluster mines, pink mine fronts and crossed comet clusters. Next, rising tail shells bursting to thick pale-gold dahlias with crossed glitter fan candles below. These were followed by shells of starfish-like clusters of crackling comets with bombettes and tourbilloncandles below. Then barrages of shells of blue stars turning red followed by rising tail shells of fireflies followed by large shells of red fireflies. Then more barrages of lower-level fireflies filling the sky. After that, crossed and vertical dazzling thick comets, forming an M shape with multi-break shell-of-shells in crossed silver comets above, bringing this long segment to a close.
Part 2 to the music Carnaval de Venise in the style Vienese Waltz performed by André Rieu. After a short commentry, the segment began with left and right angled cluster mines and then fans of ball candles with shells of slow falling red stars above. Then a large charcoal comet weeping willow shells as several rotating set pieces with lancework in the shape of a smiling face started to graceful spin, as if at a waltz. Above these, shaped-burst shells in the form of smily faces followed by charcoal comet turning to blue shells with dahlia pistils. These were followed by bombettes in blue with small bees as comet fans fired with glitter shells above. Then shells of red stars with comet fans beneath as shells of blue-headed gold comets fired above with blue ball and glitter comet candles below. The segment was brought to a close with shells of meteor comets - very bright headed thick pale gold, falling slowly.
Part 3 to the music Everybody needs somebody in the style Rock and Roll performed by the Blues Brothers. This segment began with mines to the left and right, in time to the music then fronts of mines angled left and right with tourbillon and ball candles in the centre. Then comets angled left and right and then in clusters of three - left, centre and right with shells of comets and colour pistils above. Then more left and right mines in red, with multi-break shell-of-shells in silver above, then the same in green and then the flower-like petalled tourbillon shells with blue with star-headed comet candle fans below. Next, shells of rings followed by kamuro dahlias followed by crackling comet candles and shells. Then shells of crackling crossing-stars - with many barrages of these fired. Next, a repeating sequence of wiggly salute-terminated comet candles, with shells of colour and comets above and also some whistling candles. The segment was brought to a close with a huge multi-break shell-of-shells of large white tourbillons completely filling the sky to whistles of delight from the audience.
Part 4 to the music Mambo No.5 in the style Mambo performed by Lou Bega. Two large set-pieces in bright orange lances in the shape of trumpets opened up as white flame projectors moved along the lake front. As the trumpets continued to burn, four cakes, each of a different colour of fast balls and crossed ball candles lit up with ring shells above. Then flights of comets from the centre as the trumpets shot out stars in time with the music. Next, rising tail shells bursting into rings and comets with small mine fronts below, then mines to the left and right followed by spark sprays left and right as double ring shells burst above, some with crackling pistils and then triple ring shells. Then large rising comets with a flash at the top as flames projected out of the still-burning trumpets. Fronts on mines with comets in the centre with shells of tourbillons and rings above followed by shaped-burst shells of double concentric hearts. The segment was brought to a close with rising tail shells bursting to rings and dahlia comets, the stars falling through the air and changing colour. The trumpets had burned for the entire segment!
Part 5 to the music Cologne Samba in the style Samba performed by Bläck Fööss. This began with bright comets and then fast crossette candles with firefly bombette candles with mines below. Then barrages of rising tail shells bursting to orange fireflies with ball candles and mine clusters below and then really large orange firefly shells above. Next, a really large charcoal comet weeping willow turning to silver with fireflies in the pistil. Then some huge kamuros followed by more orange firefly shells with crossed mine clusters and ball and comet candles. Then shells of silver-headed comets followed by the flower-like double-petalled tourbillon shells with gold comets as well and candles of screaming wiggling comets. Above these, multi-break shell-of-shells of silver crossed comets followed by more firefly shells in orange. The segment was brought to a close with a sky-filling charcoal comet weeping willow shell, turning to colour and falling to the ground with a huge front of crossed charcoal comet mines.
Part 6 to the music It's raining men in the style Disco performed by The Weather Girls. Screaming wiggling comets, a barrage of salutes and bright silver flash pots opened this segment and were followed by five silver girandolas rising into the air. Then a large weeping willow charcoal comet shell followed by another five silver girandolas. Then enormous shells of kamuros with crackling pistils, falling all the way to the lake, each comet terminated in a large crackle (some very close to where I was stood). Then a line of strobes at the back with comet fan candles in front with shells of crackling comets above and shells in white with firefly pistols. These were followed by multi-break shell-of-shells in crossed silver comets with mine fronts angled left and right below and then candles of wiggling comet bombettes. Next, shells of crackling comets with the same in candles below and multi-break shell-of-shells of crackle. Then barrages of slow-falling clusters of blue shells, followed by volleys of crackle shells and fast cakes of crackle. These were followed by more of the clusters of slow-falling blue shells, then large green shells and shells of blue and green turning to charcoal comets. The pace became very intense with bombette crackling comets, barrages of low crackle shells, huge amounts of crackle shells above with salutes. The pace increased more with enormous shells with an initial crackling sphere followed by a large outer crackling sphere of stars. The air was completely filled with enourmous amounts of crackle, the segment coming to a close with enormous charcoal comet shells turning to crackle at the end of the stars, reaching to the ground.
Part 7 to the music Drieß op dä Driss in the style Polka performed by Paveier. Mines left right and centre with colour shells above opened this segment as fast cakes of balls opened up and then fans of comets with tourbillon mines and crackling rising tail shells of crackling dahlias above. Then candles of silver comets and tourbillons followed by whistling comets with comet shells above. Then a repeating segment of shells of star-headed comets with barrages of nautic tourbillons below! Next, shells of red clusters turning to tourbillons followed by a line of fountains. Then shells of charcoal comets turning to colour, the segment coming to a close with multi-break shell-of-shells in tourbillons
Part 8 to the music Heroes of the Night in the style Ball performed Sandra Schwarzhaupt. This final segment began with low barrage of charcoal comet shells turning to silver. Then shells of clusters of slow falling green bees followed by more low barrages of charcoal comet to silver shells. Then shells of blue turning to silver followed by slow falling clusters of pastel coloured stars. Next, bombette candles of charcoal comets with large charcoal comet shells above turning to silver. Barrage after barrage of these were fired, getting large and larger and filling the sky. Then fast cakes of bright crossette comets and colour stars with silver comet shells above. Then clusters of kamuros turning to silver with cakes below. Next, large multi-break shell-of-shells of brocade, falling all the way to the lake, with barrage after barrage of these filling the sky. Then a fantastic 300 foot long, 150 foot high waterfall (suspended by two large cranes) lit up, the sparks falling all the way to the ground as volleys of huge multi-break shell-of-shells of silver comets filled the sky above, the finale coming to a close with a massive multi-break shell-of-shells of bright fireflies, filling the sky and a barrage of huge titanium salutes from comet candles.
Encore. The display wasn't quite over as, like a band, an encore was played. Thanks were given to the staff at Parc Jean Drapeau, in particular the pyrotechnicians who work so hard to make the competition a success every year, the Weco team thanking their "Professors" and saying they always learned new things coming to Montréal. Whilst the commentry was being read, kamuro shells were fired, followed by shells of yellow fireflues, the display finally ending after 35 minutes with a large multi-break shell-of-shells of comets filling the sky.
This was a very enjoyable display, particularly because of the theme running
through it. The commentry added to the display, particularly the section
(which I failed to write down) where members of the pyrotechnic orchestra
were introduced! The fantastic double-sphered crackling shells were
just magnificent, and the huge waterfall at the end was a great success.
Synchronization was flawless throughout and there was a nice variation in
rhythm and pace during the display. This was the best Weco I've seen yet
and they'd won Bronze and Silver Jupiters on their previous visits.
The encore at the end was a really nice touch.
Once again this year, we witnessed another winning display - that makes
at least five now. It is almost impossible to judge this year and I
think the choice of music will be the final determinant. I really have trouble
saying which I liked the best, they've all been excellent so far. I've never
seen such close competition.
Spain Ethnology Wednesday July 19th, 2000
Pirotécnia Caballer, designed by Rafael Garcia Barat, Pyrodigital firing including traditional Spanish time fuse delays
"Having garnered four Jupiters in as many visits, this illustrious company from Valencia is used to dominating the Montréal sky. These Spanish masters rely on music from such diverse sources as Mike Oldfiled, Peter Gabriel and Mozart to examine the world's cultures. Among the featured Spanish composers are Granados, Albéniz, Calle and Falla."
As the summer of disappointment continues, at least the weather was dry as the crowd hoped that the estimated 6000 shells used in the display would warm them up! Special new pastel colours, in development for ten years, were on display for the first time with all the material used constructed by Pirotécnia Caballer. The firing method used both direct use of Pyrodigital and the use of Pyrodigital cues to ignite traditional time-fuse based delay trains. A small narration from The Little Prince preceeded each of the nine tableaux, giving a pyrotechnic voyage through cultures of over thirty five minutes.
Part 1 to the music The Last Temptation of Christ by Peter Gabriel. After the opening narration, the display began with blue nautic flares which ended up throwing blue stars into the air. Then groups of three silver glitter comets from the left, then right, in time to the music. Next, mines of tourbillons and bright blue stars followed by the same in shells above, with more mines below. This theme repeated and was followed by rockets bursting to flashes of orange and clusters of slow-falling stars. Then the lake front opened up with vertical lines of white strobing lances, with red nautic flares in the lake with shells of red above and then shells of fireflies. The sky became filled with fireflies. Next, glitter comet candles with volleys of red peony shells above and then shells with red stars and blue pistils and shells of silver comets. Then more really large red and blue pistil shells and shells of red turning to blue then to silver, the segment coming to a close with shells of silver comets with blue pistils and a barrage of titanium salutes.
Part 2 to the music "Live at the Acropolis" by Yanni. After the narration, this segment began with strobe pots at the back of the display area. In front, lemon-yellow note-synchronized mines, then in green and then in orange. Above these, rockets bursting to orange flashes. Then a front of green mines and another, with a barrage of salutes above. Then rockets bursting to green flashes, a front of yellow mines and then more rockets of green flashes. A front of orange mines, then several more and larger followed by the same in green and then shells of pastel green above with the same in note-synchronized mines below. A move to pastel pink with shells and mines and then the same in the flash rockets. Next, silver ball shells with orange pistils with mines in the centre of the display and then more pastel colour shells above. A return to the troubillon and colour mines and shells, then segment coming to a close with volleys of bright pastel colour shells.
Part 3 to the music Introduction - Sabrina from the film Sabrina. After the narration, a line of pastel star shots opened up followed by note-synchronized glitter comet shots left and right, following the piano notes of the music. Then a mixture of glitter comets and star shots, again to the notes of the music. This continued for a time and then shells with glitter pistils opened up with more of the glitter comets and star shots below. Then shells of green go-getters followed by shaped-burst shells of five-pointed stars surrounded by rings and a shell with a central ring surround by five smaller rings. Then shells of go-getters in orange. Then a return to the theme of pastel star shots with green go-getter shells above. The pace and intensity increased with the final volley of go-getters - in pastel colours - turning into sky-filling fireflies at the end.
Part 4 to the music The Marriage of Prince Igor by Alexandre Borodine. After the narration, this segment opened dramatically with multi-break shell-of-shells in gold comets and then same in nautic mines. Then blue shells and blue nautic mines and shells of go-getters above. Then pink nautic mines, followed by blue shells and nautic mines. Next, orange ball bursting to green bombette candles. Then a return to the repeating theme of volleys of pastel coloured shells with the same in nautic mines below, then pastel go-getters with comets and then blue shells and nautic mines. This theme repeated several times. Next, candles of silver stars and whistling tourbillons and then fast candles in pink and orange. Above these, barrages of titanium salutes and shells of colour flash followed by multi-break charcoal comet shells, more colour flashes and titanium salutes, with barrage after barrage moving to shells of blue with tourbillons and the same in mines. Then another barrage of salutes followed by a huge barrage of kamuros, completely filling the sky with the segment coming to a close with a fantastic front of huge mines of charcoal comet bombettes.
Part 5 to the music Moon River by Henri Mancini. After the narration, seven red girandolas rose majestically into the air, then sank somewhat, and rose up again on a column of white sparks. Then another group, then another, and another and another until I lost count. Some were in red, some in green, all rose, then fell, then rose on either silver or gold glitter sparks to enthusiastic applause from the audience. I later discovered that around sixty girandolas had been fired! After these, candles and shells in a very pale pastel white followed by shells with a rising star bursting to red hearts and then green hearts. Then a huge brocade shell and shells of clusters of brocade, the segment coming to a close with a huge one trailing all the way to the ground.
Part 6 to a pot-pourri of Mexican music. After the narration, this segment opened with mines of colour and tourbillons and then mines in green and orange followed by mines of blue with tourbillons and the same in shells above. Then mines of dazzling blue and then green. Above these, shells in blue and green and then fronts of crackling glitter. Next comets firing to the right in glitter with blue heads, then the same to the left followed by silver glitter comet shells and candles and the same in multi-break shell-of-shells followed by the same in very pale white-gold with the stars turning to slow-falling twinklers. This was followed by several vertical wheels in silver with coloured lances in their centres. After these had completed, shells of blue and mines of the same followed by the same in green, then blue then green again. Then shells and mines in pastel colours then back to blue and green returning to the blue mines with tourbillons with the same in shells above. The segment was brought to a close with barrages of very large shells with rising tails and pistils, filling the sky.
Part 7 to the music Amapola by J.M. De La Calle. After the narration, this segment began with pale lemon-yellow headed comet candles and bombettes. Then shells in orange with pistils and a dazzling bright green and then multi-colours. Then candles of pale silver ball clusters with white ball shells above. Then thick pale white comet shots below with brocade shells above and bomettes at mid-level followed by kamuro shells with pistils. This theme from the thich pale comet shots onwards repeated and was followed by rising tail brocade shells with the stars turning to green. The segment was brought to a close with barrages of kamuros, but the stars wiggled, the final barrage being of wiggly tourbillons, completely filling the sky.
Part 8 to music from the film Conan the Barbarian. After the narration, nautic red flares lit up in the lake as note-synchronized flame projectors moved along the lake as the red flares became white strobes. The flame shots moved from left to right as rising tail shells bursting to huge comet with crackling pistils as the flames continued beneath. More barrages of huge shells of glitter and colour with pistils as the flames continued beneath. Then more huge barrages followed by lots of fast ball candles below and followed by huge charcoal comet turning to blue shells above. Several barrages of these were fired followed by all sorts of bright colour shells as the flames continued. Barrage of nautic mines and barrages of enormous colour shells and shells of sky-filling tourbillons brought the segment to a close.
Part 9 to the music Turandot by Puccini. After the narration, this final segment began with shells of charcoal comets turning to colour. More and more were fired, all of the huge. Then massive shells of pastel colours and starfish comets, with barrage after barrage of these. Then a line of massive silver fountains, floating on small platforms in the lake opened up as the pace increased with mines, sky filling barrages of all sorts of colour and pistils shells. The pace increased still further with the sky blooming in flowers of dazzling colours. Then barrages of massive salutes, and then even larger barrages of salutes bringing the display to a deafening conclusion. For the final couple of minutes, all I could write in my notes was WOW!.
This was, once again, an excellent display. The range
of material used was simply fantastic with just about
every possible pyrotechnic device ever conceived, with
the exception of crossettes. The nautic
devices of all types were magnificent, as were the dozens
of girandolas and it's always nice to see rockets! The
colours used were quite amazing, especially the dazzling
blues, brilliant lemon-yellows and other pastel colours
who's names I don't know.
Synchronization in this display was good on the whole,
though there were a couple of spots where shells kept firing
after the music had stopped.
It is now so hard to judge - each of the last four displays has been
Gold Jupiter material. At the end of each one, from Italy, through
USA, Australia to Spain, people I was standing with have said,
"That was number 1". What a treat we've had this year!
USA Imagine Wednesday July 12th, 2000
Rozzi's Famous Fireworks, designer by Arthur Rozzi, FireOne firing, MagicFire electronic time fuse on 33% of the shells
"Winner of the Silver Jupiter in 1992, the Rozzi family returns with Imagine, a pyromusical excursion that guides us through the various types of music. It includes the magnificent song "Imagine" composed by John Lennon, an artist well known for his pacifist beliefs. The largest manufacturer of fireworks in the U.S.A. brings four generations' worth of expertise to its spectacular presentation."
A perfect, warm summer's evening was the backdrop to this eagerly anticipated display from one of the oldest pyrotechnics companies in the United States. More than 80% of the material was manufactured by Rozzi and, for the first time ever, a large display using the MagicFire electronic time fuse. Approximately 1000 out of the 3000 shells used in the display were fitted with this device. It was hoped that this first public large scale demonstration of the system would lead to its more widespread use. Basically, the MagicFire chip contains a microcontroller which "talks" to modified FireOne firing modules. The time delay can be very precisely set, in the system used tonight, in increments of approximately 1 millisecond. The MagicFire chip not only fires the burst charge, but also fires the lift charge and, if this fails, it detects the problem and shuts down, making it impossible to have shells explode in the guns. This system adds another level of precision to firing systems. Not only can shells be launched exactly on cue, but now can explode exactly on cue. This means that a whole volley of shells can explode at exactly in synchronization, or at exact beats in the music. As the report will indicate, this is a very impressive development in the art of the pyromusical.
Part 1 to the music Sinfonietta, Opus 66 (fanfares) by Leos Janacek. The show opened with shells of clusters of rising silver comets and then the same in mines below. Then shells of orange and then orange fireflies. Next more shells of silver comet clusters with bright silver comet shots below and then extremely bright white ball shells followed by silver comet mines with more of the extremely bright white ball shells above, all exploding at exactly the same time, bringing the segment to a close.
Part 2 to the music Arbol Tierno by Miguel Jimenez. This began with green peony shells, then turquoise, then orange. Next brilliant coloured mines moving from the left and right, perfectly in sync. More of these mines danced from left to right and right to left and were followed by bright orange comet shots, then white, then pale gold with brilliand white ball shells above, breaking perfectly in synchronization. More silver comet shots, then orange with shells of orange above and then green and then turquoise. Next, shells of blue and shells of green, breaking perfectly in synchronization, this repeated theme bringing this segment to a close.
Part 3 to the music The Entertainer by Scott Joplin. Pink and green ball candles and glitter candles with green peony shells above, then orange shells and then green again. Below these, crossed charcoal comet candles with green shells above, then blue, then green and blue again. Then shells slow falling large stars in green and then more blue shells followed by an alternating sequence of green and blue, getting higher in altitude. A return to orange and then repeated volleys of lots of smaller colour shells. Next, silver rising tails and shells of colour clusters with thick gold comet shots below. Then shells of glitter comets, the segment coming to a close with a tightly synchronized sequence of pink, then green, then blue, pink, green, then blue, green and finally red peony shells.
Part 4 to the music Imagine by John Lennon. This began with a line of fast and low glitter comet candles with a line of pink ball candles behind and pink peony shells above. Then fat comet shots in pale gold with shells of white clusters above. Next, green ball candles with the same high above in shells and lots and lots of fast green ball candles below. Then shots of thick pale gold comets with shells of white cluster comets above and then dazzling white balls, followed by clusters of silver kamuros and firefly shells with more white ball shells. Next, blue and silver shells with blue ball candles below. More thick gold comet shots with shells of rings of tourbillons and butterfly shells surrounded by rings. Then the flower-like double-petalled tourbillon shells and shells with pistils. The segment was brought to a close with white ball shells, then really large blue shells and finally the dazzling white ball shells.
Part 5 to the music A Hymn to New England by John Williams. Silver rising tail shells and large glitter mines with firefly shells above were followed by a repeating sequence of pink ball and comet shells. Then more firefly shells and shells with comets and pistils, forming a repeated sequence. Then shells of bright orange fireflies and shells of pink and white balls followed by more large shells of charcoal comets with pistils turning to silver kamuros. More comet and pistils shells, a salute barrage and more silver kamuros ring shells in orange and more orange fireflies. Then a large shell with clusters forming a starfish shape and a large multi-break filling the sky with criss-crossing comets. Next, bright white ball shells and really nice shells of tourbillons and comets turing into silver kamuros. A barrage of titanium salutes was followed by rising tail shells and more of the criss-crossing multi-breaks and then more dazzling white ball shells and then a starfish colour cluster shell. The segment was brought to a close with a huge charcoal comet with pistil shell changing into clusters of silver kamuros, falling all the way to the ground, to cheers from the audience.
Part 6 to the music Sing, Sing, Sing by Louis Prima. A line of bright strobe-pots and crossed comet candles began this segment. Then shells of rings of tourbillons and kamuros followed by the flower-like petal tourbillon shells and clusters of silver kamuros. Next, shells of blue with comets, silver clusters and more flower-like petal tourbillon shells. A line of six vertical wheels in silver opened up with shells of glitter comets and shells of green, then purple and then blue. Then shells of bright photo-flash, filling the air with dazzling flashes. Next, shells of comets and colour, more flower-like petal tourbillon shells, glitter comets with the segment coming to a close with the dazzling white ball shells. Once again, excellent shell burst synchronization.
Part 7 to the music Let's Live it Up by Brian Setzer. This segment opened up with large shells of silver crossette comets, again and again. Then shells of blue and green, followed by shells of wiggling tourbillons and shells of bright silver comets. Then more shells of blue and green, all with excellent synchronization, and then shells of crossing-stars, followed by a barrage of salutes. Next, shells of green to red, and then more blue then green shells. Then shells of rings of comets with tourbillon candles below. A line of six vertical wheels in gold, with blue centres opened up (unfortunately not all of them rotated) and then these were augmented by six interspersed vertical wheels of glitter. Mines of bright orange balls breaking as crossettes and then the same in pale gold and white, all in the form of crossette balls were followed by salute barrages, volleys of orange shells and then titanium salutes, all bursting exactly on cue. A return to the sequence of green then blue shells and shells with silver rising tails followed by shells which produced rings of crossing-stars. Then glitter candles and silver mines below with orange shells above, the segment coming to a close with kamuro shells with go-getter pistils and a final dazzling flash, right on cue.
Part 8 to the music Magh Seola by Gerard Fahy. This began with a line of very fast, low ball candles and mines and shots of gold comets. Above these, shells of green. Suddenly, the lake errupted with dozens of gold nautic fountains, all firing up simultaneously, thanks to MagicFire. After these died down, the lake errupted again with silver nautic fountains with fast, bright pale green ball candles behind. Then candles of gold glitter with green heads and mines of charcoal comets turning to dazzling purple heads with shells of green above. Next, charcoal comet candles with shells of the same above, but turning to purple heads and thick white comet shots below. Then shells of blue balls with silver cluster comets, barrages of salutes and more white ball shells with silver clusters. Then shells of glitter comet clusters and barrages of all sorts of multi-coloured balls. Next, a repeated sequence of pastel coloured firefly shells. Bright silver rising tails broke to clusters of silver fireflies, with silver comet shots below and then dazzling white ball shells. These were repeated, the segment coming to a close with bright silver kamuros reaching all the way to the ground with some green mine shots as well.
Part 9 to the music Symphony No. 3, Opus 78 (final) by Camille Saint-Saëns. The final segment began with silver kamuro clusters and then bright white ball shells. Then a barrage of salutes followed by small white comet shells, crossing-star shells and some big salutes, right on the notes. These were repeated and followed by silver clusters with the same in mines, swelling like the ranks of organ pipes in the music. Then a barrage of titanium salutes, orange shells more more note-synchronized titanium salutes. Yet more mines rising with the music followed by shells of crackle above and large comet and pistil shells. More crackling shells followed by blue shells with comets turning to kamuros. The pace was getting beyond my ability to take notes as fantastic volleys of note-synchronized bursts, swelling mines left and right, note synchronzied salutes filled the air. The air was filled with huge brilliant colour shells, barrages of large salutes, then note synchronized titanium salutes, more and larger note-synchronized colours shells. As the end approached, the sky was filled with dazzling purple shells, huge salutes and a final enormous gold kamuro shell, reaching all the way to the ground. A very dramatic finish to a fantastic finale which my notes can't do justice. The audience roared in delight.
This was a fantastic display. The MagicFire system has raised the synchronization
to music to another level. It is hard to describe how dramatic the simulataneous
bursing of volleys of shells is and how well shell bursts were timed to the music.
The dramatic appearance of dozens of nautic fountains simultaneously was also
fantastic. The range of brilliant colours used in the display was very enjoyable
and there were some really excellent shells. This display was very shell oriented,
with fewer candles than other shows. Pretty much everything appeared to work
extremely well and the first large scale public test of the MagicFire system
was a resounding success. This display must be a contender for the Gold Jupiter.
Placing Italy or the US first will probably come down to the Judge's preference
for the music used. The range of music for this show worked well in my opinion and
I particularly liked the organ music of the finale. I have a feeling we'll see more
of the MagicFire system in the future.
Canada Impression and Light Wednesday July 26th, 2000
BEM Fireworks, designed by Paul Masson, FireOne firing
This Canadian company is making its debut at the Benson & Hedges International. With more than 25 years of experience in the industry, BEM is renowned for its highly original shows. Determined to distinguish itself during the competition, this recruit presents a pyromusical choreography inspired by such great classical composers as Debussy, Ravel, Borodin and Delibes. The display will also include several pieces of international music."
A few days of summer weather, rare this year, provided the perfect backdrop for this debutant Canadian team. Though BEM are not manufacturers, they did commission special Roman candles from Panzera for this show and used product from twenty five companies with more than 3000 pieces used. The 28 year old Paul Masson, son of the founder of BEM, Bernard, was the youngest designer this year. This was the first time BEM had used the computerized FireOne firing system and one of the designers of the system was present to offer his assistance.
Part 1 to the music Introduction from the album Blood by This Mortal Coil. The display opened dramatically with huge glittering pistil and comet shells, then blue and gold comet shells with comet fans beneath. Then more huge shells with pistils moving to barrages of shells of fireflies. These were followed by ball candles and crossette comet candles with weeping willow charcoal comet shells turning to silver above as the music moved seamlessly to:
Part 2 to the music Masquerade from the album Masquerade Suite by Aram Khachaturian. This segment began with crossed comet candles with pistil shells above and then shells of pink stars followed by shells of crackling comets and then rings of comets. Then mines of clusters of stars with a huge red turning to silver shell above and followed by silver dahlia shells and shells of rings of tourbillons. Next, shells of charcoal comets and colour stars followed by the dense flower-like double petalled tourbillon shells followed by an enormous peony. This was followed by kamuro shells with pistils of fireflies and shells of clusters of stars, including go-getters in green and then a large weeping willow followed by more green go-getters. Blue bombette candles and gold comet candles opened up with shells of pistils in blue and gold above followed by really large blue shells. Next, crossed gold glitter comets with the same in shells and bombettes above followed by shells of silver and crackling comets and then colour stars and crackling pistils and followed by shells of clusters of colour with more crackling pistils. The segment was brought to a close with a large colour and crackling shells above and a huge brilliantly multi-coloured mine front below, to cheers from the crowd.
Part 3 to the music Daphnis et Chloé from the album Suite No 2 by Maurice Ravel. This more serene segment opened with several large silver fountains with some strobes at the back of the display. Then the lake was filled with nautic flares, turning into white strobes as hissing tourbillon candles fired up and were followed by silver comet candles and then more tourbillon candles. After these, candles of crossette ball stars with shells of fireflies above and also silver comets and then shells of red stars and silver comets. These were followed by silver kamuro shells and then regular kamuros and brocade shells, trailing to the ground. More barrages of bright brocade shells were fired, filling the sky and trailing to the ground to cheers from the crowd. Next, rising tail shells bursting into silver dahlias, then shells of green, shells with pistils and huge mines of clusters of pale gold comets with the segment coming to a close with an emormous brocade shell, filling the sky.
Part 4 to the music Flower Duet from the album Lakmé by Léo Delibes. Candles of purple balls and crossed gold glitter comets opened this segment followed be candles of silver comets and pastel coloured balls. Then shells of crackling pistils and shells of crossette balls and more crackle shells. These were followed by go-getter shells and then silver rising tail dahlias and, following the pace of the music very well, weeping willow charcoal comet shells, the segment coming to a close with shells of crossette crackling electric comets as the music moved seamlessly to:
Part 5 to the music Sirènes from the album Nocturnes by Claude Debussy. Nautic fountains lit up in the lake with comet candles behind and large glitter shells above followed by shells of fireflies. Next, candles of pastel balls and bright fireball stars as more nautic fountains lit up. Then brocade shells above with bright ball fans below followed by shells of falling star clusters and then large colour shells above. Next, really bright ball candles and then fast cakes of crossette balls. These were followed by large blue shells with comet candles below in clusters and then shells of fireflies. Next really large orange shells followed by weeping willow charcoal comet shells turning to fireflies with large silver cluster mines beneath and then huge brocade shells mixed with large orange comet shells above with fans of glitter comet candles below. Then large shells of comets and colour, shells of glittering comets and the segment coming to a close with large weeping willow charcoal comet shells turning to silver.
Part 6 to the music Passion from the album Passion by Peter Gabriel. A line of strobes lit up as two girandolas rose into the air, fell towards the ground, and then rose up again as three more ascended, then descended and finally rose up once again. Crossed gold comet bombette candles opened up as bombettes and shells in glitter fired above. Then rising tail dahlia shells followed by charcoal comet crossette candle fans as palm-tree weeping willows rose into the sky with more charcoal comet crossette candles, then augmented by the same in bombettes and more palm-tree weeping willow shells. The weeping willows were then replaced by huge brocade shells, bringing the segment to a close with the sky filled with brocade.
Part 7 to the music Italia from the album The Talented Mr. Ripley by Gabriel Yared. Bright meteor comet candles with flitter fans in the centre of the display opened up as the lake filled with nautic flares turning to strobes. Then more pale gold meteor headed comet candles with shells of gold glitter turning to gold fireflies above. These were repeated and followed by silver comet shells and then shells of blue turning to orange with glitter comet bombette candles below, the segment coming to a close with large comet shells as the music moved seamlessly to:
Part 8 to the music Peer Gynt from the album Peer Gynt by Edvard Grieg. Several fountains in the shape of fleur-de-lyss opened and were followed by crossed pale gold comet candles with huge ball shells above. Then barrages of firefly with brocade shells as well. Then large shells of clusters of brocade at a very high level with firefly shells below, the segment coming to a close with multi-break shell-of-shells of silver dahlias.
Part 9 to the music Polowetzer Tanze from the album Polowetzer Tanze by Aleksandr Borodine. Note-synchronized mines with candles of glitter comets and tourbillons opened this segment. Then mines of tourbillons, really large mines in purple, then in green, with glitter shells above followed by salute-terminated tourbillons and then huge mines of clusters of silver comets with mines of whistles and more tourbillons. These were followed by interesting bombette mines and more whistles and tourbillons. Then more mines of clusters of comets, with glitter shells above, more whistles, mines of fireflies, barrages of salutes, volleys of really bright mines, more salutes, more mines of fireflies, the segment coming to a close with glitter shells and really bright mines.
Part 10 to the music New World Symphony from the album Symphony No. 9 by Antonin Dvorak. This began with cakes fo bright silver crossette comets with silver dahlia shells above. Then rising tail palm trees followed by multi-break dahlias and then a front of hissing mines. More cakes of silver crossette comets with silver dahlias above and large shells of orange followed by shells of rings and comets and then large blue shells. These were followed by large shells with pistils turning to crackling comets and shells of crossette ball stars. Crossed glitter comet fan candles opened up and were followed by colour bombette candles and more of the fast cakes of silver crossettes. The pace increased with huge shells of crackle, large pistil shells and large numbers of cakes and shells of crackle, bringing the segment to a noisy close.
Part 11 to the music Spartacus from the album Spartacus by Aram Khachaturian. This penultimate segment opened with charcoal comet candle fans, glitter comet bombettes and low brocade shells. Then shells of bright crossette balls followed by shells of charcoal comets turning to colour clusters and then barrages of colour cluster shells and fireflies. These were followed by large shells of crackling comets and more of the crossette ball shells and then lots of silver crackling crossette shells with bombettes in green below with candles of electric comets. Next, large blue shells followed by charcoal comet shells and more crackling electric comet shells and then shells of crackling comets with firefly pistils and then silver comet shells. These were followed by large shells in orange turning to silver and then shells of blue turning to orange and then to silver. Next, shells of charcoal comets followed by large silver comet shells, more large orange shells, the segment coming to a close with, I think, brocade shells ( I really can't read my notes here).
Part 12 to the music Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi from the album Carmina Burana by Carl Orff. This final, dramatic, segement opened barrages of huge colour and comet shells, with crackling comets and then a huge brocade. Then a fan of fast balls from the centre with cakes of dazzling crossette balls. A barrage of salutes and huge nautic mines filled the lake as silver comet shells burst above as the pace increased with barrages of really large shells, volleys of salutes and cakes of salutes. Above these, really large charcoal comet shells turning to blue with pistils, more and more salutes and further barrages of really large shells with crackling comets and pistils. The segment finally coming to a close with vast numbers of salutes and ending with an enormous bright brocade shell, to cheers from the crowd.
This was a truly excellent display from the debutant Canadian team. Throughout
the display, really large shells were used with excellent quality and
colours througout. The music flowed more or less seamlessly throughout and,
especially early on in the display, the pace of the fireworks really
complimented the music. Considering this was the team's first appearance,
they made good use of the site. However, at a few points it must be noted
that, in my opinion, there was too much happening at once, particularly
some of the kamuro and brocade shells were cut off by other lower-level
material and at a couple of points where segments ended with brocades,
the shells had burned out a couple of seconds before the music finished,
though the strong wind may have been a factor here. This minor criticisms
aside, this really was a very enjoyable display with excellent product
throughout. I'm happy I'm not a judge this year!
Australia The Pleasure Dome Revisited Sunday July 16th, 2000
Syd Howard Fireworks International, designed by Rob McDermott, PyroDigital and FireOne firing
"As Daring as ever, Syd Howard's Australians are back with a soundscape focusing on the rock group Frankie Goes to Hollywood. These rising stars of the industry had the honour of orchestrating the extraordinary millenial fireworks displays both in Sydney and in London. Their visit to Montréal in 2000 could be truly explosive!"
Once again, heavy rains subsided by late afternoon as the clouds rolled back for a perfect summer's evening for this fifth visit of the renowned Australian company. Using a fast-paced soundtrack from the English 80's band Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Syd Howard promised there wouldn't be a moment of dark sky. More than 50% of the material used was manufactured by Syd Howard and a combination of Pyrodigital (ramps 1 and 3) and FireOne (ramp 2) computerised firing used. This was the first time in Montréal that both firing systems were used simultaneously. The continous flow of the music made it more difficult for me to provide the usual delineation into sections, especially as I didn't know the names of all the tracks. Sufficeth to say that the music pretty much followed the order of FGTH's Welcome to the Pleasure Dome album. This was a very energetic and complex display with, according to Rob McDermott, more than 2500 lines in the firing program and was very difficult for me to keep pace writing notes!
Part 1. The display opened in dramatic fashion with huge mine fronts in blue and gold. Then shells of fireflies with a front of orange mines below followed by dahlia shells of white comets and then more shells of fireflies. Then a front of huge white comets, rising to a fantastic altitude followed by more firefly shells and then pale kamuros with more fireflies beneath. Next, shells of red turning to silver comets followed by shells of white go-getters followed by blue and tourbillon candles with glitter comet shells above and also gold fireflies. Then shells of gold glitter comets, some with crackling pistils followed by huge silver shells and then more kamuros. Next, crackling comet candles with shells of crossette silver balls above and then the same in candles below followed by blue mine blasts and more silver crossette ball shells and then shells of crossing-stars. Then dramatic huge white comets chasing across the lake from left to right and then from right to left followed by pale kamuros above and then another dramatic sweep of comet shots chasing left to right and then right to left followed by more crossette silver ball shells. These were followed by thick gold comet shells, mnore silver crossette balls and silver to red go-getters and also green go-getters. Next, shells of green turning to red and then shells of red turning to green with shells of crossing-stars. A front of orange mines returned to the opening theme of firefly shells at medium level with white comet dahlias above and then a huge front of mines and crackle as the music moved seamlessly into
Part 2 including the track Born to Run. Shells of glitter and crackle were followed by charcoal comet shells and then clusters of kamuros with mines and crossette comet shots below and shells of electric comets and then volleys of crackling shells followed by rising tail shells bursting to gold fireflies and then some fantastic blue shells which turned to crackle. Then more blue shells and shells of blue stars with white starfish comets followed by a return to the blue to crackle shells, with blue mines below and then more of the blue and starfish white comets and shells of blue turning to gold comets. More mine fronts below and then blue to crackle shells above and multi-break shell-of-shells of multi-colour clusters which were really nice. These were repeated and augmented with blue and gold glitter mines and then shells of blue ball crossettes and then more of the blue and starfish comet shells. Then shells of fireflies with crackling pistils and blue rings with crackling pistils and then huge blue mines with volleys of blue to gold shells above. Then huge white comet shots angled right, then left, then right, left, right, rapidly in time with the music, more mine fronts and a large silver and crackle shell as the music moved seamlessly into
Part 3. Silver comet and bombette candles with silver dahlia shells above were followed by shells of small clusters of bees which swarmed together and then wizzed off. These were repeated and followed by more dahlia shells and ring shells with pistils and shaped burst shells with a ring surrounding a five-pointed star. Then bombette candles of firefiles with more shaped-burst ring-and-star shells followed by gold dahlias and the multi-break shell-of-shells of colour clusters and then shells of whistling tourbillons. Next large shells with glitter and crackling pistils, mine fronts in blue and then brilliant green with a large weeping willow charcoal comet shell above as the music moved seamlessly into
Part 4 including the track Relax. Crackling charcoal comet candles were followed by blue candles and silver bombettes with shells of the crackling charcoal comets and shells of crossing-stars above and then kamuros with crossing-stars. Then shells of crackling comets with firefly pistils followed by shells of red turning to silver and then lots of shells of red ball crossettes. Next, big pistil shells in red and silver, shells with crackling pistils, shells with crossing-stars and shells with red stars turning to crackling comets. These were followed by multi-break shell-of-shells of colour clusters and orange go-getters with candles of "crazy silver fish" as my notes put it. This theme was repeated and followed by a huge mine front as the music moved seamlessly to
Part 5 including the track War. This segment began with volley after volley of blue cluster shells with big blue mines beneath and then silver candles and crossettecomet shots. A line of white strobes opened up as more blue cluster shells burst with more crossette comet shots and then a a front of gold glitter mines. The blue cluster shell theme repeated with more crossettes and mines and was followed by shells of blue and gold comets and then huge bright kamuros and followed by huge white comets sweeping from left to right in perfect note sync as the music moved seamlessly to
Part 6 including the track The Power of Love. A line of red flares opened up with shells of gold fireflies above in this more serene section. A line of seven gold fountains lit up and were replaced by a line of seven silver fountains as the flares turned to yellow as brocade shells fired above with candles of large tourbillons below. Then more pale gold brocade shells turning to silver with shaped-burst shells of hearts. Silver fountains flew threw the air and became nautic as more brocade and heart shells fired above. Then a line of seven cross-shaped fountains, each arm firing three jets of sparks, opened up with pale gold brocade shells above. More of these were fired with pale gold rising tails, bursting to pale gold, turning to silver and trailing to the ground. Then more red hearts with gold glitter mines and candles below and then remarkable heart-shaped bursts in pale gold kamuro comets, the segment concluding with more pale kamuros, trailing to the ground as the music moved seamlessly (and an increase in pace) to
Part 7. Fronts of large green mines, huge white comet shots and crossette comets began this segment as huge pistil shells burst above and the mine, comets, crossette them repeated again and again. Then shells of silver turning to fireflies and silver turning to blue and more shells with pistils and rings with pistils. These were followed by shells of gold turning to blue and blue and silver starfish comet shells and then beautiful shells of bright white gold in the form of sunflowers! Several volleys of these were fired and then mines of blue, green and silver and then candles of remarkable squawking tourbillons as the music moved seamlessly into
Part 8. Fronts of white mines with shells of orange ball crossettes above were followed by shaped-burst shells producing spirals and snails (a spiral with a ring beneath). Then crossette comet candles and bombettes and shells of electric comets and shaped burst shells of butterflies of gold electric comets, followed by more spiral shells. Then blue shells with gold kamuro pistils followed by crackling candles and silver bombettes. Next shells of blue-headed comet rings turning to green and then shells of electric crossette comets. This was followed by a repeating sequence of bright white mines with multi-break shell-of-shells of colour clusters above. The segment come to an end with shells of butterflies surrounded by rings as the music moved seamlessly to
Part 9, including the track Two Tribes. This began with what I described as "mad tourbillon" candles with shells of silver turning to bright gold. Then shells of large comets turning to blue and silver turning to red followed by a huge kamuro. Then candles of small, fast tourbillons with huge shells in green above with crackling pistils and comets with pistils. More large kamuros and then a huge charcoal comet weeping willow shell followed by green candles and screaming (different sound to the earlier squawking) tourbillons. Then bright white huge comet shots crossing from left and right in sequence and then bright silver mines. More note-synchronized comets with colour cluster shells above followed by pale gold kamuros with gold firefly pistils. I stopped taking notes at this point as the sky was filled with large blue with silver starfish shells. Massive barrages of bright gold kamuros with firefles filled the sky and then mines fronts below. At the very end of the display, there was a very dramatic mine chase sequence across the width of the display, giving the effect of a massive rainbow, bringing the display to a fantastic end.
This was a fantastic display and my notes really don't do it justice. There was so
much action taking place that it was very difficult to keep track, especially
as the music was fast paced for most of the display. Also, because of the seamless
move from one track to another, there wasn't even a moment of dark sky. Because
of the frenetic pace throughout, the finale perhaps seemed slightly short, but
the dramatic rainbow mine chase sequence was brilliant. The synchronization
was flawless throughout the display, the huge comet shots really emphasizing this.
The judges are going to have a very difficult time this year. This display must
be in the top three, I think the final determinant will be what the jury thought
of the music. Personally, being an 80's person, I loved it, but I know that
others won't have liked it so much. After each of the last three displays, I've said
to friends, "that was number 1." And so it was this time, but I can say the same about
both the American and the Italian display. Three very different displays, all
deserving of the Gold Jupiter. We really are spoiled up here in Montréal!
Closing Show Montréal Cartoons Sunday July 30th, 2000
Panzera S.A.S., designed by Pierpaolo Serafino, music by Piere Walder, traditional electrical firing
"The Montréal 2000 season will close brilliantly with a fireworks display performed to the sounds of the most famous French and American cartoons. Listen for the familiar music of Woody Woodpecker, Inspector Gadget, The Flintstones and the Pink Panther. This highly colourful offering, staged outside the competition, designed by the competition's artistic director, Giovanni Panzera, is preceded by the presentation of the Jupiter awards."
After the award of the Jupiters, a perfect summer evening gave
the ideal conditions for the season's closing show. With a musical
theme of forty one segments of the theme music from famous cartoons, the
display was a very enjoyable conclusion for the closest competition
I can remember. More than two thousand Roman candles were used, of which
one thousand were ten-shot bombettes. Panzera showed off the
latest designs, with some delightful silver kamuro bombettes
and colour to crackle bombettes. We were even treated to
silver kamuro nautic mines and use was made of the large Ferris wheel - this
having flares placed in every carriage and the perimeter of the wheel
covered in colour-chaning foutains, making what must have been the largest
rotating pyrotechnic wheel (although not self-powered) ever! The finale
was in the pure Panzera style of huge barrages of salutes and shells,
the final few seconds being an ear-splitting deafening crescendo of
huge salutes, bringing the season to a fantastic close. An announcement
was made that the 17th edition of the competition will run
Paul's Rankings for 2000
The level of the competition this year was the highest I've ever
seen. That there were no technical problems at all (save a couple
of extremely minor ones which were virtually un-noticeable), is
a great tribute to the hard work and dedication of the pyrotechnics
crew at La Ronde. In previous years, any technical problems made
the choice of judges somewhat easier. This year, however, it is
extremely difficult to judge. This is especially true because of
the use of computerised firing systems for all of the display, save
one. Excellent synchronization was something novel only a couple of years
ago, now we expect it to be the norm. All of the displays this year
would have won a Gold Jupiter in previous years, the level of the
competition really was that high. All of the displays were very different,
with some interesting musical choices, from pure rock-and-roll,
through 1980's Frankie goes to Hollywood to a more traditional classical
selection. I think it will be music selection which finally determines
the order of the winners. Before I present my personal selection, and
my prediction of the Jury's choice, a small review of each display.
|Japan||PyroDigital||Brilliant material, particularly the pattern shells and multi-colour changing shells. Seamless musical selection integrating Japanese, modern and mainly classical. Flawless synchronization throughout. The use of a parachute shell unfortunately must take them out of the running for a Jupiter.|
|Switzerland||Traditional electrical||Despite the none-computerized firing, synchronization was flawless, a testament to the skill of Toni Bussman. A mixture of classical and modern music, with an interesting finale of gold kamuro and brocade. Some fantastic multi-colour changing multi-pistil shells and crackling shells.|
|Italy||PyroDigital||Pure rock-and-roll music worked well with the perfect synchronization. Fabulous multi-break shell-of-shells and flower and double-petalled tourbillon shells. Most exciting finale of the competition, but perhaps slightly light in the rest of the display. Smoke effect on the water was an interesting idea, but would have been even better with strobes to highlight it. Music choice will not please all the jury.|
|United States||FireOne and MagicFire||Incredible synchronization due to the MagicFire® electronic time fuse. Brilliant colours, though the show was very shell-dominated. Music choice worked well, being a mix of many different genres and should appeal to the Jury. Has taken the art of pyromusical synchronization to a new level.|
|Australia||PyroDigital and FireOne||Very fast-paced display with some fantastic comets and mines, and not a moment of dark sky. Flawless synchronization, particularly well demonstrated by the comet shots and mines. Music choice will not please all the jury. Because of the fast pace, the finale seemed a little bit light, but the fabulous rainbow mine front was superb.|
|Spain||PyroDigital||Largest amount of material in the competition this year, with fabulous colours, including some dazzling blues, an amazing lemon-yellow and beautiful pastels. Brilliant nautic devices, great girandolas and even rockets gave this display the widest range of material. Synchronization was good on the whole, but in a couple of spots shells kept firing after the music stopped. The mixture of music will appeal to the Jury.|
|Germany||FireOne||Another display with a single theme, this dance-oriented display had the widest variation in rhythm and tempo. Some really nice material, particularly the double-sphered crackling shells and the huge waterfall at the end was unique. Perfect synchronization emphasized by the choice of music. Once again, a different type of finale from the Italian-style. The best set-pieces in the competition. The music should appeal to the Jury.|
|Canada||FireOne||Fantastic debut from the BEM team. Excellent choice of product and the choice of music worked well and will appeal to the Jury. Nice variation in rhythm and pace throughout and it was nice to see large shells used throughout the display, rather than just the finale. Synchronization was good, though some brocade shells burned out a little bit early. Some parts of the display had perhaps a little too much happening at once, detracting from the kamuro and brocade shells. Despite the first visit of the BEM team, definitely on a par with all the other competitors.|
This year I've found it almost impossible to choose the three top displays, let alone choose the order. All of the displays this year would have won a Gold Jupiter in previous year's competitions, the level really was that high. My three favourite shows, based on music, product and general feeling of excitement were Italy, Spain and Australia. My three favourite shows based on pyromusical theme and synchronization were United States, Germany and Canada. My three favourite shows based purely on material used were Japan, Switzerland and Spain. So I've covered everyone, which I think is fair since all the shows were so different and so enjoyable. Moving on to what I think the Jury will do, this is more difficult. The twenty five members are across the spectrum of age and sex and so the musically focussed shows such as Italy and Australia will probably not do so well with the Jury. I'm going to go out on a limb and predict the following Jury order:
- Gold Jupiter - Spain
- Silver Jupiter - Germany
- Bronze Jupiter - Canada
One final note, just to say that I consider myself a reporter on the competition,
not a critic. The combination of fireworks and music excites different people
in different ways. My musical tastes are different to other people's and this
inevitably influences my enjoyment of a display. This year some displays
which I personally really liked, others disliked because of the music. My job,
as your humble reporter, is to describe what I saw and report the music
used. The Jury has the difficult job of deciding which three should "win".
In fact, just being invited to compete sets these companies apart.
The official results are:
- Gold - Weco Pyrotechnische Fabrik, Germany
- Silver - Pirotécnia Caballer, Spain
- Bronze - Syd Howard Fireworks International, Australia
- Special - Rothman's Benson and Hedges, for 16 years of supporting the development of the pyrotechnic art at the Montréal competition
Thanks to the public relations people of La Ronde for the official
press release material, shown in white.