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2000 l'International Benson & Hedges Montréal Pyromusical Competition Report

Switzerland Sound and Light Sunday July 2nd, 2000

Bugano Feuerwerke AG, designer Toni Bussman, traditional electrical firing

"This young European company's first visit in 1999 did not go unnoticed, and loyal followers of the Benson & Hedges International are eagerly awaiting its return this year. With the resonant assistance of the great classics that never go out of style, the Swiss team will dazzle us with a display in which the subtlety of the fireworks and the virtuosity of the music are seamlessly woven together"

A hot humid day was followed by such strong winds and heavy rains that the normal "lap of honour" around the Lac au Dauphins had to be cancelled. However, the wind dropped and rain subsided at exactly 10:00pm in time for the second visit of this young Swiss team, lead by the self-taught pyrotechnician, Toni Bussman. With 15% of the fireworks specially manufactured for the display this evening, including the special popping brocade, the earlier rains couldn't dampen the enthusiasm for this nine-part display.

Part 1 to the music Zarathustra by Richard Strauss. The display opened with shells with crackling rising tails bursting to the same with a barrage of salutes. Then the same but with titanium salutes. After this, shaped-burst shells of purple rings. These were followed by kamuro shells where the glittery comets spilt into smaller comets. Next, kamuro shells with crackling pistils and then shells of blue stars and gold comets and shells of blue pistils and gold comets. This segment was brought to a close with very large charcoal comet kamuros turning to blue stars at the end of their burn.

Part 2 to the music The Blue Danube by Johann Strauss. Green-headed comet candles and candles of tourbillons were augmented by the dense, flower-like tourbillon shells above, some surrouned by blue rings and some of double petals. These were repeated and increased in number several times and followed by candles of clusters of blue stars with shells of silver turning to blue above and charcoal comets turning to blue. Next, a line of crossed blue ball candles with a line of horizontal wheels behind and followed by shells of balls and comets above. This theme was repeated and then fans of blue ball candles with silver comet bombettes as well. Above these multi-break shell-of-shells in blue and silver comets. The pace increased with more and more multi-break shell-of-shells and other silver and blue shells, the segment coming to a close with huge silver shells with pistils.

Part 3 to the music L'Estudiante, Espane by Émile Waldteufel. This segment opened with fast crossette ball candles in bright orange-red with the same crossette balls in shells above. Volley after volley of these were fired and then the same but in dazzling pink. Next, shells of blue rings and pink stars and shells of bright silver comets splitting into smaller comets. The pink theme was taken up in ball candles with multi-break shell-of-shells above in white comets and pink balls and shells of pink stars and glitter comets. Then shells of charcoal comets turning to white and then to pink, with many barrages of these. An orange theme next with multi-break shell-of-shells, then silver comets turning to fast fireflies followed by more volleys of silver comet shells. Next, yellow-headed crackling comet candles with shells of charcoal comets turning to blue above followed by note-synchronized orange mines with shells of comets and colour above. More orange mines, with large barrages of colour and comet shells moving rapidly into bombette candles with salutes with comets turning to firefly shells above. The intensity increased with barrages of salutes and large silver kamuro shells above, filling the sky and bringing the segment to a close.

Part 4 to the music Rejoice by George Frederich Händel. Shells of purple with yellow pistils with candles of purple fans below opened this segment. Then shells of purple with green pistils with crossed glitter comet candles and bombettes below. Barrages of comet and ball shells in purple and green with pistils and salutes were followed by shells with firefly pistils. Then barrages of silver comet shells and shells with blue pistils and comets, the segment coming to a close with a huge pistil and silver kamuro shell, with stars trailing to the ground.

Part 5 to the music Eleni by Tol + Tol. Crossed gold glitter candles with bombettes opened this segment with shells of green stars with crackling pistils above. Barrage after barrage of these crackling pistil shells were follwed by silver comet shells with crackling pistils and then shells with double crackling pistils, the outer layer firing after the inner. Next, loudly hissing silver tourbillon candles in fans with shells of the dense flower-like tourbillons with blue rings above, some with double petals. Many volleys of these were fired. Then the popping brocade shells with comets appearing first, then bunches of colour stars at the circumference of the comets' burn and then a final colour change. The segment was brought to a close with very large ones turning to silver.

Part 6 to the music Hellenic by Tol + Tol. This segment opened with shells with a crackling centre and then the appearance of crossing stars - that is two colour stars which fly in opposite directions. Barrage after barrage of these were fired and then followed by siver comet shells, then charcoal comet shells, then charcoal comet with crackling pistils with the comets turning to red, green, red then silver or silver then blue. Next shells with double crackling pistils, the outer one firing after the inner and yellow-headed comet candles in fans below. Then shells with two pistils, changing colour from blue to yellow then to red followed by more of the colour changing charcoal comet shells. Then more of the fantastic shells with two pistils and three colour changes on each layer, the segment coming to a close with huge charcoal comet shells turning to blue and red.

Part 7 to the music Conquest of paradies by Vangelis. Shells with crackling rising tails bursting to crackling comets were followed by nautic fountains and fleur-de-lys shaped gold fountains on the centre structure. Then shells of charcoal comets turning to blue followed by rising tail shells bursting to charcoal comet kamuros, again and again. Next fan candles in blue with glitter comets with shells of blue above. Then shells of gold glitter and bright orange-red followed by lots of the same in green and blue as well. Then gold kamuro shells with the stars turning to blue and green, then the same but with charcoal comets. Then more of the popping brocade shells with gold threads and multi-coloured star bunches, the segment coming to a close with the sky filled with glittery gold threads and clusters of coloured stars.

Part 8 to the music Fire in your heart by Sissel. Thick comet candle fans with silver bombettes were followed by rising tail shells bursting to large silver comets with gold comet pistils. Then barrages of shaped-burst shells in double rings in red and blue, five pointed stars surrounded by a ring, triple rings, even smiley faces, but only with a single star for each eye. Next, barrage after barrage of silver kamuros with yellow pistils and then shells of bright silver comets with twinkling heads, bringing the segment to a close.

Part 9 to the music Arrival by ABBA. Crossed gold comet candles with crackling shells above opened this final segment. The gold and crackling theme developed with shells with the double crackling pistils and dahlia shells of crackling charcoal comets, some with firefly pistils and the charcoal comets turning to silver. The theme continued with barrage after barrage of gold kamuro comets and crackling comets and pistils, the sky becoming completely filled with gold glittery threads trailing all the way to the ground. A final barrage of salutes and one deafening enormous salute brought the display to a close.

This was an excellent display and must rank #1 so far. The fantastic crackling shells and also the multi-colour multi-pistil multi-colour-changing shells were just excellent. Synchronization was flawless, as expected, and the crackling gold kamuro finale was an enjoyable departure from the more Italian-style finale that most teams use. The Bugano team received a very enthusiastic standing ovation in the press room. Due to the rain, some of my notes were hard to read since I was writing under a clear plastic poncho and so I inevitably missed some of the details of this excellent display.


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