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2000 l'International Benson & Hedges Montréal Pyromusical Competition Report

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.


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