Le Mondial SAQ 2001
Montréal International Fireworks Competition Report
Opening Show Passions extrêmes Wednesday June 20th, 2001
La Ronde, designed by Paul Csukassy, FireOne firing
'La Ronde's pyrotechnicians showed off their talent at the millenium fireworks on January 1, 2000, in Montréal. Under the direction of Paul Csukassy, they proved to be real masters of the art. This is the first time that the opening show is being staged by La Ronde's pyrotechnic team. "We've named this show Passions extrêmes since it offers a musical score that transcends many genres and has profuse and stunning displays of innovative special effects," explained Paul Csukassy. "As the opening show is outside the Jupiter competition, we can indulge in some special effects that would otherwise be prohibited."'
A warm clear evening of the second longest day of the year was the backdrop to the launching of the 2001 season, complete with new Sponsors. Formerly the Benson and Hedges International, the Montreal International Fireworks Competition, to use its official name, is now called Le Mondial SAQ, the SAQ being the provincial Société des alcools du Québec. Also new this year, La Ronde is now part of the Six Flags theme park group, with a commitment to hold the competition for at least ten years, thus allaying any fears that the loss of tobacco sponsorship would mean the end of the competition. A final first this year, the opening show entirely designed and conceived by the in-house pyrotechnicians at La Ronde, under the direction of Paul Csukassy. Various special effects were promised since this none-competing display was allowed to stray out of the normal competition bounds.
Part 1 to the music Right Now by Van Halen. After a false start, where the pyrotechnics began (with some impressive, presumably note-synchronized mines and fans of comets and strobe-star shells above) but the music did not, things got back on-track after a few minutes of technical adjustments. Green lasers played across the lake, with gold glitter mines and gold comet shells above. Then fans of gold comets with purple and then pink shells above with crossed gold glitter comet candles below.
Part 2 to the music Women In Chains by Tears for Fears. Thick, pale gold comet candles with blue bombettes above opened this segment as the lasers played over the lake. Then shells of blue with tourbillon candles below followed by note-sequenced comets with silver glitter comet shells above. The tourbillon candles continued with alternating blue then gold glitter shells above, followed by an alternating sequence of silver glitter and pink glitter shells, the segment coming to a close with the lasers taking advantage of the smoke and large silver rising-tail shells bursting to silver with blue pistils.
Part 3 to the music from the film Armagedon by Trevor Rabin. A line of V-shaped fountains began this segment and was followed by a line of groups of eight fountains (2 at each corner of a square). Above these, willow shells with arcing willow comets below from the left and right of the floating ramp. Then willow shells with titanium-laced burst charges followed by kamuro shells and kamuro bombette candles. The twinkly gold kamuro shells were replaced with silver, with more and more, and a probably mis-placed bright-blue star shell above these. The segment came to a close with a volley large red star shells.
Part 4 to the music Don't Stop Me Now by Queen. This began with more glitter gold comet bombette candles with multi-break shell-of-shells in blue and gold above. Then shells of gold-headed comets, followed by more multi-break shell-of-shells in silver, blue and then green. Next, shells of really bright blue stars at high level, with green star shells at a lower level followed by whistling tourbillon candles. Then a repeating sequence of red-headed comet shells, bright silver mines, multi-break shell-of-shells in blue and gold, whistling tourbillon candles and a barrage of salutes. Next, crackling comet bombette candles with shells of tourbillons and comets above. The segment closed with more shells of tourbillons and stars, really large star shells and then a front of dazzling silver mines with salutes.
Part 5 to the music from the film Aliens by James Horner. Note sequenced mines in red, purple, green and blue were followed by salutes with red shells above and more mines below. A mine was even shot from the axle of the large Ferris wheel to the right hand side of the display area. Then shells of strobe-stars (previously called fireflies is my other reports). The segment came to a close with shells of green and gold and then blue and gold.
Part 6 to the music Nobody Does It Better by Carly Simon from the film The Spy Who Loved Me. Silver rising-tail shells bursting to small whizzing toubillons were followed by crossed gold candles with blue bombettes. Then shells of bright ball stars which turned out to be crossettes - each star breaking into four. These were repeated in some great pastel colours with crossed glitter candles and red star candles below and then red come shells above. Next, shells of blue and silver comets, the segment coming to a close with a large weeping willow shell turning to silver.
Part 7 to the music Viens Danser by Fiori Séguin. A line of candles with multi-break shell-of-shells above and then mines below were followed by bombette candles with blue shells above. Then silver comet bombette candles with blue and gold glitter comet shells above. These were followed by crossed comet bombette candles and then thick comets shooting up and over the lake towards the audience! The segment came to a close with more of these with multi-break shell-of-shells above.
Part 8 to the music from the film Gladiator by Hans Zimmer. A line of archers shot flaming arrows out into the lake where they were presumably supposed to look like they were igniting something. Unfortunately, the technical gremlins got in and nothing happened on any of the extra floating launch platforms in the lake, neither the water screen for the lasers. As more arrows were fired, silver ball shells above were followed by blue shells and then weeping willows and then pale gold thick comet candles. Above these, large kamuro shells and then blue, as more flaming arrows flew into the lake, bringing the segment to a close with comet shells above.
Part 9 to the music All You Need Is Love by The Beatles. Two large CND peace symbols in lancework lit-up as shells of green which broke once and then, after a delay, broke again into clusters of stars. These were repeated and followed by pattern shells of bow-ties with rings. Then pattern shells of spirals, followed by double concentric hearts and then shells of willow comets turning to crackling stars, bringing the segment to a close.
Part 10 to the music Je reviendrai à Montréal by Robert Charlebois. Cheers from the crowd erupted as they heard the popular local songster's tune start up to a line of thick pale gold comet candles followed by silver bombettes. Then more gold candles with blue star shells above, the colours matching the song's lyric. Next, glittery weeping willow shells followed by blue and silver comets turning to strobe-stars moving into barrages of pure strobe-star shells. The segment came to a close with more of the strobe-star shells with shells of stars and comets.
Part 11 to the music Night Fever by The Bee Gees from the film Saturday Night Fever. This began with dancing tourbillon candles with double-petal tourbillon flower shells with blue pistils above. This theme was maintained throughout the segment.
Part 12 to the music from the film Once Upon a Time in the West by Ennio Morricone. This began with a line of bright red flame fountains in cross formations with a large number of silver nautic fountains fired into the lake. Then silver comet candles with shells of small bees above followed by more nautic fountains and more bee shells. Then rings of comets fired from the circular roof of the central control room with shells of pale gold comets above and more comets shot from the firing ramp over the lake to the audience, with pale gold kamuro shells above. This theme was repeated until the end of the segment.
Part 13 to the music Show Me the Way by Styx. The final segment began with nautic flares in the lake becoming strobes. Note-synchronized bright headed comets from left and right were followed by crackling bombettes with double concentric ring shells above. Then large shells in blue and gold followed by bright silver star shells. Large shells with pistils were followed by gold glitter crossette candles and then blue bombettes. Next, very large shells of crackling stars followed by mine after mine below. The pace increased as large comet shells with barrages of salutes, incredibly bright huge silver mines below, silver comet and salute candles, shells of rings of salute terminated comets above, the pace quickening further as the display came to an end with a barrage of blue and salute terminated comet shells.
This was a very enjoyable beginning to the 2001 competition season. The few technical glitches did not detract from a very enjoyable display with some unusual effects, though I always think the use of lasers is never quite as successful as it would be imagined. However, as a debut display by the in-house pyrotechnicians, it was impressive. As I was leaving La Ronde, a large fireball erupted, lighting up the whole lake. I presume this was one of the special effects which the technical gremlins prevented from going off earlier.
Germany An Evening of Opera June 27th, 2001
NICO-Lünig Event GmBH designed by Matthias Lünig, traditional electrical firing
"For it's fifth participation on the competition, this team from Stuttgart and winners of one gold and two silver Jupiters in the past, will set off their fireworks in convert with seven well-known operas".
Several days of tropical-heat weather looked like they'd be spoiled by thunderstorms. Luckily, the largest of the storms rolled by to the East, providing only a few raindrops before the skies cleared out entirely in time for the display to begin. This previous gold and silver Jupiter winning team made their first return to Montréal since 1995 and fired their seven-part show manually.
Part 1 to the music Barcelona by M. Caballer and Freddy Mercury. The display opened with tourbillon mines with silver shells above, rapidly followed by salutes and then shells of red and blue. Beneath these, cakes of blue stars with double concentric ring shells above. Then cakes of silver crossette comets and shells of the same above followed by rising tail shells bursting to red stars and then blue stars. Next, shells of crackling comets followed by gold glitter comet shells and then shells of thick pale gold comets. These were followed by bright crackling comets with shells of white balls and tourbillons above. Then shells of silver comets followed by high weeping-willow kamuro shells. These were followed by weeping willow shells with the stars ending in silver. Next, shells with double colour-changing stars followed by large shells of willow comets and blue stars, then shells of willow comets and blue stars turning to red. The segment came to a close with large shells of blue changing to white and then large white shells turning to crackle.
Part 2 to the music Four Seasons - Summer by A. Vivaldi. This segment began with comet cakes with blue star shells above followed by cakes of crackle and tourbillons. Next, large shells bursting into the shapes of opening flowers in blue and red followed by a repeating sequence of crackling mines, rising tail shells bursting to colour flowers and more crackling mines. Next, rising tail shells bursting to gold and crackling comets and then more crackling mines with white-headed crackling comet shells above. Then mines of silver comets with green ball shells above, followed by a barrage of titanium salutes with red rising tail shells bursting to blue stars and then shells of stars and starfish silver comets, the segment coming to a close with crackling comet shells.
Part 3 to the music The Blue Danube by J. Strauss. A front of large mines was followed by a line of strobe-pots and then crackling mines synchronized to each bar of the music. After this, willow shells and then shells of star headed kamuro comets followed by fan clusters of comets and cakes of bees. Next, crossed comet bombette cakes or candles bursting to more bees and tourbillons. These were followed by bright pale-gold and yellow comet shells, with volley after volley of these whilst the cakes/candles continued below. Then hard breaking gold comet shells criss-crossing in the sky with cakes of pastel coloured stars below. Then shells with one half in one colour and the other in another. These were followed by a really large kamuro shell with the stars trailing to the lake and then followed by double concentric ring and shaped-burst shells in the form of star shapes. Barrage after barrage of the double concentric ring shells, some in stars, some in comets were followed by blue bombette cakes and then shells of comets, salutes and whistles. Next, a repeating sequence of comet and tourbillon cakes, crackling mines and crossed thick white comets. Next, crackling shells with titanium salutes and shells of blue and red stars followed by more blue bombette cakes. Then rising tail shells bursting to gold glitter followed by shells of bees and more gold glitter. These were followed by shells of red, blue and white with thick comets below with lines of mines and cakes of bright blue headed comets. The segment was brought to a close with a large weeping willow shell turning to silver.
Part 4 to the music O sole mio by A. Boccelli. Shells with crackling rising tails bursting to crackling and gold comets followed by shells of pale gold comets opened this segment. Then cakes of firefly comets and blue and silver bombettes followed by more of the pale gold comet shells. Next, flower petal tourbillon shells with coloured pistils followed by barrages of large colour changing shells with strobing pistils. Next, shells of red-headed crossette comets followed by shells of blue stars. These were followed by shells of half red and half blue with colour changing stars and then shaped-burst shells in the shape of stars. More half and half colour shells with rings and some shells with half colour stars and half comets. These were followed by repeated large willow shells turning to silver and followed by gold glitter and pale gold comet shells. Next, shells of white stars followed by silver crackling comet shells and then silver glitter comets turning to strobes. The segment coming to a close with large shells of silver comets then bursting into crackling clusters at the end.
Part 5 to the music Tosca-e lucevan le stelle by Puccini. A line of fountains opened up as a flight of girandolas rose into the air on columns of sparks, breaking into colour stars as they ascended. Above these, shells of willow stars turning to blue as the fountains below increased in height. Next, shells of blue stars opening in a flower-like cone shape with one of these flower-potting at launch. Then some remarkable shells which burst into a sphere of crackle, turning to willow comets and then a second sphere of crackle, with barrages of large titanium salutes. The noise increased at this point with rising tail shells bursting to crackle with more barrages of titanium salutes and hard-breaking gold comets shells. Barrages of large kamuro shells were followed by crossette and blue bombette cakes, the segment coming to a close with cakes of tourbillons.
Part 6 to the music En aranjuez con tu amor sung by S. Brightman. This began with a couple of vertical wheels which eventually started to turn with cakes of bees in front and then shells of half stars and half comets above. Then bright blue-headed silver crossette comets with shells of half blue stars and half comets above. These were followed by shells of bright-headed go-getter comets and then shells in red and blue. Next, shells of paler go-getters and bow-tie shaped comet shells. Shells of crackling comets and silver kamuros were followed by shells of whistling tourbillons with comet pistils and then more really large shells of stars and crackle. Barrages of colour star and comet shells were followed by more of the shells of double spheres of crackle followed by shells of blue stars turning to crackling clusters, the segment coming to a close with a very loud front of crackling comet cakes.
Part 7 to the music 1812 Overture by Tchaïkovsy. The finalé began at a fast pace with cakes of whistling tourbillons salutes and bombettes. Then more barrages of salutes, mines of thick silver comets followed by gold glittering comet shells above and then the same in cakes below. These were repeated and followed by more of the hard breaking gold comet shells and then a repeated sequence of strobe stars, which initially began as very bright orange stars. These were repeated, filling the sky with bright strobe-stars. The pace became more intense as shells of silver comets and salutes, more mines of thick silver comets and barrages of colour and comet shells above. The sky began to be filled with shells and barrages of salutes, crackling comets as a final huge kamuro exploded high in the sky, trailing its stars to the ground in the final seconds as the salute and other shell barrage below faded out. The crowd cheered their approval.
This was a very enjoyable display and an excellent start to the competition proper. There were some really excellent shells, particularly the many different forms of crackling comets and crackling cluster shells, as well as the brilliant blue-headed crossette comet and gold glitter shells. Synchronization was pretty good throughout, especially during "the Blue Danube", but it was not as tight as an electronically-fired display. Whilst this was an excellent display, I have the feeling that it was, perhaps, just a bit too "traditional" compared to some of the displays we've had in the past couple of years of competition. Also, no use was made of the lake, which is a slight negative point in my opinion. Still very enjoyable though.
Portugal Flashes of Colour and Music Saturday June 30th, 2001
Pirotécnia Minhota Lda., designed by Rui Fernandes, traditional electrical firing
"Portugal's Pirotécnia Minhota launches its first fireworks above La Ronde. This grand pyromusical event, entitled Flaches de Cor e Musica has been designed by Rui Fernandes, a lighting specialist whose capacity to marry rhythm, creativity and intuition has been experienced already in Canada several times, notably in Vancouver where Pirotécnia Minhota took first place in 1995's Symphony of Fire. Pirotécnia Minhota was founded in 1952 and is renownded for its production of foguetes - Portugal's traditional rockets. The musical score seeks to evoke Portugal's history and everything has been done to seduce Montrealers and its Poruguese community."
After several days of heat and humidity, the weather broke with late afternoon thunderstorms threatening to put a dampener on the evening's proceedings. The weather gods smiled however, the rain holding off for the 30 minute display. Great use was made of Pirotécnia Minhota's speciality - foguetes, better known as rockets, with one thousand being fired in the display. It was sometimes difficult to differentiate between rockets and shells, and so in this report, many times I refer to shells which were, in all probability, shell-headed rockets. Traditional manual firing was used for this eight-part display.
Part 1 to the music Canção do Mar by Dulce Pontes. The display opened serenly with strobe pots and a ring of fountains on the roof of the centre firing ramp. Then fan comet candles in delicate charcoal and aluminium glitter (which hereinafter I will just refer to as glitter). Next, candles of blue with more fan glitter comets in the centre with blue shells above. These were followed by fans of colour star mine and glitter candles, with glitter shells high above leading into shells of glitter comets turning to colour stars. Next, rockets bursting to colour-headed glitter comets, the comets trailing down like curtains in the sky. These were followed by glitter mines and more of the same rockets. Next, shells of brilliant blue with colour star rockets followed by crossette comet and colour star mine candles. These were repeated and followed by crossed comet crossette candles and then shells of crackling glitter crossette comets, with bright colour mines and bombette candles below. Then more of the crackling glitter crossette shells, followed by shells of blue and other colours and then shells of clusters of colour stars ending in crackle. These were followed by large colour star shells and rockets of the colour-headed falling comets and then high pale-silver kamuros with rockets below bursting to colour star clusters. The segment came to an end with a large kamuro trailing all the way to the lake with a barrage of titanium salutes ending in another kamuro, trailing to the ground to cheers from the crowd.
Part 2 to the music Love by Grace by Lara Fabian. A flight of girandolas took off, bursting into colours as a fan of glitter comets from the centre filled the sky. Next, clusters of fan comets in fantastic glittering silver/charcoal, sparks from the comet trail falling all the way down to the lake as shells of strobe-stars burst above. Then fantastic candles of deep blue-headed charcoal comet clusters with gold glitter shells above and then barrages of titanium salutes and blue star shells followed by more titanium salutes and gold glitter shells. These were followed by double concentric red shaped-burst shells in hearts followed by high shells in orange and blue. Next shells of blue crossette stars followed by large rising tail shells bursting to colour headed willow comets with pistils. Next, large colour changing shells followed by rockets with stars gently bursting out and falling way down. The segment came to a close with lots of shells of glitter comets and colour stars.
Part 3 to the music Dei-te Quase Tudo by Paulo Gonzo. This began with candles of mines of clusters of colour stars, with fans of glitter comet candles in the centre with their sparks trailing all the way down to the lake. Next, shells of silver crossette comets followed by shells of glitter comets and shells of colour-headed comets, trailing all the way down to the lake. Theses were followed by high glitter comet shells and shells of comets with fireflies. Next, candles of bright colour-headed crossette comets with shells of nice pastel colours above. These were followed by high glitter comet shells and rockets of the falling colour-headed comets. Next, fans of the nice glitter comets with shells of the same above (just to restate that this glitter is a delicate charcoal and aluminium). These were followed by nice blue-headed charcoal comet shells and then shells of white headed charcoal comets turning to a fantastic blue. Below this, candles of mines of red stars as more glitter comet shells and shells of falling colour-headed comets burst above. The segment came to a close as fans of rockets burst into fantastic brilliant blue-headed charcoal comets - filling the air with bunches of gold-stemmed blue flowers as large shells burst high above.
Part 4 to the music That's The Way It Is by Celine Dion. A line of fountains opened up along the lake as crossed charcoal comet candles and candles of mines of the brilliant blue stars were fired with glitter comet shells above. Then rockets of the falling colour-headed comets were followed by large glitter comet shells and more of the falling colour comet rockets. A front of brilliant colour star mines was followed by shells of glitter comets and blue stars, falling like a kamuro to the lake as fan candles in pale gold glitter, the sparks trailing to the ground fired below. Then shells of slow falling glittering crossette comets, a front of silver stars and then shells of crackling glitter crossette comets. These were followed by palm-tree shells with glittering crossette comets. As the air became filled with crackling glittering comets, candles of pale gold and star mine candles fired below and then shells of glitter turning to red. These were followed by large shells of blue stars and comets, then green and comets and then colour star shells with silver starfish comets, filling the sky. Next, rockets of the falling colour-headed comets with shells of pastel colours turning to strobe-stars and firefly comets. A barrage of salutes was followed by shells of orange stars turning to white strobes, the segment coming to a close with silver kamuro stars turning to strobes.
Part 5 to the music Silêncio by Madredeus. This entire serene segment had a Niagara falls set-piece the entire width of the lake, whilst a single fan of glitter comets was fired from the centre. Unfortunately, the damp air meant that a huge amount of smoke was generated, making it difficult to see!
Part 6 to the music Heaven by Brian Adams. Five vertical wheels with coloured lance centres spun rapidly up to speed. After a while, comets were shot out of the wheels as they spun. Then a front of bright silver mines and titanium salutes. Above this, big shells of silver comets with glitter comet candle fans below. Then really large colour shells ending in crackling clusters. These were repeated and followed by bombettes of clusters of stars. Above these, large shells bursting into double concentric rings and some other shapes which were hard to discern from the angle I saw them. Then shells of colour-changing comets and more double ring shells and other shapes. These were followed by shells of bright white stars, then shells of blue and shells of silver crackling comets. Barrages of titanium salutes were followed by more silver comet shells and shells of colour clusters. More silver comet shells and titanium salutes were followed by shells of starfish shaped clusters of colour-headed comets. The intensity increased with barrages of salutes and more of the starfish shaped clusters of colour headed comets. The segment came to a close with barrages of silver crackling comets and rockets of the falling colour-headed comets.
Part 7 to the music It Feels So Good by Sonique. This up-tempo segment opened with loud fans of rockets bursting to colour-headed falling comets. Then a repeating sequence of candles of willow comets and clusters of brilliant blue stars with large glitter shells at a high level and white shells at a lower level. Next, candles of salutes and colour clusters with a shells of silver comets turning to colour above. These were followed by fan comet candles below and large crackling comet shells with pistils above as the candles switched to glitter comets and colour clusters. Next, shells of purple and shells of starfish clusters of charcoal comets with colour stars. These were followed by large shells of gold glitter and shells of falling white comets and other shells of firefly comets. More candles of fans of charcoal comets with blue star clusters as shells of strobe-stars burst above and were followed by barrages of titanium salutes and shells of thick pale comets. Shells of rings and shells of clusters of comets were followed by rockets of the falling colour-headed comets and then shells of crossette glitter comets. The segment came to a close with barrages of shells of glitter and colour and then a final barrage of bright silver glitter comets.
Part 8 to the music Sete Mares by Sétima Legião. The final segment began with a set-piece in the shape of a boat in bright lemon-yellow lances. Fan comets from the centre and candles of thick gold charcoal comets with clusters of green stars. Above these, shells of clusters of comets were followed by candles of salutes and then fans of loud rockets bursting to colour and salutes. More and more fans of these loud rockets were fired and then candles of blue stars and glitter comets, followed by the same in shells above. Then rockets of the falling clusters of comets were followed by gold glitter shells and rockets of clusters of comets bursting into flower-like shapes. Next, brilliant blue shells with well synchronized glitter mines and candles of crossette comets. These were followed by a sequence of shells or rockets of clusters of kamuro stars followed by candles with salutes and silver glitter shells. Rockets of falling colour-headed comet stars were followed by volley after volley of high bright shells with some huge salutes. The pace increased as the number of shells and huge salutes became enormous, the air was filled with a huge amount of smoke lit up dramatically from the flashes of the huge numbers of salutes, the end coming with deafening volleys of massive salutes and shells, somewhat obscured by the smoke. The audience screamed their approval. I wrote "AMAZING" in big letters in my notes and also found that I was screaming too.
This was a hugely enjoyable show. The material used was just fantastic, with the most fabulous blues I can ever remember seeing and the range of glittering comets was also fantastic, especially the comets which trailed their sparks out of the side of the main trail down to the ground. It was also fantastic to see such a huge number of rockets used - I'm sure a good number of references to shells in this report are actually rockets. The music was also enjoyable and worked well with the fireworks. Synchronization was a bit slack in places, but was tight in other places. Overall, a fabulous debut for the Portuguese team.
Taiwan Harmony of Dragon and Phoenix Saturday July 7th, 2001
San Tai Fireworks Industrial Co., Ltd., designed by Helen Ong, PyroDigital firing
"San Tai Fireworks is one of the most important fireworks manufacturers in Taiwan and for this inaugural visit, the company is proposing a special voyage into Taiwanese mythology. The show aims to demonstrate the country's culture and its humanity. Embellished with traditional music and with pyrotechnic components designed specifically for the Mondial SAQ, including a 20-metre dragon and a 15-metre phoenix, Taiwan's fireworks will grace Montréal's sky for the first time."
Late evening showers couldn't dampen enthusiasm for this first visit for the Taiwanese team. Designed in collaboration with Toni Bussman of last year's Swiss entrant, Bugano Feuerwerke AG, and with the able assistance of Eric Tucker of PPA for matters PyroDigital, this was sure to be something special. The first electronically fired show this year, using 170 PyroDigital firing modules, promised to be interesting, with the majority of the product being manufactured by San Tai. The music, unfortunately with song titles only in the press release, also appeared, or at least some of it did, in the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
Part 1 to the music The General Command. The display opened dramatically with barrage after barrage of large titanium salutes. Then ring shells of silver and more titanium salutes followed by shaped-burst shells producing smiley faces. These were followed by large shells of silver comets and blue pistils, then shells of comets with crackling pistils and shells with two different coloured pistils and the outer stars changing colour twice. At this point, the pace was quite frenetic with barrage after barrage of large multi-pistil multi-colour changing shells. Next, star shells of mixed colours followed by shells of blue with white comets and then star shells with starfish comet pistils. These were followed by barrages of multi-break shell-of-shells in red followed by huge willow shells turning to silver. Then shells of white turning to red and then to comets followed by barrages of gold comet with blue stars and shaped-burst shells in butterflies of gold comets and blue stars. Then more barrages of gold glitter comet and blue star shells and huge shells of comets and white stars turning to blue. Next, repeated barrages of willow stars turning to silver then to blue followed by shells of half red and half blue with their pistils also half red and half blue, but the other way round. This fantastic opening segment came to a close, to cheers from the crowd, with a barrage of multi-break shell-of-shells of white comets and volleys of titanium salutes.
Part 2 to the music Flower Drum Song. This segment began more sedately with crossed colour ball candles and note-synchronized mines with shaped-burst shells in blue in shapes I couldn't discern, followed by more note-synchronized mines of tourbillons. Then crossed bright-headed comet candles as the dragon and phoenix set-pieces lit up, unfortunately largely obscured by smoke from my vantage point and then the lake was filled with large silver nautic fountains, to cheers from the audience. The dragon then appeared to shoot out stars and whistles as umbrella-shaped crowns of crackling fountains opened up in the centre and then started to spin horizontally. Above these, shells of double rings of comets as the "umbrellas" spun faster. Then shells of large green stars which suddenly became go-getters followed by shells of rings with pistils. Next, V-shape mines of clusters of comets in perfect synchronization with butterfly-shells above in gold comets and blue stars, some with rings as well. These were followed by colour-changing star shells and then a huge shell with comets trailing all the way to the lake. A line of bright red flares lit up with silver star and comet shells with salutes above, the segment coming to a dramatic close with a huge silver comet shell ending in crackle - a silver popping brocade in fact, to cheers from the audience.
Part 3 to the music Journey to Shambala. Crackling rising tails bursting to crackling palms rose into the sky as cakes of blue balls and a line of bright red flares lit up the ground. Next, candles of clusters of charcoal comets and blue ball candles with charcoal comets aimed to the left and right. These were followed by repeating volleys of delicate willow comets ending up in jewel-like colours such as blue and green. Then shells of willow comets with crackling pistils, the comets turning to silver. More barrages of the willow-to-blue shells and then willow-to-silver. Then a really large willow comet turning to silver shell followed by kamuro shells of firefly composition, delicately twinkling. Next large shells with the firefly comets in pistils, surrounded by kamuro stars. These were followed by shells of bright white comets in tight clusters which fell like curtains and then were followed by gold kamuros trailing all the way to the lake. Next, tight clusters of white comets rising slowly and then turning over and falling down. Then more of the kamuro shells but with crackling comet pistils, increasing in size in volley after volley, ending up in a huge one trailing to the lake, to cheers of course.
Part 4 to the music Spring in Lhasa. Cakes of tourbillons and star-headed comets were followed by candles of salute-terminated clusters of comets and then candles of tourbillons and salutes, the candles all firing at exactly the same time. Above these, shells of the flowers of tourbillons in single and double petals with blue or green stars as pistils or surrounding. Barrage after barrage of these was fired followed by shells of comets with crackle and then blue stars with crackling pistils. These were followed by more of the same, but in pink and then shells with double spheres of crackle, surrounded by green stars. Then a repeating sequence of willow comets ending in crackle followed by bright star shells also ending in crackle. Next, large glittering comet shells with fast strobing red stars, the segment coming to a close with yet another huge kamuro trailing to the lake.
Part 5 to the music Prelude to the song of Boatman. Loud cakes of salutes and stars and bombettes were followed by the large shells with pistils in half and half colours. Then a huge shell of blue stars and comets followed by shells of stars with comet pistils. Below, bright headed charcoal comet candles with crackling bombette cakes and then cakes of silver bombette comets with salutes. Above these, volley after volley of white strobe-star shells, the stars filling the sky and descending just like the music was at that point. The music became more serene, as did the fireworks with crossed blue star candles as fans of glitter comet candles and soft bombettes. Then the pace increased as barrages of silver comet and silver star shells were fired, the segment coming to a close with a huge silver comet shell filling the sky.
Part 6 to the music Love before time. This segment began with pale orange-yellow headed gold comet candles with shells of rings and five-pointed stars above. Then candles of soft bombettes. These were followed by barrages of huge silver kamuro shells with pistils. Then willow comet shells with crackling pistils, trailing to the lake. Then willow comet shells with double layers of crackling stars, kind of double popping brocades. Barrage after barrage of these popping brocades and other crackling shells and then even some with three layers of crackle. Next, ball shells with starfish comet pistils and then shells of silver comets with crackling silver pistils. These were followed by barrages of pale gold crackling comets and pistils. Next, more of the multi-layer crackling willow shells with barrage after barrage of these. The segment came to a dramatic close with a huge willow shell with a crackling pistil, the final crackle layer at the end of the willow comets literally feet away from the audience!
Part 7 to the music Defend the Yellow river. This final segment opened up with large shells of blue stars and silver comet pistils. Then pistil shells with each in complementary half and half colours followed by large multi-break shell-of-shell silver comets. More shells of blue stars and silver comets with cakes of crazy silver bees. Above these, half and half shells in blue and red and more blue and silver comet shells. A more serene moment as star headed glitter comet fan candles opened up, followed by candles of clusters of comets and silver bombettes. Above these, silver kamuro shells, getting larger and large and then multi-break shell-of-shells in silver stars. These were followed by more star-headed glitter comet fan candles with barrages of strobe-star shells above and colour shells above these. Then shells of colour stars with crackling pistils and more multi-break shell-of-shells in stars and then a return to the strobe-star shells. Next, shells of very fast flashing red strobes and shaped-burst shells in smiley faces followed by shells of blue stars and comets. One of these blue stars and silver comets did a dramatic flowerpot and was followed by shells of more of the fast strobes and then shells of silver comets turning to crackle. The display came to a close with barrages of silver comet shells with pistils, the final moment coming with a huge silver comet shell, trailing all the way to the lake.
This was a fabulous display. The synchronization, as expected, was
flawless throughout and there was a great range in intensity, from
very serene to huge barrages. The range and quality of shells used
was fantastic, especially the multi-layer crackling shells, the
popping brocades and the shells with several pistils, all layers
changing colour at least twice. The audience loved the huge willow and
kamuro shells with their stars trailing to the lake, especially the
popping brocade where the crackles were really in-your-face. The music
also worked well. The only criticism I can think of is that the first
segment felt more intense than the finale. Otherwise, an excellent
debut display which must be in contention for a Jupiter, at least at
this point in the competition.
Spain Glamour 2001 Wednesday July 11th, 2001
Pirotécnia Igual S.A., design by Isidre Panella, traditional electrical firing
"Spain's pyromusical shows are always very popular with Montréalers - and for just cause. In the history of the Competition, Spain has won 12 Jupiters, the most for any one country. Pirotécnia Igual S.A. also holds the record for the greatest amount of Jupiters garnered by one firm, having taken home a total of 6 (Gold in 1988, Silver in 1996 and Bronze in 1985, 1987, 1992 and 1999)."
Continued cool and threatening weather didn't stop this Spanish team warming the crowds with their fiesta of colour and fire. With all the material produced by Igual for this show, the vast amounts of product laid out promised an exciting display, especially the angled mortars aimed over the lake containing nautic shells.
Part 1 to the music Evocacion Catalana by E. Morera. The display began with bright mines with shaped burst shells of a central ring surrounded by four other rings. Then large shells of blue stars and charcoal comets followed by more bright mines. Above these, gold glitter shells turning to gold strobe followed by mines of wiggling silver comets. The pace of the music changed as a line of clusters of three fountains opened up. Above these, shells of colour comets turning to stars with crossed glitter comet candles below. Then mines of really bright pale-yellow headed comets followed by more of the colour comet to star shells. These were followed by shells of go-getters and a barrage of colour comet to star shells. Then mines of silver glitter comets with shells of crackling crossette comets above followed by more mines of glitter. A barrage of bright colour shells was followed by a huge colour changing shell, bringing the segment to a close, to great cheers from the crowd.
Part 2 to the music Navarra by Albeniz. This segment opened with left and right firing comets followed by shells of tourbillons and shells of glitter comets. Then barrages of the comet to colour shells with bursts of wiggling comet mines below followed by the mines of bright star-headed comets as shells of charcoal comets with blue pistils burst above. More shells of blue pistils and charcoal comets as well as shells of tourbillons with wiggling comet mines below. Then shells of purple stars with a center of crackling starfish comets. Mines of comets were followed by more of the purple shells with crackling starfish comets forming a repeating sequence which was followed by single and multiple ring shaped burst shells in pastel colours. Then huge colour shells, double concentric ring shells, the segment coming to a close with a barrage of go-getter shells.
Part 3 to the music La Boda de Luis Alonso by J. de Burgos. The next segment began with a flight of double ascension girandolas to great cheers from the crowd. Then candles of wiggling comets and another flight of double ascension girandolas with shells of tourbillons above and then even more girandolas to continued cheers from the crowd. A large volley of shells with a final massive colour changing shell ending in silver brought this segment to a close.
Part 4 to the music The Blue Danube by J. Strauss. This began with mines of wiggling silver comets and then charcoal comet candles in a right-firing line followed by glittering characoal comet candles in a vertical-firing line and then gold glitter comet candles in a left-firing line. Colour star candles also opened up and were followed by mines of wiggling comets and mines of dense clusters of comets. Repeated bursts of red go-getters were followed by the same in green and then mines of the bright star-headed comets, mines of glitter comets and mines of wiggly comets. These were followed by more go-getter shells. Next, mines of bright comets with shells of charcoal comets with colour pistils above. These were followed by shells of silver glitter comets and then candles with star-headed comets with shells of glitter comet crossettes above. Then mines of bright lemon-yellow headed comets with shells of tourbillons above followed by more of the lemon-yellow headed comet mines. This formed a repeating sequence and was followed by shells of charcoal comets with colour changing pistils and mines of wiggling comets below. Then barrages of the flower-like tourbillon shells with blue pistils and then shells of crossette colour stars as the music moved seamlessly to:
Part 5 to the music The Flower Waltz by Tchaïkovsky. Shells of colour changing stars which became crossettes burst above as candles of the lemon-yellow headed meteor comets fired below and were followed by shells of the same lemon-yellow headed comets. Then shells of rings with pistils with bombette candles below followed by colour comet shells above. These were followed by shells of the tourbillon flowers with pistils, regular tourbillon shells and mines of wiggling whistling comets below. A repeating sequence of shaped-burst shells with spiral patterns, crossed comet candles and shells of go-getters was followed by fronts of bright mines. Then more shaped-burst shells in rings and multiple intersecting rings with more bright comet mines below. The pace increased with barrages of shells with pistils, the segment coming to a close with a barrage of multi-break shell-of-shells.
Part 6 to the music Ocean Sea by Vangelis. Flights of rockets bursting to slow-falling twinkling stars were followed by a line of fountains in double-V shaped clusters of three as more rockets flew and burst. The fountains became brighter and whiter as more rockets rose into the air, bursting to colour stars which changed into the slow falling twinklers. Beneath these, crossed pink ball candles and crossed glitter comet candles as the lake lit-up with nautic fountains. Above these, shells of bright silver comets as the nautic fountains terminated by shooting up silver comets. Then more bright silver comet shells above a line of fountains with pairs of fountains at each vertex of a square opened up. Then set-pieces in silver strobe lances spelling out letters and symbols as shells of strobe-stars burst above, strobe mines were fired and the lake became filled with nautic strobes, bringing this serene segment to a close.
Part 7 to the music Eternity by Vangelis. Multi-break shell-of-shells of crackling glitter and barrages of salutes were followed by whistling comet mines, volleys of crackling comet shells and more multi-break shell-of-shells of gold comets. Then more whistling comet mines, salutes and again multi-break shell-of-shells of gold glitter comets. This theme repeated with volleys of titanium salutes, multi-break shell-of-shells of comets and fantastic nautic shells in the lake. Then volleys of colour comet shells, fronts of whistling comet mines, mines of salute-terminated comets and shells of silver comets. Then shells of go-getters, shells of comets with pistils, huge shells of colour changing stars and comets, the segment coming to a close with huge mines and a barrage of shells.
Part 8 to the music Twenty-eighth Parallel by Vangelis. Fronts of bright mines were followed by shells of comet to colour and then mines of tourbillons. Then a repeating sequence of bright colour-star headed comet candles with barrages of comet to colour shells above as the music moved seamlessly to:
Part 9 to the music Consecration of Spring by Stravinsky. Candles of silver bombettes were followed by right-firing comet candles with shells of pastel-colour rings above and mines of bright colours below. Then shells of crossette comets and a repeating sequence of shaped-burst shells with a central ring and bow-tie comets either side, with mines of whistling comets below. These were followed by barrages of titanium salutes and both candles and shells of very bright lemon-yellow star headed silver comets. Then more mines of whistling comets with more of the ring-and-bowtie shells above and shaped burst shells of purple hearts as the music moved seamlessly to:
Part 10 to the music Faust by Gounod. This segment began with comet to colour shells with the bright star-headed meteor comet candles below followed by barrages of shells of the lemon-yellow headed meteor comets and then shells of rings. Then a repeated sequence of barrages of salutes, bright lemon-yellow headed meteor comet shells and mines of salutes. Then lots of shells of comets and shells of bright pale-yellow flashes followed by huge shells of colour stars with crackling comets as well. Next, shells of the crossette colour stars and more shells (or possibly rockets) of the bright flashes. These were followed by salutes and large shells of go-getters followed by shells of purple stars with crackling comet pistils, the segment coming to a close with a very well timed massive colour shell breaking exactly on the beat.
Part 11 to music from the filmRobocop II by Rosenman. Clusters of charcoal comets were followed by charcoal rising tail bombettes, barrage after barrage of these forming the appearance of groves of palm trees. Then pastel colour bombettes with shells of willow comets with blue tips above. These were followed by mines of wiggling comets with shells of comets to colour above and also shells of charcoal comet and colour stars. Then shells of crackling charcoal comets with salute-terminated comet candles below as the music moved seamlessly to:
Part 12 to music from the filmApocalypse Now by Wagner. Flights of rockets bursting to glitter were followed by candles of glitter comets and mines of salutes. Then rockets bursting to fast strobing stars and then a huge glitter comet shell as more rockets rose into the air. Then barrages of charcoal comet shells, rising tail shells of charcoal comets with blue stars as the music moved seamlessly to:
Part 13 to the music Music by J. Miles. Mines of bright salute-terminated comets with shells of rings above were followed by mines of silver with double concentric ring shells above. Then left and right firing mines and salutes with shells one ring around another (like the electrons in a helium atom). These were repeated as the mines of comets and salutes below kept up their firing. Then shells of glitter turning to strobe-stars with mines of clusters of blue stars as huge kamuro shells with blue star ends started to fill the sky above. The number increased with mines of the same kamuro comet stars, the same in shells above, then mines of the same comets but with blue tips with the same in shells above. The segment came to a close with an enormous kamuro comet shell ending up as strobe stars.
Part 14 to the music Somebody by George Michael. This segment began with whistling comet mines with ring shells above. Then mines of glitter comets and bright comet mines. Above these, shells with six clusters of colour-tipped charcoal comets. These were repeated and followed by mines of charcoal comets turning to strobe-stars with the same above in shells. Next, shells of tourbillons and shells of crackling comets. These were followed by fronts of huge dazzling mines and shells of bright silver comets above. The pace started to increase with volleys of titanium salutes, huge barrages of massive colour shells, more and more salute. The pace increased yet further with what appeared to be the finale, the sky filled with volley after volley of shells and salutes, the crowd cheering as it came to an end, thinking it was over. But, of course, it was only the faux finale.
Part 15 to the music Rendez-vous by Jean-Michel Jarre. After the intensity of the faux finale many people thought the show was over and were getting ready to leave. Big mistake! The real finale was even more intense with massive barrages of huge shells, round after round of thunderous titanium salutes and lake-filling bursts of fabulous nautic shells. I couldn't even begin to take notes, and just wrote "out of control - WOW!" in my notebook, as my hands were shaking at this point. A fantastic end to a fabulous display.
This was a fantastic display and must be in contention for a prize. People I spoke to at the end were breathless from the exciting faux and real finalés, especially with all the terrific nautic shells. The quality of the product was excellent, with the fabulous lemon-yellow comets being particularly notable, as well, of course, as the brilliant nautic devices. The girandolas are always crowd pleasers too. Synchronization was good for the most part, especially considering this was a manually fired show. The competition is certainly heating up now.
USA The Wonderful World of Fireworks Saturday July 14th, 2001
Pyro Spectaculars by Souza, produced by Jim Souza, designed by Alberto Navarro, PyroDigital firing
"Spectators will watch the history of fireworks flash before their eyes when The Wonderful World of Fireworks takes over Montréal's sky. During the pyromusical show, which will display techniques from the past, present and future, 7738 fireworks will be launched ... there will be more than 5000 cues, which, when added to the number of fireworks, will establish two Montréal pyrotechnic festival records.
"For centuries, fireworks have passionately inspired the world's diverse cultures. In our corner of the world, fireworks are an expression of joy, good fortune and even love," explained Jim Souza, president of Pyro Spectaculars by Souza and producer of the show. "This show is designed as a universal hommage to the pyrotechnic art. This is why not only will it be punctuated by pyrotechnic special effects, representatives of numerous countries and continents, but will also demonstrate how fireworks have transcended the ages."
Armed with the most avant-garde technology, Jim Souza's team, which includes world-renowned fireworks specialists Alberto Navarro and Eric Tucker, promises an unforgettable show. Jim Souza's team has been working on the show's concept since January 1st 2001.
A few sprinkles couldn't dampen the enthusiasm of the largest audience of the season so far for probably the most complex fireworks display ever attempted. With the renowned Alberto Navarro as the main pyrographer and with contributions from Eric Tucker and Gene Evans and with the able assistance of Ken Nixon of PyroDigital Consultants, we knew we were in for something special. The theme was to be a journey through the wonderful world of fireworks, from the early Chinese discovery of gunpowder, through to the present, passing through the firework cultures of Spain and Italy along the way. To reinforce this theme, material representing these great firework cultures was used - with Matsuna, San Tai, Ricardo Caballer and IPON, amongst others, used. Modern technology was employed through the PyroDigital firing system, with 390 modules (for a total of 5200 cues) and even a segment with MagicFire electronic time fuses. I hope my notes do this complex display justice, since I was in the path of the smoke and debris for a good portion of the display.
Part 1 to the music Day One by John Tesh. A large fireball erupted as strobes lit up the roof of the centre control room and a narration explained the theme of the display. Then things got going with fans of comets in perfect note synchronization - [ a running theme throughout the display was the use of single shot comets rather than candles ]. The comet shots continued and then shells of silver and blue above and then shells of crackle and really large colour shells. These were followed by salute barrages and nautic flares in the lake with comets with glittering fireflies embedded as the flares in the lake became strobes. Then fans of rockets bursting to twinkling stars with shells of strobes above and then more fans of rockets followed by another large fireball as the music seamlessly moved to:
Part 2 to the music The Postman. Shells of slow falling twinkling stars were followed by shells of stars and comets and then barrages of salutes and kamuro shells. These were followed by crackling mines and shells and cakes of tourbillons as the music moved into:
Part 3 to the music New Year's Fesitval by the Hong Kong Symphony Orchestra. Crackling rising tails bursting to crackling palm trees were followed by lots of synchronized star shots in fans with shells of clusters of stars above and shells of popping brocades followed by more large shells bursting into comets and clusters of stars. These were followed by fast cakes of stars with shells bursting to comets and then small clusters of colour stars appearing afterwards. More shells similar to these, but with crackling comets and colour clusters popping out. These were followed by whistling tourbillons with barrages of salutes above and shells of tourbillons and then shells of crossette balls stars followed my more of the shells of comets and appearing clusters of stars, the segment coming to a close with huge crackling kamuro shells.
Part 4 to the music Orochi by Kitaro. This segment began with slow falling white comets with strobes on the centre control room roof with shells of rings of tourbillons above and then shells of clusters of silver comets. These were followed by silver kamuro shells and shells with pistils, with note synchronized mines below as more shells of comets with pistils burst above. Then shells with crackling pistils, mine after mine after mine below, the segment coming to a close with enormous shells with crackling pistils ending with a huge kamuro.
Part 5 to the music Funiculi-Funicula by Andre Rieu [ choreographed by Eric Tucker as a tribute to Giovanni Panzera ]. This Italian segment began with large mines of clusters of stars with shells of the flower-like tourbillons above and then crossed comets beneath as more of the single and double petal flower tourbillon shells with pistils burst above. This theme continued and then moved into a repeating sequence of multi-break shell-of-shells with left aimed and right aimed synchronized mines beneath and crossed glitter comets and more of the flower tourbillon pistil shells above. More left and right firing synchronized mines, more large multi-break shell-of-shells above and yet more mines and a final multi-break shell-of-shells.
Part 6 to the music Royal Fireworks Suite by Händel. This began with crackling crossette comets and a line of triple-feather fountains as shells of dahlia comets burst above. The fountains grew brighter and larger as shells of stars turning into crackling crossettes burst above and then shells with rising tails bursting to crackling crossette comets, bringing the segment to a close.
Part 7 to the music Concerto de Aranjuez by Joaquin Rodrigo. This more serene segment began with comets containing fireflies arcing from the left and the right of the display (as a triple-feather fountain erroneously lit up on its own). Then arcing comets starting from almost vertical progressing to lower and lower, again from the left and right sides. A flight of sparkling gold double ascension girandolas rose into the air to cheers as shells of strobe-stars fired above. Then another flight of girandolas this time bursting to stars as more strobe-star shells fired above. Another flight of girandolas, more strobe-star shells, then another flight of girandolas bursting to stars. More girandolas with shells of strobe stars above were followed by two more flights of girandolas, the segment coming to a close with a line of vertical firefly comets and then arcing comets from left and right.
Part 8 to the music Offenbach/Rosenthal by Leonard Bernstein. A large red to blue colour changing shell opened this segment and then a line of tourbillon candles fired for a good portion of time on their own. As the music crescendoed, the candles kept on firing with nothing else, giving the impression something was missing. Finally mines of tourbillons and stars and salutes filled in the space as candles of bombette comets joined in with shells of colour changing stars and more salutes. More candles of tourbillons and barrages of mines of tourbillons stars and salutes, the segment coming to a close with a large blue shell with a crackling pistil.
Part 9 to the music Standing in Motion by Yanni. The narration announced that we had reached the modern era of fireworks and so the segment began with strobes in the lake as shells of clusters of silver comets burst above. Then silver kamuro shells, shells of gold kamuro and crackling pistils and then shells of strobe-stars. These were followed by shells of crackling comets and strobe-stars as barrage after barrage of these was fired. Shells of crackling strobes (really) were followed by synchronized mines of colour stars below followed by crossed star shots with the shots in perfect synchronization to the music. These star shots were in crosses, then triple Vs, then in five-fingered fans etc. all in perfect sync and were followed by mines of clusters of comets. Then mines of clusters of charcoal comets turning to strobes with bombettes of strobes and flares turning to strobes in the lake. These were followed by five-fingered fans of the firefly comets, then vertical comet shots, then crosses and then fans again with more low bombette strobes and higher level strobe shells above, bringing the segment to a close.
Part 10 to the music Millenium Walk-Greenaway by the London Symphony Orchestra. This segment began with comets at 15°, 30°, 45° and 60° from the left and right, the lowest rightmost comet unfortunately having their rack falling over (see later). Then crossette comets in cross shapes (the right-most again having problems due to the fallen rack - this then being taken out of the display for safety after a crossette comet bounced across the lake and exploded rather near to the press area). These were followed by by star crossettes the segment coming to a close with a huge flash, which I unfortunately missed seeing what it was since I was looking at my notebook!
Part 11 to the music Lord of the Dance by Hardiman. This entire segment consisted of fans of short duration gerbs, stretched out across the lake. This doesn't sound much, but, in fact, the gerbs danced to the music. Sparks to the left, sparks to the right, fans of sparks left, right and up - all in perfect synchronization to the music. Sometimes there were pairs of sparks to the left and right, other times wide Vs or W shapes, sometimes brighter, sometimes dimmer. And so it continued throughout the segment, a final large flash bringing it to a close. Nothing like this has ever been seen before in the competition. An incredible 1011 cues (and 59 PyroDigital firing modules) were used in this 45 second segment. It was nothing short of fabulous, words just don't do it justice.
Part 12 to the music The Blue Danube by Strauss. Blue strobes lit up the roof of the centre control room as silver girandolas rose into the air and burst to blue stars. Then shells of pale blue and red above as another flight of silver girandolas rose up. Then another flight, with pale blue shells above and shells of rings with pistils followed by three more flights of girandolas with shells of rings of red and blue above followed by fans of wiggling comets and then candles of go-getter star-headed silver comets. Shells of smiley faces burst above as more of the go-getter star-headed comet candles fired below as more smiley faces and shells of hearts and rings in red and blue burst above, the segment coming to a close with shells of the crackling strobe-stars.
Part 13 to the music Theme from 2001 by Strauss. [Using MagicFire electronic time fuses]. This, the most perfectly synchronized of segments due to the MagicFire electronic time fuses, began with thick gold comets rising into the air on the opening notes. Then a huge silver comet shell bursting at exactly the right moment followed by gold glitter mines below. Then shells of gold kamuro with crackling pistils followed by more gold glitter mines. More kamuro shells with crackle followed my another perfectly synchronized silver and blue shell. These were followed by silver comets turning to crackle and clusters of fast strobing stars with shells of big rings and pistils. Then shells of dazzling clusters and crackle, the segment coming to a close with on-the-note titanium salutes.
Part 14 to the music Fanfare to the Common Man by Aaron Copeland. Strobes on the lake lit up as the narrator announced the grand finale, which was to culminate in Pyro Spectacular's signature rendition of John Philip Souza's Stars and Stripes Forever. The segment began with fans of bright comets with shells of half red half blue and the reverse in pistils above. Then shells of gold comets with crossed silver comets below followed my mines of glitter comets as more of the half red half blue complementary pistil shells burst above, the segment coming to a close with a multi-break shell-of-shells kamuro.
Part 15 to the music How Down by Aaron Copeland. A line of gold horizontal wheels close to the audience in the lake started to rotate and shoot up tourbillons as two large multi-spinning horizontal devices on the floating ramp fired up (but I couldn't see too well because of the smoke). Above these, shells with pistils as flares lit up on the lake, the segment coming to a close with large blue and silver shells, some breaking a bit low.
Part 16 to the music Rhapsody in Blue by George Gerschwin. Fans of the star-headed go-getter comets and fans of regular comets began this segment as multi-break shell-of-shells in blue burst above. The sky was filled with blue shells, as a large fire was noticed burning at the right hand side of the floating ramp. Barrages of mines were followed by shells of popping glitter brocades and then angled star shots with shells of orange stars with pistils above. There were followed by shells of multiple colours, the segment coming to a close with huge shells of colour changing stars and comets with pistils.
Part 17 to the music Stars and Stripes Forever by Bob Sharples. This main finale, which became difficult to see due to the smoke and debris in my eyes, began with shells in red, white and blue with mines below. Then brilliant blue shells in starfish clusters of stars, with glitter comets below and then huge silver and blue shells (with a few breaking rather low). These were followed by bright silver comet shells, shells of brilliant silver clusters and then a large silver and blue muzzle break. Next, shells of slow falling comets with bombettes below and then more slow falling comet shells, trailing quite low down. These were followed by brighter clusters of falling silver comets (probably brighter because the smoke had cleared a bit), another very low break and then shells of gold glitter turning into clusters of colour stars. Barrages of very bright and large mines on the notes were followed by more of the comet shells ending in clusters of colour stars. The pace was increasing by now and there was lots of smoke in the air and so much debris in my eyes that I couldn't see anymore. Lots of barrages of salutes, the flashes of which I could see through my closed eyes, the noise and brightness increasing and increasing, bringing the segment to a fantastic close.
Part 18 to the music Bye Bye Bye by NSYNC. The final few seconds of the display consisted of glitter comets and salutes, but I still was having trouble seeing. This segment was something of an in joke I think, since the music was by NSYNC - i.e. in sync, which was very appropriate for the fantastic synchronization throughout the entire display. A final commentary from Jim Sousa brought the display to an end, to cheers from the crowd, the end of ramp three now engulfed in large flames. As the fire crew moved into place to put it out, comets and crossettes started flying out for a short time.
As Ken Nixon of PyroDigital said afterwards, this may well have been the
most complex fireworks display ever attempted. The Lord of the Dance
section alone used 1011 cues in 45 seconds, complexity on an unprecedented
scale and the talk of the crowd afterwards. The display itself was an ambitious
journey through fireworks history and was very well received by the crowd.
It is very difficult to rate such a display since the "degree of difficulty"
to use diving and figure skating terminology, was very high. The
synchronization was flawless throughout, especially all the single-shot
stars and comets where, normally, Roman candles might have been used. This, itself,
added to the complexity of the display and paid off handsomely. The MagicFire
electronic time fuses were used to great effect in the 2001 segment, where
the booms of the salutes and the drums of the music were in perfect alignment.
The material used throughout the display was fantastic, especially the
vast numbers of girandolas used and I was quite surprised to see
rockets fired from a US designed show - I think Alberto Navarro's Spanish
roots were clearly showing here, as he told me afterwards there was a whole
section of the display in pure Valencian fireworks. Because of the degree
of difficulty attempted, some small criticisms have to be levelled. During
the Blue Danube, the blues were insipid and were spoiled, in my opinion,
by the red shells. The portion of the Offenbach segment when only
tourbillon candles were firing was either a technical
or other problem - I did hear talk that there just wasn't time to set up
more product for this segment. A few too many low breaks as well and
a mis-wired triple-feather fountain. These are small points, but when
the aim is so high, they have to be made. The fire on ramp three was
irrelevant, accidents can and do happen and there were no injuries; the
fire crew were on hand to deal with it and did so rapidly after the
display was over. The highlight was definitely the Lord of the Dance
section and I think the theme of the display itself was well executed.
Will Pyro Spectaculars be on the winner's podium and, if so, where?
This is hard to say. Nothing of this complexity has been attempted before.
Dare I predict that it will receive a Special Jupiter for being the pinnacle
in the art of the design of a pyromusical?
Canada To the Rhythms of the Elements Wednesday July 18th, 2001
Concept Fiatlux Inc. produced by Michel Rioulx, FireOne firing
"Before establishing itself in 1985, Concept Fiatlux was making its mark in the world of pyrotechnic art as La Ronde's official fireworks company. Sixteen years later, the company is not only renowned worldwide for its remarkable fireworks, but also represents Canada at all major international pyrotechnic competitions. 'It is an honour for us to represent Canada for the fifth year at this pyrotechnic competition, which ranks as one of the most prestigious in the world', explained Michel Roulx, president of Concept Fiatlux. 'We wanted to create an unforgettable show for this event ... an explosive display where water and fire dance furiously together.'"
A perfect warm summer's evening, with light winds blowing in the right direction, at least, as far as this reporter was concerned was the ideal setting for this Canadian entrant, which had had such bad luck with the weather at their previous appearance in the competition in 1997. The fifteen part display promised to be an interesting marriage of the elements of fire and water.
Part 1 to the music Point Blank by Yellow. After an unprecedented delay of 15 minutes due to technical problems, the display started with note-synchronized gas-flame projectors. Above these, large comet to red star shells followed be mines of salutes below. These were followed by shells breaking into bright, almost noiseless flashes, with mines of the same below. This theme repeated and was augmented by glitter mines and then followed by a line of angled fountains. More glitter mines and then red-headed comet shots moving from left and right, crossing over and going back the other way, in time with the music. Above these, shells of comets to red stars, then shells with long arcing star headed comets, the segment coming to a close with large colour shells turning to silver.
Part 2 to the music Sumus Vicinae by Nicholas Lens. Candles of wiggly glitter comets opened up with more flames from the flame projectors, though one of them appeared to be stuck on for the entire segment. Above the wiggly comet candles, shells of large blue stars followed by shells of white comets. Then multi-colour shells and shells of stars and glitter. Beneath these, glitter comet shots from the left and right and fans of yellow headed comets as the music seamless moved back to:
Part 3 to the music Point Blank by Yellow. Double concentric ring shells above the fans of comet candles were followed by shells of pale gold strobe stars, then shells of blue stars and comets with fans of gold glitter candles below. Then a repeated sequence of shells of crossing-stars followed by fast candles of blue stars shot horizontally over the lake towards the audience! Above these, shells of blue stars and glitter comets followed by a large blue to red colour changing shell and then horizontal candles of pastel stars shooting horizontally over the lake. The segment came to a close with a large kamuro shell and then shells of blue stars and strobes, shot before the kamuro had a chance to complete its fall.
Part 4 to the music Sky Giant by Mantu/Kasiek/Atlas. A line of flares lit up the lake and then another line of flares lit up the back of the display area. Then shells were fired at remarkably low angles from the back of the lake towards the middle of the lake so that they exploded in a dramatic fashion close to the audience, breaking into silver comets! This dramatic firing of shells low over the lake continued and then was augmented by shells of tourbillons above followed by nautic flares in the lake turning to strobes. Then glitter comets were fired so that they bounced over the water towards the audience(!) as the music moved seamlessly to:
Part 5 to the music Bittersweet Symphony by Ashcroft/Jagger. Charcoal comet cluster mines opened this segment as a repeating sequence of blue star shells, tourbillon candles and comets started. Then silver fountains shooting out pastel balls followed by more charcoal comet mines with low angled fans of charcoal comet candles at the left and right of the display area, crossing in the middle. These were intermixed with mines of blue stars and glitter and followed by colour mines at the left and right and then star candles with pink star shells above. These were followed by crossed crossed purple star candles with gold shells above. Then fans of crossed gold glitter comets with rising tail shells bursting to gold glitter above, the segment coming to a close with a huge kamuro shell with a blue star pistil.
Part 6 to the music Herr, Unser Herrsher by Bach. This began with weeping willow shells and then charcoal glitter comets aimed horizontally towards the audience over the lake, with the same comets in candles as well. More comets low over the lake as the candles continued and then kamuro shells above in the same comets as in the candles. Then larger kamuro shells, kind of forming mushroom shapes, in brighter charcoal glitter and followed by the same in huge nautic shells, dramatically filling the lake to cheers from the crowd. This theme continued, with the segment coming to an end with a lake silver brocade shell, trailing all the way to the lake to cheers from the crowd.
Part 7 to the music Touching Tounges by Steve Vai. Slow tourbillon candles, glitter comet candles and clusters of bombettes began and were augmented by shells of willow comets and blue stars above, as the bombettes continued below. Then a repeating sequence of single-petal flower tourbillon shells. These were then followed by shaped-burst shells producing spirals. Back to the repeating sequence of single-petal flower tourbillon shells which were followed by shells of serpents and then back to the shells of spirals. The segment came to a close with a multi-break shell-of-shells of comets turning to strobes as the music moved to:
Part 8 to the music The Righteous Path by Atlas, Whelan & Mantu. Shells of strobes were followed by shells of comets turning to strobes and then an alternating sequence of red then green shells of go-getters. Beneath these, flames lit up from the flame projectors and then the sequence above reversed with red go-getters, flames below, shells of strobe stars above and note synchronized flames. Then shells of silver comets and candles of salute-terminated silver comets with shells of silver stars ending in crackle above. These were followed by red mines with barrages of strobe-star shells above as the music softened, the pace of the fireworks followed as shells of comets turning to strobes gently filled the sky. The pace then increased again with shells of go-getters above and red mines below, the pace and number of these increasing until really bright colour star mines led us seamlessly into:
Part 9 to the music Ransom by Mighty Strinth. Crossed candles of pink balls and pink nautic flares turning to white strobes lit up the lake and were followed by crossed candles of pastel balls, criss-crossing at several heights. Above these, comet to star shells and shells of blue and silver. Then large nautic shells in the lake with silver shells above followed by shells of comets and blue stars as the music moved seamlessly to:
Part 10 to the music Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls. Shells with big colour pistils and silver stars lit up the sky. The large colour pistil and silver shells continued, the segment coming to a close with a huge star shell which changed colour twice.
Part 11 to the music Intro by The Brave. Bright flares with a yellowish tinge lit up the display area as nautic fountains were shot into the lake. As the flares seemed to get brighter, the nautic fountains shot comets into the air. Then a flight of girandolas started to rise into the air, bursting into stars, descending and then re-ascending. Then another flight and another which seemed to rise, fall, rise, fall again and rise yet again. The light and smoke of the flares did detract from the girandolas somewhat though. More girandola flights and then the music moved to:
Part 12 to the music Porcelain by Moby. Bright star-headed comet candles opened up and were augmented by bombettes. Then more bombettes with star candles followed by crossed candles of blue stars. Above these, bombettes in gold glitter, more blue balls candles and bombettes of gold kamuros and then more bombettes of gold firefly comets.
Part 13 to the music Release by Emmerson, McNally, O Lionaird, Russel & O'Conner. This began with bright silver comet shells followed by more barrages of the same and followed by star-headed glitter comet candles and candles of tourbillons. Above these, multi-break shells bursting to blue star shells and gold glitter comet shells. Repeated barrages of these were followed by barrages of large shells of silver comets turning to blue. Then shells of silver glitter comets with tourbillon candles below. These were followed by multi-break blue star and gold comet shells and then shells of huge star-headed comets, the segment coming to a close with a huge silver comet to blue shell.
Part 14 to the music Desert Rose by Sting. Note synchronized flames were followed by note synchronized mines and more flames. Then Shells of comets turning to strobes with pastel ball candles below. These were followed by shells of brighter strobes and then bright silver palm-tree shells. Below these, candles of star-headed comets and more bright silver palm-trees and shells of smaller silver comets. These were followed by multi-break shell-of-shells which released tourbillons and hummers on the first break. Next, shells with pistils and then bright pink shells followed by shells bursting to silver clusters of comets. The segment came to a climax with a barrage of huge shells.
Part 15 to the music After the rain has fallen by Sting. This began with pink nautic flares in the lake turning to white strobes with more of the multi-breaks with tourbillons and hummers on the first break. Then shells of comets to colour followed by kamuro shells with blue ball candles below. More kamuro shells with some colour to comet shells in as well. Beneath these, star candles with high-rising stars and more kamuro shells above. These were followed by mines of bright stars firing almost horizontally out over the lake with kamuro shells above and candles in between. More colour mines shooting over the lake as the pace and number of large kamuro shells above increased, with some colour and comet shells as well at the end. The display came to a conclusion with a barrage of very large titanium salutes.
This was a very artistic display indeed. The music flowed pretty much seamlessly
throughout and never have I seen such effective use of the lake, especially
dramatic being the comets that literally skipped over the water. The
fireworks always complemented the music, but I'm not sure if the flame
projectors were worth the trouble these being, I suspect, the cause of
the late start to the display. One other small criticism was the firing
of colour/comet shells into kamuros or broccades before the latter had
finished their descent, something which I don't like. One other
small criticism is that the display seemed somewhat "light" in places
and whilst there was a whole range of rhythm and pace used, there
weren't quite enough dramatic highlights. All that said, they must
stand an excellent chance of a spot on the podium next week..
France If Saturday July 21st, 2001
Brezac Artifices, designed by Dominique Brezac, traditional electrical firing
"As the Mondial SAQ is the world's largest pyrotechnic event, Brezac Artifices wanted to do everything in its power to offer spectators, as well as the other seven presenting countries, a unique and dazzling pyrotechnic show," explained Dominique Brezac, Brezac Artifices designer and creator of the July 21st show. "In light of this, we wanted our fireworks to be equally evocative as emotionally stirring. Nothing seemed better suited to our objective than the life history of this millennium's children."
Hot summer weather brought out the crowds for the penultimate entrant in this year's competition. The theme of the display was the first twenty years of live of children born the in the new millennium, told through a ten-part display. Brezac were a very popular entrant at the debut display in 1997 in Montréal and the audience were eagerly antipating their return to the competition in 2001.
Part 1 to the music The Diva Dance by Eric Serra. The display began with gold glitter mines in the centre, then at the left and right hand sides augmented by shells of the same gold glitter above. This basic theme repeated and was amplified with more left and right mines and shells of gold glitter comets turning to strobes above, the segment coming to a close with a barrage of large gold glitter comet to gold strobe shells.
Part 2 to the music Unity by Catherine Lara. Mines of white strobes at a bottom and shells of white strobes above formed the repeating opening sequence for this segment. This continued with the strobe mines at the bottom, strobe-star shells at a medium and at a higher level, the number increasing through the segment. The segment came to a close with two huge mines of dazzling tiny strobe-stars.
Part 3 to the music Peter Pan by Larry Hochman. Fans of blue ball candles opened up and were followed by mines of blue stars and rockets bursting to clusters of blue stars. Then more mines of blue with shells of blue stars above and also shells of blue stars ending in small crackles. This them continued with blue mines below, fans of blue star candles and blue shells ending in small crackles above. The segment came to a close with a sky filling huge multi-break shell-of-shells of blue stars.
Part 4 to the music Tigre et Dragon by Tan Dun. Set pieces in the shape of green trees burst noisily to life. Then more set piece trees appeared to blossom into life and then more. These were followed by mines of bright stars ending in small crackles with fans of rockets bursting to bright colour clusters above. Then another flight of rockets. These were followed by tourbillon candles with shells of bright green comets to stars above and shaped-burst shells forming green shamrock patterns. More and more large bright green star shells and shells of comets to green stars were followed by bright mines with salutes, the segment coming to a close with barrages of green shells, with a couple of blue star shells in as well.
Part 5 to the music Jungle Book by George Bruns. A line of strobe pots lit up the front of the display area with mines of clusters of crackling crossette comets and medium level shells of the same. The number of crackling crossette comets increased with candles, bombettes and shells of these forming a nice three-level display. The number increased still further and then shells of stars ending in small crackles were added and shaped-burst shells of bowties surrounded by a ring. Then back to the crackling crossette comet theme with fans of these from candles, bombettes and higher-level shells of the same. Star shells ending in crackles were added back in, the segment coming to a pause with mines of the crackling comets and shells above. Well-synchronized mines firing from the left, right, middle and all three locations were followed by cakes of stars with bombettes above and bright colour shells above these. Then multi-break shell-of-shells of colour stars and star shells at a medium and high level followed by star-headed silver comet bombette candles below with more colour shells above and shells of strobes. These were followed by crossed fans of star candles with strobe shells above and then shells of deep blue followed by shells of weeping willow charcoal comets turning to blue. Then shells of crossing-stars mixed in with shells of stars ending in small crackles and weeping willow charcoal comet to colour shells above. These were followed by shells bursting to clusters of colour stars and shells of stars ending in crackles at a lower level. The segment came to a close with a huge weeping willow charcoal comet shell turning to colour and then to silver, filling the sky.
Part 6 to the music First Knight by Jerry Goldsmith. Fans of glitter comet candles and bombettes of pastel colours with shells of comets above opened this segment. These were followed by shells of thick comets and then shells of comets with pink stars and shells of crossette ball stars. Beneath these, mines of glitter comets followed by more shells of pink stars above. The lake then became filled with nautic flares turning to strobes and a line of pairs of fountains in wide Vs with alternating high and low pairs along the line. Wiggly comet shells and blue stars fired above as the fountains increased in size. These were followed by silver comet candles with star candles interleaved between them with comet shells above. Then kamuro shells at the highest level with comet shells at a lower level as the candles continued. More shells of comets to stars, the segment coming to a close with a really large shell as a line of strobes lit up the back of the display area.
Part 7 to the music Firedance by Bill Whelan. This segment began with cakes of tourbillons at the left hand side and 45° firing star candles firing to the left at the right hand side. Then star candles at 45° at the left and right with more tourbillon cakes. These were followed by mines of vivid colours with brilliant colour shells above with excellent blues and greens. Next, fans of comets and shells of comets and colour stars above and also shells of go-getter silver comets. Next, a repeating sequence of cakes of stars with barrages of bright blue star shells above and even high shells of larger blue stars at the top. Fans of rockets bursting to blue stars were followed by mines of clusters of brilliant blue stars and multi-colour bombettes above these. Above these, shells of long arcing pale gold comets, with colour shells at a lower level and cakes of blue stars at the bottom. This theme of blue star cakes, blue mid-level shells and the long arcing pale gold comets above continued and was followed by shells of blue stars ending in small crackles, weeping willows shells turning to blue, this latter sequence forming a repeating theme. The segment came to a close with shells of blue stars ending in crackles at a medium level and a huge weeping willow turning to blue above these.
Part 8 to the music Trainspotting by Bedrock. The techno pace of this segment's music was perfectly complimented by candles of titanium salutes and lines of strobe lances on the centre firing room. The titanium salutes continued with regular salutes below and shells of stars ending in a bright flash above, creating hypnotic flashes of light and sound. The whole segment continued with salutes at up to three different levels with shells of the flash stars and barrages of titanium salutes, the segment coming to a close with fans of rockets bursting to salutes.
Part 9 to the music from the film Gladiator by Hans Zimmer. A line of bright orange flares lit up the back of the display with shells of comets above and then red star candles. Above these, barrages of shells of very bright red stars. This sequence continued and then move to fans of tourbillon candles with shells of rings. Next, candles of wiggly comets with shells of rings of comets above and then bombettes below these. Shells of colour stars and comets were followed by shells of comets ending in crackles and more shells of rings of comets. Then shells of bright star-headed crossette comets and mines of bright red stars below and candles of red stars with silver tails. Above these, more of the bright red medium-height shells with shells of rings of comets coming next above these followed by shells of crossette comets and cakes of stars below. Then bright silver comet shells in flower-like opening clusters followed by more and more silver comet shells and multi-break shell-of-shells of silver comets with fans of silver glitter comet candles at the bottom level. The pace increased with barrages of shells of silver crossette comets and multi-break shell-of-shells in silver, the segment coming to a dramatic close with a deafening barrage of screaming silver comet serpents.
Part 10 to the music Reel around the Sun from Riverdance. The finale segment opened with mines of clusters of charcoal comets and the same in candles with kamuro shells above these. Then rising-tail shells bursting to kamuros with bombette candles of gold brocade comets with the same in shells at a higher level, forming three levels. This sequence repeated and was followed by rising-tail weeping-willow comet shells, some with salute terminated comets. More of these groves of weeping-willow charcoal comet rising tail shells followed by mines of brighter kamuro comets and shells of starfish clusters of kamuro comets above. These became brighter and larger in both shells and mines and then crossed comet fan candles of the same below. The theme and sequence continued, becoming quite mesmerizing as kamuros at all three levels with crossed fans of candles, clusters of kamuros and brocades above and at all levels. This theme continued and increased in number until the sky started to become completely filled with huge bright gold kamuros at all levels, with mines, candles, bombettes and shells at every level, becoming quite hypnotic with the music, the display coming to a close with the sky completely filled, to great cheers from the crowd.
This was an excellent display which was very much
enjoyed by the crowd, especially the hypnotic finale, a nice change from
the usual Italian-style finale often used. The richness of the colours used
was excellent and good use was made of all three levels of the display.
Synchronization was a bit slack in places but was tight when need and
the rhythm and pace of the fireworks followed the music well.
Judging by audience reaction, if nothing else, definitely in with a good
chance of appearing on the winner's podium next week.
Australia Fireworks Tour Wednesday July 25th, 2001
Foti's International Fireworks Pty., designed by Fortunato Foti, FireOne firing, dedicated to the memory of Celestino Foti
"In keeping with its name, the Mondial SAQ is an international competition that groups together participants from many countries. We wanted spectators of the Mondial SAQ to fully appreciate the unique character of such a meeting of countries," explained Fortunato Foti, choreographer and designer of the show Fireworks Tour. "For this reason, we decided to create the Fireworks Tour show, which will not miss a beat in delivering through music and colours the special character of international destinations."
During this richly colourful trip, music will transport Mondial SAQ spectators to the four corners of the world. Songs such as Africa by the group Toto, Buenos Aires sung by Madonna, Viva Las Vegas by Elvis Presley and New York New York by Frank Sinatra will float on the air and carry viewers towards the multiple destinations represented by the fireworks show. Foti International Fireworks will also give a special nod to the Montréal Fireworks Competition as it has chosen Je reviendrai à Montréal by Robert Charlebois.
This display is dedicated to Celestino Foti, the Foti family patriarch, who died on the 18th June 2001. Some fireworks in this display were handmade by Celestino. He was a Master pyrotechnician for whom fireworks were a passion. He continued making fireworks almost to the day he died. at the age of 88 years old.
Several days of record-breaking heat and humidity gave way to a perfect summer's evening with low humidity, clear skies and temperatures a comfortable 25°C - the perfect setting for the final entrant in this year's competition. For their second appearance here, Foti's promised a strongly themed display with a tour around the world with fireworks. Using 90 FireOne firing modules, it also promised to be one of the most complex displays of this year's competition.
Part 1 to the music Get Away by Lenny Kravitz. The sound of jets taking off opened the display and, after a dramatic pause, barrages of titanium salutes lit up the sky. These were followed by shells of salute-terminated tourbillons and salute candles below. Next, shells with pistils of tourbillons and comets and then shells of crackling comets with mines below. These were followed by shells of red go-getters with green mines below. Then shells of green go-getters followed by a repeating sequence of bombettes of crossettes with go-getter shells above. Next, shells of silver comets with mines of blue stars and gold comets below and then fantastic shells of thick silver go-getter comets and shells with crackling pistils as the music moved seamlessly to:
Part 2 to the music Come Fly With Me by Frank Sinatra. More shells of go-getters with shells of strobe-stars above and crossed pale gold glitter candles below were followed by shells of blue stars turning to crackle and then shells of tourbillons and go-getters. Then whistles and strobe-star shells followed by shells of tourbillons and strobes as the music moved seamlessly to:
Part 3 to the music I go to Rio by Peter Allen. Shells of thick white comets with crossed comet candles below were followed by shells of comets turning to strobes with bombette candles below and huge shells of thick comets above. These were followed by big shells of comets and blue stars followed by crackling charcoal comet shells and lower level shells of bright lemon-yellow photoflash.
Part 4 to the music Buenos Aires by Madonna. Charcoal comet bombettes with shells of charcoal comets and blue stars above were followed by shells of lemon-yellow strobe-stars. These were followed by star-headed meteor comet candles with shells of comets turning to stars and then to silver kamuro comets above. Barrages of shells of the bright photoflash were followed by crossed mines of stars and crackle. Next, blue star shells and left and right angled star candles below followed by a barrage of large shells above and a front of multi-coloured mines. The sound of jets taking off was augmented by flights of silver girandolas and then the music continued with:
Part 5 to the music New York by Frank Sinatra. Steeply crossing comet candles in pale gold firefly comets were augmented by charcoal comet bombettes and then shells of charcoal comet crossettes. These were then followed by shells of silver comet crossettes with crossed blue and gold glitter mines below and blue bombette candles. Next shells of white strobe stars, followed by larger and higher and then in pale green strobes followed by multi-breaks bursting to clusters of colour stars with bombettes below. Next, titanium salutes and shells with titanium-laced burst charges and barrages of the multi-break colour cluster shells. These were followed by charcoal comet mines with shells of fast strobes and crackle above. The pace increased as my pencil gave out for a time whilst large shells with pistils burst above. The intensity increased with sky filling volleys of bright silver kamuro shells with some really huge ones, the segment coming to a close with the sky filled and a front of bright mines below.
Part 6 to the music Je reviendrai à Montréal by Robert Charlebois. The crowd cheered as the popular song from the well known local artist was illuminated by nautic fountains and gold nautic strobes. Then shells of lemon-yellow strobes with the same in mines. These continued and then the colour changed to pale green, again in shells and mines. More nautic strobes were fired into the lake as the colours shifted to vivid orange, again in mines and shells. More nautic strobes and more strobes in mines and shells, this time in purple, bringing the segment to a close.
Part 7 to the music Viva Las Vegas by Elvis Presley. Fat comets left, right and up were followed by star-headed comets bursting to colour bombettes with multibreak shells of clusters of colour above. These were followed by crossed comet candles below and then shells of strobes above. Next, multi colour changing shells followed by shells of charcoal comets and multibreak shells of colour clusters. These were followed by barrages of shells of crossing-stars. Then shells of glittering pistils with colour stars and comet candles below. The segment came to a close with huge shells of comets with pistils and shells of bright crossette stars.
Part 8 to the music Slow boat to China by The Platters. The sound of foghorns was heard as a line of fireballs erupted in the centre. Then fans of comets from the centre were followed by shaped burst shells above in spirals, what appeared to be a face with a hat, shamrocks, double concentric hearts, rings of comets with centre star pistils. More shapes with figure eights, bowties, multiple rings in three or more colours, more rings of comets with pistils, triple rings. These were followed by silver kamuro shells, getting larger and larger, with silver strobe shells at a lower level and huge silver kamuros above, the segment coming to a close as the silver kamuros trailed to the lake.
Part 9 to the music Istanbul (not Constantinople) by They Might Be Giants. The sound of a train, presumably the Orient Express was augmented by charcoal comet mines in time to the chuffing of the train. Then the music began as bombette comet candles were followed by charcoal comet candles and shells of whistling tourbillons turning to strobes. Then fans of comets and candles of whistling serpents with shells of silver glitter above and then high and medium height shells of rich gold glitter. These were followed by more glitter shells and mines of charcoal comets below. More shells of gold glitter, the segment coming to a close with more whistling tourbillons and mines.
Part 10 to the music Africa by Toto. This began with crossed star mines with shells of comets to stars above. Then mines in fans of three followed by dazzling star candles with more shells of comets to stars above. These were followed by shells of colour stars turning to crackle followed by kamuro and brocade shells. Barrages of these were fired, filling the sky and bringing the segment to a close.
Part 11 to the music Arrivederci Roma by Dean Martin. Nautic fountains and strobes filled the lake as a line of groups of six gold fountains in a starfish shape opened up. The nautic fountains shot comets into the air as the ground-based groups of six fountains turned to silver. Then the nautic strobes appeared to shoot clusters of stars into the air. Above these, shells of brocade turning to silver, followed by shells of brocade turning to blue and then shells of willow comets with rising tails turning to blue. These were followed by willow comet shells turning to purple with crossed strobe mines following below and then strobe shells above. Then more of the willow comet shells turning to colour stars followed by brocade shells turning to colour, the segment coming to a close with really huge brocade shells.
Part 12 to the music Moscow by Ghengis Khan. Dazzling bright red-headed comet candles, an appropriate colour for the music were followed by dazzling red star candles. Then crossette comets and shells with a ring of stars of one colour and five bright stars forming the centre in a contrasting colour. Then shells of the dazzling star headed comets followed my bombettes below, fans of comet candles, mines and then crossed comet candles. These were followed by multibreak shells breaking to clusters of stars, then barrages of shells of glittering comets, bringing the segment to a close together with a front of glitter mines.
Part 13 to the music I love Paris by Ella Fitzgerald. Bright pink strobes on the centre control room and nautic strobes in the same colour in the lake were followed by a large set-piece in silver glitter forming the shape of the Eiffel Tower, to gasps from the crowd. Silver kamuro shells were fired above this as the Eiffel Tower shot sparks from the top. More silver kamuros shells and crossette kamuro comet shells in silver were followed by shells with blue pistils and silver kamuro comets around. More of these huge pistil and kamuro shells were followed by dazzling orange crossed ball candles with orange shells above. Then the same in lemon-yellow dazzling candles. These were followed by shells of stars which turned to glittering kamuro comets. Barrages of these brought the segment to a close.
Part 14 to the music Barcelona by Freddie Mercury & Montserrat Cabelle. This began with large glitter mines with the same in shells above and the lake filled with nautic strobes. Then criss-crossed mines of blue stars and glitter with star shells above and star candles followed by bright green shells above and shells of multi colour clusters above followed by high kamuro shells. These were followed by shells of colour stars and comets with huge stars turning to kamuro comet shells above. Then shells of silver turning to comets. These were followed by mines of whistling tourbillons and huge shells with pistils and kamuros. These were followed by gold glitter shells, the segment coming to a close with more of these with blue stars as well.
Part 15 to the music A Foggy day in London by Frank Sinatra & Willie Nelson. Fireballs erupted to the sound of foghorns. The music then began with crossed candles with bombettes of silver crackle with the same in shells above with comets. Then shells of charcoal comets ending in silver crackle followed by shells of crossing-stars. Then rising tail shells bursting to silver with green candles below followed by huge shells of silver crossette comets, bringing the segment to a close.
Part 16 to the music I still call Australia home by The Australian Boys & Girls Choir. A line of gold fountains lit up along the lake. These then grew higher and turned to silver as crossed mines fired behind with shells of colour stars and pale gold firefly comet pistils above. Then shells in the shape of hears and more shells of stars with gold firefly comet pistils. These were followed by nautic strobes, which ended up shooting stars up. Above these barrages of multi colour shells, shells with starfish comet pistils. The pace increased with sky filling barrages of shells, barrages of titanium salutes and enormous shells of stars and comets, fronts of mines, the pace was too great to take notes so I just enjoyed the spectacle, the display coming to a close with a final barrage of titanium salutes, to cheers from the crowd.
This was a fantastic display which had a theme which flowed well
throughout the display. The special effects, such as train noises, jets taking off
and boat horns were effective in linking the display together, especially as they
were augmented by appropriate fireworks. There was some fantastic product used, most
notably the brilliant strobes, both nautical and in mines/shells. The colours of
the strobes from brilliant white, through lemon-yellow, orange, green and purple were
fabulous. Also notable were the brilliant silver kamuro shells. Good use
was made of the lake and the three levels of the display (low, medium height and high)
were used appropriately. The synchronization was excellent throughout, except in one
tiny spot where the music stopped just in advance of the fireworks. Because the
display was so good, one other tiny criticism is that some of the music segments
were cut to hard in a couple of spots, whereas in other places the transitions were
more seamless. All in all, an excellent and artistic display which surely deserves to bring
our Antipodean friends to the winners' podium on Saturday. Due to the problems
with my pencil, I had to resort to writing my notes with a pen, which lead to
portions of them being difficult to read, so I feel I didn't quite do this complex
Paul's Rankings for 2001
This year's competition was more mixed than last year's due mainly to the type of firing system used with and even split between traditional and computerized. Technical problems were mercifully at a very low level though we did have one late start and a fire at the end of the American show. The weather was also good on the whole. There were no displays where it rained during the display, though smoke accumulation was a real problem for the Portuguese show.
As usual, I will present a summary of each display and then
give my personal rankings together with my prediction for
the popular jury's votes. For interest, I've also tabulated
how many pages of notes I took down for each
display (under "Pages").
Some excellent material, particularly the crackling comets and shells. Synchronization was good for a traditionally fired display, but not as tight as a computerized show. The theme was very traditional, and the lack of the use of the lake is a negative point. Enjoyable, but not a winning show.
The damp weather caused a lot of smoke accumulation which spoiled the show somewhat. I enjoyed the music and the 1,000 rockets used were fantastic, as was some of the other material, particularly the comets and blue star mines. Synchronization was rather slack in places unfortunately. Excellent finale, despite the smoke. The best of the traditionally fired shows, though I think the weather conditions will hamper their chances for a prize.
Brilliant product with multi pistil shells and fantastic crackling shells. Excellent synchronization, though there were periods of a rather repetitive nature in the middle of the display. Overall theme was well executed and a good variation in rhythm and pace, though a couple of sections did feel a little bit like product demonstrations. Apparent technical problems diminished the intensity of the finale, which then appeared to be smaller than the opening segment. Stands a good chance of a bronze Jupiter.
Fabulous. The Spanish masters know exactly how to excite the passions of the crowd. Beautiful product, fantastic 6" nautical shells, wonderful girandolas and generally good synchronization considering it was traditionally fired, though slack in some places. The faux finale caught many people off guard as there was a dramatic pause before the real finale started. Must be in the winning three.
|United States||PyroDigital and MagicFire||
The most complex display ever fired in the competition. Fabulous choreography, especially in the Lord of The Dance segment with 1011 cues in 45 seconds - absolutely without equal. Stunning synchronization in the 2001 Space Odyssey segment due to the use of MagicFire electronic time fuses. Interesting idea for a theme, but unfortunately I felt that the thread was lost somewhere around the middle of the display and thus it just didn't excite the passions one would have expected. Some great product but some of it used to excess, viz. the endless flights of girandolas during The Blue Danube, where blue was somewhat lacking. I think the scale of the project unfortunately means that a visit to the winner's podium won't be on the agenda this year.
A very artistic display and the most extensive use of the lake I've ever seen. Unfortunately, one came away with the feeling that this display was much lighter in product than any of the other displays and a late start always engenders a feeling of anti-climax unfortunately. A bit more product and a few more dramatic moments would have ensured a place on the winner's rostrum, unfortunately I think this display will have just been pipped to the post.
Well executed display with an interesting theme and some beautiful product. Some segments were perhaps a little bit repetitive but the finale to music from Riverdance was hypnotic and very much enjoyed by the audience. Nice variation in rhythm and pace but perhaps not quite enough peaks of excitement. It's a toss up between France and Taiwan for the Bronze Jupiter.
Well themed and artistically executed display. Some beautiful product including strobes in fantastic colours and amazing silver kamuro shells. Great use was made of the lake and of all three levels of the display. Almost flawless synchronization and the themed special effects really augmented the display and tied the theme together. Good choice of music with a variation of rhythm and pace and a good finale. Got to be a winner.
The top three displays this year are somewhat easier to determine
compared to last year, though it is easier to say which won't
win compared to which will. Germany will not be a winner and
neither will the United States, but for very different reasons.
The German display was too traditional for a competition such
as we have here. The American display was extremely ambitious
and had moments of sheer brilliance, which may merit
the awarding of a Special Jupiter for technical achievement. But
the display fell short of the expectations that had been
generated and I'm sure will be penalized by the Jury for this.
The Canadian display was very artistic but was just that bit
too light on product and I think this cost them a place on the
podium. This leaves Taiwan, Spain, France and Australia as
the contenders for the awards. I think Taiwan, despite having
fantastic product and excellent synchronization will be
penalized for the underwhelming finale and portions of
the display which seemed more like product demonstrations.
So this leaves France, Spain and Australia with France in
the clear Bronze position.
Paul's jury predictions
- Gold Jupiter - Spain
- Silver Jupiter - Australia
- Bronze Jupiter - France
- Special Jupiter - Alberto Navarro for Lord of The Dance
Paul's personal choice
- Gold Jupiter - Australia
- Silver Jupiter - Spain
- Bronze Jupiter - Taiwan
- Special Jupiter - Alberto Navarro for Lord of The Dance
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.
For a different perspective on the displays, take a look at
Georges Lamon's web site, Georges is the official critic at La Presse,
one of the local french newspapers. His reports are in French, but
the on-line translation programs give a good sense of his thoughts.
- Gold Jupiter - Pirotécnia Igual, Spain
- Silver Jupiter - Foti's International Fireworks, Australia
- Bronze Jupiter - San Tai Fireworks, Taiwan
Closing La Ronde Heaven and Earth Saturday July 28th, 2001
Industria Panzera S.A.S. Sky and Earth designed by Pierpaolo Serafino, music by Pierre Walder - Hommage to Giovanni Panzera
'This special pyromusical show will be dedicated to the memory of Giovanni Panzera who died on September 6th, 2000. Panzera was one of the world's foremost pyrotechnic masters and the spiritual father of the Montréal fireworks festival. Panzera S.A.S., the firm that Giovanni Panzera presided over, conceived the show's design and is in charge of its production.
"Giovanni saw a world without boundaries. Day after day, he doubled his efforts to design highly creative and aesthetically pleasing shows," explained Pierre Walder, who is in charge of the musical score and artistic design of Sky and Earth and a long-time friend of the deceased Panzera. "In contrast to many of the great masters, Giovanni didn't want to keep his trade secrets to himself. He preferred to pass them along to his younger colleagues."
"From the passion he injected into each show to his innovative spirit and sensitivity towards the public, as well as his being accessible to fireworks technicians the world over, nothing was overlooked," stated Pierpaolo Serafino, a Giovanni Panzera disciple and pyrotechnic designer of the closing fireworks show. "Everyone who will watch Sky and Earth will relive Giovanni Panzera's life with us," added Pierpaolo Serafino.
In the 1980s, Giovanni Panzera dreamed of establishing a friendly pyrotechnical competition that would provide firms with the opportunity to refine their art - a competition where only those that wished to reach new heights would be invited. Armed with this vision, Panzera contributed to the creation and management of the world's premier pyrotechnic gathering. He was artistic director of the Montréal International Fireworks Competition for more than fifteen years.
For interest, here is the music list for the closing show. I probably won't write a report but will sit back and enjoy the show without the interruptions and concentration required to take notes.
Part 1 to the music Overture from Fireworks by G. F. Händel.
Part 2 to the music Gloria all'Egitto et Ballabile (Aïda) by Giuseppe Verdi.
Part 3 to the music Fire dance ritual by Manuel de Falla.
Part 4 to the music Brother in Arms by Mark Knopfler.
Part 5 to the music The sorcerer's apprentice by Paul Dukas.
Part 6 to the music Ave Maria by Giulio Caccini.
Part 7 to the music Il me reste un pays by Gilles Vigneault.
Part 8 to the music Ameno by Eric Levi & Guy Protheroe.
Part 9 to the music Finale from The Firebird Suite by Igor Stravinski.
Thanks to the public relations people of La Ronde for the official
press release material, shown in white.