Le Mondial SAQ 2002
Montréal International Fireworks Competition Report
Marutamaya co., Ltd. Artistic director Kenya Nomura, Pyrodigital firing; Show Director choreography
'"Marutamaya won the very first Gold Jupiter in 1985, followed by a bronze Jupiter in 1994. The company started producing fireworks in the 19th century and have had time to perfect their difficult art blended from rigid technology and artistic liberty" said Martyne Gagnon, Manager of the Mondial SAQ. "Saturday's performance will echo through the night and paint the sky with a poetic and subtle vision of the sights and sounds of the four seasons that punctuate life"'
After a day of heavy rain and unseasonably cool temperatures of only 13oC, the weather managed to cooperate and it dried up just in time for the display, which was delayed for several minutes due to the weather. The smallest crowd I can ever remember seeing were rewarded with a dazzling display from the twice-Jupiter winning Japanese masters of fire. Representing the four seasons, Japanese poetry was used to introduce portions of the ten-part display.
Part 1 to the music Robin Hood from the original film soundtrack. The display began with large fronts of mines, crackling comets and salutes with red-headed charcoal comet shells above. Then more crackling mines with barrages of titanium salutes and multi-colour shells above. Next, clusters of mines aimed left, up and right of very bright coloured stars, moving in perfect synchronization to the music. These were followed by large fat silver comet shots in time with the music with shells of colour and comets above. Then more of the left, right and up mines of clusters of bright colour stars followed by criss-crossing moving comet shots with shells of colour and comets above. Next, criss-crossing crackling silver comet shots with peony shells above followed by crackling comets below, the segment coming to an end with more of the mines of clusters of bright colours.
Part 2 to the music To-Hyo-Hyo Yukihiro Isso. This section, representing Spring, began with fast cakes of green stars with bombettes of strobes and a line of strobe-pots along the floating firing ramp. As the strobes continued, mines of small stars with shells of star-headed charcoal comets above and then more mines of small stars with glitter comets fired out over he lake. Then shells of slow-falling small stars followed by a return to the fast cakes of green stars and bombette strobes. Then remarkable candles firing bright orange balls which crackled loudly, but very different from the usual crackling stars or comets. These were augmented by peony shells above and then shells of slow-falling stars. Shells of rings and butterflies gave the impression of blooming flowers as lines of comets from left to right were fired below. Then kamuro shells above and mines of bright green stars and glittering fans below. These were followed by charcoal comets shells above, then kamuros with the stars turning to red or blue, glitter comet shells turning to blue and red and then silver comet shells turning to blue and red. Barrages of peony shells were followed by mines of bright stars with shells of strobes above then shells of silver stars and larger shells of star-headed comets. Next, mines of stars with shells of small strobe-stars above followed by charcoal comet shells and then shells of green go-getters. These were followed by synchronized comet shots, comet candles with large shells of comets turning to colour stars above and then shells of strobes. The segment was brought to a close with multi-break shells of clusters of orange stars and mines of the orange crackling balls below.
Part 3 to the music Nightingale by Yanni. This section, representing Summer, began with the sounds of waves breaking on a beach. The fireworks mirrored this exactly with bright bluish-white mines cascading from left to right, right to left and both at the same time giving the perfect impression of a breaking wave, the image being completed with "splashes" of blue mines at each end. As the "wave" was breaking, flash pots fired and then shells of blue stars above. Then a wave of comets with shells of charcoal comets turning to colour stars above followed by shells of rings and then peony shells ending in crackling clusters. Next, a line of orange strobes lit up along the floating firing ramp as flash pots were fired and another repeating wave sequence of the bright bluish-white mines. Then fans in the left, centre and right of very fast stars with large shells of comets with pistils above. These were followed by candles of the bright orange crackling balls with barrages of salutes above and then shells of white crackling comets followed by shells of glitter comets with blue pistils. Next, candles of glitter crossettes and bombettes with large shells of blue-tipped comets. These were followed by volleys of silver and blue pistil shells, silver and red with thick comet shots below and then well synchronized silver mines and criss-crossing silver comet shots below with comet to blue shells above. Next, fans of comet candles with shells of glittering comets turning to blue then red above. These were followed by fantastic shaped-burst shells with smiley faces, cats with whiskers, interlocking rings, saturns followed by mines of star clusters below. Then mines of strobes, crackling candles and criss-crossing comet shots with very large shells of blue and silver above. The segment was brought to a close with barrages of titanium salutes and shells of electric and crackling comets.
Part 4 to the music Morgana Palace by Andreas Vollenweider. This segment began with fast cakes of pale yellow stars and mines of gold stars. Above these, shells of slow falling gold glitter/strobe. These were followed by shells of strobes and then red go-getters. Next, mines of clusters of stars to the left and right with barrages of peony shells above. These were followed by candles and mines of the bright orange crackling balls with shells of sheaves of comets above as the music move to:
Part 5 to the music Mandara The 21st Last Chapter by Musishi with Ryudo Uzak. A line of wheels lit up, though some didn't rotate. Happily, there was an alternating pattern of rotating and non-rotating wheels. These were followed by mines of very bright stars, then mines of colour stars and then back to the bright stars. Candles of glitter crossettes were fired over the lake and then the same but at the left and right. A fast sequenced line of star headed gltter comets was augmented by charcoal comet shells and then shells of crackle. Next, barrages of red peony shells ending in crackle. These were followed by volleys of red go-getters followed by barrages of shells of slow falling bunches of stars.
Part 6 to the music Houjyou by Shikibu. A line of fountains lit up along the floating ramp. After these burned out, spark sprays going left, up and right danced along the ramp. Then lots of flash pots followed by more of the dancing spark sprays. These were followed by very loud crackling comet candles and colour bombettes followed by peony shells above and then charcoal comet shells as the music moved to:
Part 7 to the music Autumn by Tone. Mines of stars which started as pale yellow, then gold, then dark orange brilliantly represented the start of Autumn. These were followed by candles of wiggling serpents fired over the lake with charcoal comet shells above. Then more of the yellow to orange mines with shells of slow falling clusters of stars, like falling leaves, above and candles of serpents below. Barrages of shells of slow-falling gold stars were followed by weeping-willow shells. These increased in size, becoming gold kamuros with silver tips. More and more of these, the segment coming to a close with a huge gold kamuro trailing all the way to the lake, to cheers from the small crowd.
Part 8 to the music Hitohira No Yuki by Himegami. This began with shells of whistling serpents with the same in mines below. Then a shell of seven interlocking rings, one at the centre surround by six. Next barrages of large kamuro shells with pistils followed by shells of rings and comets. Then a shell with a ring and starfish clusters of stars, shells with interlocking rings, rings with pistils and comets rings. Fireballs erupted from the roof of the central control room as fans of firefly comets were fired. Above these, shells of pale gold strobes with pistils and then shells of crackling clusters. These were followed by shells of blue-tipped kamuro stars with pistils and then ending in crackle. The segment was brought to a close with a huge shell of pale silver comets with small flowers erupting after the comets had burned out - probably a popping broccade.
Part 9 to the music Yukino by Himegami. This segment, represting winter began with a a line of white strobes along the floating ramp as cakes of tourbillons were followed by fans of white stars. Above these, shells of white strobes, falling like snowflakes, followed by crackling comet shells and shells of silver comets and tourbillons. Below these, mines of clusters of silver comets rising and turning over and falling. Above these, shells with the same effect - clusters of silver comets rising, turning over and falling serenely. A huge double-sided waterfall in the shape of Mount Fuji suspended from a large crane then lit up. Unfortunately, the wet weather meant that only one half fired, but this didn't spoil the effect too much. Above this, multi-break shells of whistles and strobes. The segment was brought to a close with barrages of shells of the slow falling silver comet clusters, shells of whistling tourbillons and more slow fall silver comets.
Part 10 to the music 1812 Overture by Peter Ilych Tchaïkovsky. This popular finale piece began dramatically with barrages of crackling mines and salutes. Then fans of colour mines with whistles and tourbillons followed by sequences of yellow mines moving from left to right. Shells of crackle above with candles of the orange crackling balls were followed by titanium salute barrages, shells of crackle and mines of salute terminated tourbillons. As shells were bursting above, barrages of fantastic nautic shells erupted in the lake as the shells barrage continued above. Then more volleys of nautic shells with mines, comets and shells above. The pace increased, the sky becoming filled with large pale-gold kamuros, as glitter mines burst below. The display came to a close with the sky filled with huge pale gold kamuros trailing all the way to the lake.
Despite the dismal weather and low attendance, this was a brilliant opening to the 2002 season. The display was very artistically designed, with the theme of the four seasons being carried throughout and supported by careful choice of material. The green of spring lead to blooming flowers. Summer was dramatically represented by crashing waves on a beach with the blue and silver shells later representing the sky and the beach. Autumn had its rich palette of yellows, oranges and golds, the colour changes being very effective, as were the slow falling stars representing leaves. Winter was all wind and snowflakes. Interspersed through the display were readings of traditional Japanese poetry. Narrative sections can distract from a display, but these worked well. The finale was exciting, especially with all the nautic shells, but it didn't really fit into the theme of the rest of the display. However, this is but a small criticism for what was a truly creative and extremely artistic display, the best one I've yet seen from Marutamaya. As usual, their product was of dazzling quality and the PyroDigital firing flawless.
Luso Pirotecnia. Artistic director Vitor Machado, Pyrodigital firing; Show Director choreography
'The consortia of the Iberian country's pyrotechnicians, will undertake its very first presence ath the prestigious international competition with an ambitious program. "Montreal spectators will be immersed in a magical world where fire, light, rhythm and movement will merge as one", commented Mr Machado. Many unique characteristics will be highlighted by the flamboyant aesthetics and the deep sensitivity of these talented craftsmen.'
After the dismal weather last week, summer properly returned to Montreal with several hot and humid days being replaced by a perfect warm summer evening for the debut performance by a consortium of four companies from Portugal. Before darkness fell, everyone could see a large ring suspended from a crane and wondered what this device might be, but more of that later. As a former resident of Portugal some ten years ago (I lived there for 18 months) I was interested to see a night-time display, all the displays I'd seen there being in the daytime and usually consisting of barrages of hundreds or thousands of salute-headed rockets. It was interesting to see references to such traditions at a couple of points in the display. Fired using Pyrodigital, there were over 256 firing modules used for this complex display, with a couple of folks from Pyrospectaculars seen helping out.
Part 1 to the music Nightmare By Ronan Hardiman. The display began serenely with a line of of red flares opening up one by one across the floating ramp. As these burned, red mines from the centre control room and the left and right started to fire. As the mines continued in perfect synchronization, volleys of large red star shells were fired above. This sequence continued and was followed by gold glitter comet shells as mines fired below. The shells continued in gold glitter ending in gold strobe. Next, a front of crossed star shots and then a left to right moving sequence of red headed glitter comet mines in perfect note-sync. The sequence of glitter mines became faster moving from the sides to the centre, becoming shots of yellow and salmon glitter. Then shots of crossed glitter comets and shells of comets of glitter where the comet trail had a glittery cascade fall out of it, bringing the segment to a close.
Part 2 to the music Talk to him By Eric Serra. This segment began with comets of the silver cascading glitter and then fronts of bright colour star mines. Front after front of mines were fired and then single star shot fronts. Next, barrages of silver kamuro shells, building in intensity until the sky was filled, with the stars trailing to the lake. The ring then lit up in a circle of pale gold gerbes, forming the appearance of the sun. Left and right angled comet shots in pale gold glitter were followed by larger glittering comet candles. Above these, shells of glittery gold go-getters, the comet trails falling serenely as they stopped flying across the sky. This very serene sequence repeated and was replaced by shells of slow falling fast strobes, with candles of firefly comets below. Then more shells of the glitter go-getter comets with tourbillons as well, with candles of pale gold comets below. These were followed by barrages of more of the glittery go-getter comets and tourbillon shells and then shells of slow falling pale yellow stars. The segment came to a close with a front of mines and fans of comets with strobe shells above as the music moved seamlessly to:
Part 3 to the music Huron Beltane Fire Dance by Loreena McKennitt. A line of white strobes lit up along the floating ramp. A sequence of barrages of shells of very bright photo-flash salutes continued for quite some time, reminding me of daytime displays of salute barrages in Portugal. As the salute shells continued, shots of crossed purple stars were fired. The salutes continued, filling the sky, with shots of crossed aqua stars below. These were followed by red-headed glitter comet bombettes, as the salutes continued and the red glitter bombettes built in intensity. Then bright lemon-headed meteor comets shots in silver and gold glitter with gold glitter shells above. These continued and were augmented by fans of comets below and then barrages of blue star shells and shells of deep gold glitter comets. This theme continued with blue star shells and gold glitter comet shells above and fans of comets below. After repeating this theme, crossed ball shots below with large bright colour shells above, bringing the segment to a close.
Part 4 to the music Movement 1 by Vangelis. A line of blue flares lit up along the floating platform. The sound of waves crashing on a beach was brought to life with a fast sequence fired from right to left of gold cluster comet mines angled so the stars turned over and turned to blue, just like a wave breaking. This wave breaking sequence was fired several times and then a fast sequence of gold glitter comets was fired around the edge of the ring. Next, the numbers 1, 2 and 3 were lit up in seven-segment fashion using short duration gerbes in the centre of the ring in perfect synchronization to the words "one, two, three". Then another fast sequence of comets fired round the edge of the ring. Next, bright silver comet shells, with clusters of silver comets in the centre below with lemon yellow meteor heads in perfect note synchronization. These were followed by pale gold comet shells above and then left-angled and right-angled pale gold comet shots in a fast repeating sequence fired left, right and up from the centre. These were followed by pale charcoal and aluminium comet shots, with the same in shells above. These were followed by shells of white stars and then barrages of white shells and silver comets. The intensity increased with shells of red ball-star crossettes and also shells of silver comet crossettes. Candles of orange glitter with more of the red-star crossette shells were followed by silver comet crossette shells and dense fans of gold comets below. This theme continued with gold glitter candles, fans of thick comets with gold fireflies. The intensity increased with barrages of shells of electric crossette comets with fans of glitter comets fired below. Then huge shells of orange headed comets and shells of orange stars, the intensity increasing with a barrages of shells with pistils and then a volley of large titanium salutes, bringing the segment to a close as the music moved rapidly to:
Part 5 to the music It's all so quiet by Björk. The ring lit up with a five-pointed star in short-duration gerbes in the centre as serene tourbillon shells were fired above. The intensity greatly increased with multi-colour mine fronts in quick sequence with huge barrages of colour star shells above. These fronts and barrages continued and then the pace became very serene again as more five-pointed stars lit up in the ring as tourbillon shells were fired above. The intensity than rapidly increased again with the multi-colour mine fronts in quick succession and barrages of large shells with pistils above and then glitter mines below. Back to the serene sequence of tourbillon shells and then a big increase in intensity again with barrages of glitter comet shells and salutes, with three mine fronts in quick succession, each a different colour and so fast that all three colours were seen at once. Above these mine fronts, large barrages of silver comet shells, then glitter mines below and more colour shells above, the pace then dropping back to the serene tourbillon shells, with the ring showing more five-pointed stars. Back to the triple-colour fast mine fronts with barrages of shells of gold glitter fireflies filling the sky, the intensity increasing and the segment coming to a close with a fast sequence of gold glitter shots fired round the edge of the ring.
Part 6 to the music Variation II (Dance of the Sugar-plum fairy) by Tcaïkovsky. This segment began very quietly with the sound of birdsong as a line of strobes lit up along the floating ramp. Then gentle barrages of slow-falling fast silver strobe shells, the stars falling all the way to the ground. Then shots of glitter comets in quick sequence from the left and right at angles with more barrages of the slow-falling silver strobes. These were followed by shots of silver comets ending in fast strobes and more of the left and right sequenced comet shots, with shells of the slow-falling silver strobes above and then shells of gold comets turning into silver strobes. The segment was brought to a close with barrage after barrage of strobe shells until the sky was completely filled, the end coming with a front of strobe mines ending in crackle.
Part 7 to the music Cromornia by José M. David. A flight of double ascension gold girandolas rose majestically into the sky. The ring then fired colour mines in perfect note sync, first down, then up, then left and right and then in a outward pointing star shape. Colour mines in perfect sync to the chuffy caliope music fired along the floating ramp, the sound of the mine launch being a perfect match for the music. These continued as the ring continued with similar mine shots around its edge. Above this, shells of silver go-getter comets as more perfectly synchronized shots fired from the edge of the ring. This sequence was repeated with go-getter silver comet shells above and more shots from the ring. Shells of slow-falling silver comets were followed by yet more colour mines from the ring, the segment coming to a close with a deafening round of screaming whistling serpents and a huge volley of titanium salutes.
Part 8 to the music Main Titles from Planet of The Apes by Danny Elfman. The lake was filled with nautic strobes with blue shells above. Then the ring lit up with a dozen saxons (rotating silver fountains) around its edge, forming a fantastic moving pattern of silver. Above this, large blue shells, with barrages of photo-flash salutes at a lower level. Then barrages of gold comet shells, colour shells and continued barrages of the low-level salutes. The pace an intensity increased with huge shells with pistils and continual barrages of the flash salutes, bringing the segment to a close as a faux finale.
Part 9 to the music Angelus in medio Ignis by Eric Serra. The final segment began dramatically with barrages of pale gold kamuro shells filing the sky and trailing to the lake. After this, shells of the comets where cascades come out of the sides after they have stopped moving across the sky. Barrage after barrage of these were fired. The pace increased as these became crackling electric comets. The music started to become inaudible as barrages of huge yellow shells, filled the sky, then mines of glitter and purple star shots below. The pace increased beyond my ability to take notes though the barrages, filled with large salutes, filled the sky, first with warm colours, then brighter and brighter dazzling whites and blues, then even brighter silvers with more and more salutes and fronts of silver comet salute mines, the display coming to an end with thunderous barrages of enormous shells and vast numbers of salutes, leaving people screaming and shaking. A fabulous end to a fantastic display. My final page of notes simple said "WOW" in big letters!
This was a truly fantastic display. Nothing like this has been seen before in Montreal and the audience was buzzing with talk of the ring which thus merits a paragraph on its own.
The ring was around 6m in diameter and suspended from a crane in the centre of the display area. It had gerbes round its edge to make it appear like the sun; mines around the outer and inner edges which were fired in bursts, fast rotating sequence moving round the edge and groups to create star shapes. In the centre, short-duration gerbes in a seven-segment display to give the numbers 1, 2 and 3. Also, many groups of gerbes to give a five-pointed star shape. Finally, on the back side of the ring, at least a dozen saxons, giving the most fabulous multi-rotating picture in fire. This device was like a display in itself and absolutely unprecedented in the history of the Montreal Fireworks Competition.
Note must also be made of the many different types of glitter comet, the subtleties of which were impossible to catch in my notes. There were pale gold comets; charcoal and aluminium comets; silver glitter; gold glitter; deep gold glitter; gold glitter with fireflies; silver glitter with small strobes; meteor-headed glitter in silver and gold - with heads in red, orange and lemon; the remarkable cascading glitter comets where a cascade of silver "fell out" of the side of the comet trail; and electric comets, where sparks come out of the side of the comet trail like electric spark.
In summary, this was a fabulous display. There was great variation in rhythm and pace from superb serene moments to sky-filling barrages and several faux-finales. The use of the ring was simply stunning; as I said, it has no precedent. Synchronization was flawless, save for two shells at the very end of the finale. The breaking wave sequence was interesting in that it was different to the Japanese approach last week. The finale was also interesting in that there was an interesting sequence of colours used, rather than the "every colour in the rainbow at once" approach sometimes used. Such originality, and in a debut performance to boot, must surely be rewarded with a Jupiter.
Hendickx Lefeber Fireworks. Group director Marc Lefeber, traditional manual firing.
'Family members belonging to this group have transmitted the secrets of their trade from one generation to the other since the late 18th century. Since the death of its great master Eugène Hendickx, two years ago, the company has refrained from international competition. Their performance will be in homage to the later master, Giovanni Panzera (died 2001).'
Perfect warm summer weather and a long holiday weekend brought out large crowds of people to witness the debut display from this Belgium company. Using traditional manual electric firing, they intended to use the same style of display as that presented in the competitions in their native Knokke-Heist, on the North Sea coast.
Part 1 to the music You'll be in my heart by Phil Collins. The display opened with mine fronts and barrages of salutes above. Then silver glitter comet and bombettecandles. These were followed by a repeating sequence of mines of clusters of silver comets, with shells of glitter comets above and the same in bombettes. Next, shells of gold glitter comets with gold glitter bombette candles below and then large silver shells above. Next, crossed charcoal comet to blue bombette candles and mines. These were followed by green comet candles and more mines and then gold comet bombette candles. Above these, silver comet shells followed by blue shells and then multi-break shell-of-shells. Next, bright yellow-headed meteor comet candles which were then augmented by gold comet bombette candles. These were followed by mines of crackling glitter with red heart shells above. Next, barrages of comet to red star shells followed by blue bombette candles. More shells of comets turning to red and then shells with dual concentric hearts. These were followed by candles of silver kamuro bombettes and then followed by more comet to red shell barrages. Shells of charcoal comets increased in size, with red star tips, then silver tips and finally large ones ending in crackle, bringing the segment to a close.
Part 2 to the music The Bells of Notre Dame by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz. Fans of charcoal comet candles ending in crackle were followed by volleys of salutes with large multi-break shell-of-shells in colours and comets above, then volleys of salutes and shells of tourbillons. More volleys of salutes and then shells of silver comets, large colour shells above with salute volleys below followed by shells of colour stars and glitter comets, the segment coming to a close with large shells of blue turning to silver.
Part 3 to the music Circle of Life by Elton John and Tim Rice. A line of fountains opened up along the floating ramp as meteor headed comet candles arced left and right and were augmented by silver kamuro bombettes. Then candles of white stars in the centre with the meteor comets arcing left and right. These were followed by candles of pink stars in the left, right and centre with ring shells above, echoing the lyric. The ring shells continued, with some hearts and then moved to fans of bombette star candles. These continued and were followed by silver kamuro bombettes with ring shells above and then gold glitter meteor comet candles. The segment came to a close with barrages of ring shells.
Part 4 to the music The Eggs Travel by Janes Newton Howard. A line of strobes lit up along the floating ramp with mines of stars in the centre with shells of smallish sparse stars above. Then mines of stars and mines of crossing-stars followed by gold glitter candles and mines of tourbillons and crackle. Next, low shells of stars ending in crackle with mines of tourbillons. These were followed by bombette candles and then shells of gold broccade. The size and number of these increased, bringing the segment to a close as the broccade stars trailed down to the lake.
Part 5 to the music Someday my prince will come by Adriana Caseloti. Bright headed comets in clusters fired from mines at the left, right and centre opened this segment. These were followed by groups of silver kamuro shells in threes, becoming larger. This theme continued for the whole segment, coming to a close when the sky was filled.
Part 6 to the music Puppy Love by Paul Anka. Candles of bombette stars opening this segment with pattern shells in smiley faces and hearts above. This theme continued and was followed by bombette candles of gold kamuros. Next, multi-break shell-of-shells of silver comets and then the purple stars and gold comets. More multi-break shell-of-shells in red. Then shells of larger star-fish comets and some with crackling comets, the segment coming to a close with crackling comet shells.
Part 7 to the music A whole new world by Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle. A line of glitter fountains lit up along the floating ramp with bright silver ball candles above. Then bombette candles and candles of silver glitter comets. Next, candles of gold comets with gold fireflies with low star shells above these. More gold glitter candles and mines of clusters of comets in the centre followed by candles of fans of silver comets. Above these, bombettes of red stars turning to crackle with gold broccade shells above these. The gold broccade shells continued and were followed by charcoal comet kamuros and then brighter pale gold kamuros. Next, shells of colour and comets, becoming larger and followed by more charcoal comet shells and then crackling charcoal comets. These were followed by paler gold charcoal comets and then shells with thicker comets which fell slowly, the segment coming to a close with dim broccades, trailing to the lake.
Part 8 to the music A start is born by Jocelyn Brown. This began with salute candles and pattern shells of the Mercedes three-pointed star and ring logo. Then candles of comets which turned over and became salutes with multi-break shell-of-shells in stars and comets above. Then more of the Mercedes logo shells followed by more multi-break shell-of-shells. These were followed by shells of colour tipped silver comets and more multi-break shell-of-shells in really deep red. This theme continued with the segment came to a close with large shells of silver turning to strobe and then to really deep red stars.
Part 9 to the music Two world finale by P. Collins and Mark Mancina. The final segment began with bombette candles and whistling serpents and barrages of low comet shells. Then volleys of large titanium salutes as the pace increased and barrages of multi-break shell-of-shells in stars and comets fired above with salute candles below. The pace increased, the sky filled with multi-break shells, huge titanium salutes at a lower level, coming to a final close with a thunderous volley of huge salutes.
This was a very traditional display, the homage to Giovanni Panzera being clearly seen with the large numbers of Roman candles used. There were some particularly nice gold glitter comets used, as well as some shells with very deep red stars. Synchronization was good in places, hearts breaking in the sky as the lyric talked about hearts, but, at times, the synchronization was poor with shells continuing after the end of a piece of music. As a debut display it was interesting, but, unfortunately, no use was made of the lake. It was also difficult to discern the title theme from the music used. With several upcoming displays using digital firing, I don't think the Belgians will be on the podium this time.
Günter Vogler Feuerwerk. Director Günter Vogler, traditional manual firing.
'Following their first bronze-jupiter winning appearance in 1997, an accident on the eve of that visit occurred in Günter Vogler's factory. "Since then", said Mr Vogler, we have concentrated our efforts in rebuilding. This show will be for us a come back to the world famous event in La Ronde. We have been preparing for this show for six months".'
Several days of record-breaking heat and humidity gave way to pleasant summer temperatures, though with cloudy skies. With a mix of classical music and more modern arrangements of classics, as well as classical arrangements of modern music, the Austrian team presented a seven part display.
Part 1 to the music Mayors Fanfare by Ch. Kolonovits. The display opened with a front of red mines with red star shells above. Then a front of silver mines with silver comet shells followed by orange mines and shells of crossette comets. These were followed by crossette comet candles with shells of single rings above and then candles of tourbillons. Next, shells of comets to colour stars followed by shells of flower tourbillons and candles of salute terminate tourbillons. These were followed by more shells of flower tourbillons surrounded by stars and then candles of serpents. Above these, shells of colour stars turning to crackle and then shells of glitter comets and pale gold kamuro shells. These were followed by more shells of comets turning to colour stars and then shells of clusters of slow falling silver comets. More silver comet shells with gold glitter candles below, the comets turning to silver fireflies. These were followed by shells of crossette ball stars and shells of crackling comets turning to kamuros and more crossette star shells in red, the segment coming to a close with large shells of charcoal comets turning to red stars.
Part 2 to the music Symphony No. 5 by P.I. Tchaïkovski. This segment began serenely with a line of triple fountains in along the floating ramp which were then augmented by a fan of pale gold comet candles in the centre, all forming the shape of fleur-de-lys. Next, candles of star-headed charcoal comets in Vs with brighter meteor comet candles firing straight up. These were then replaced by brighter meteor comet candles, firing higher with gold kamuro shells above. Candles of crossette stars added to this in the centre and were followed by shells of red turning to silver comets and larger kamuro shells. Next, candles of silver crossette comets and large shells of electric comets turning to crackle above. Then shells of glitter comets ending in crackle with crossette comet cluster candles below. Barrages of large kamuro shells with pistils were followed by pale gold glitter comet candles and then large volleys of huge electric comet shells ending in crackle, shells of silver comets and fronts of crackling mines, the intensity rapidly diminishing until just a single red flare illuminated the centre which was then augmented by a line of red flares. The segment came to a serene close with a line of candles of blue stars bursting to gold glitter bombettes.
Part 3 to the music Bohemian Rhapsody by Freddie Mercury, arranged by Ch. Kolonovits. A line of silver glitter candles in Vs opened up with shells of strobe stars above. Then gold glitter candles shooting straight up with silver comet candles in Vs around them. These were then augmented by candles of pastel colour stars and shells of stars turning to gold comets above followed by shells of stars turning to crackle. Next, shells of slow falling fireflies and shells of comets turning to strobes. These were followed by shells of colour stars turning to kamuros and shells of stars turning to crackle with a fan of gold comet candles in the centre. More kamuro shells were followed by shells of colour stars turning to strobes and then colour stars turning to crackle with shells of stars and comets as well. Next, crossette comet candles and barrages of large colour shells followed by a massive volley of crackling stars and shells of electric comets turning to crackle. Below these, candles of clusters of crossette comets with shells of crossette stars and then kamuro shells and also shells of double layers of crackling stars. These were then followed by kamuro shells which also contained crossing stars. Next tourbillon candles, crackling candles and shells of blue stars above followed by kamuro shells with the comets turning blue. Next, shells of electric comets and crackle with barrages of colour shells and colour and crackle shells. These were followed by large volleys of pale gold crossette comet shells, comet to colour and salute shells, more electric comet shells. The segment was brought to a close with mines, salutes and crossette comet shells, filling the sky.
Part 4 to the music Spanish Dance by P.I. Tchaïkovski. Serpent candles and glitter bombettes were followed by shells of crossettes. Next, candles bursting to bees with kamuro shells above and shells of flower tourbillons ringed with stars. This theme continued and was followed by shells of colour stars and tourbillons turning to crackle. Then shells of blue stars and crackle and shells of charcoal comets with more tourbillon candles below. These were followed by clusters of crossette comets and then a shaped-burst shell in the form of a butterfly, where all the comets were crossettes which turned to kamuro stars which trailed down to the lake to cheers from the audience, brining the segment to a close.
Part 5 to the music Prelude by Ch. Kolonovits. This long segment was split into smaller sections as the theme of the music changed. The first part began with multi-break shell-of-shells of comets turning to gold glitter and then followed by multi-break shell-of-shells of strobe stars. Then shells of thick pale-gold comets followed by shells of blue pistils and gold comets. These were followed by multi-break shell-of-shells of kamuros and then shells of charcoal comets with clusters of stars appearing later. This first sub-segment came to a close with huge shells with pistils and kamuro stars trailing to the lake. The next section began with loud crackling charcoal comet shells, candles of crackling meteor comets, screaming whistles and bombettes of crackle. The screaming whistles grew louder with more crackling comet candles and clusters of crossette comets and barrages of salutes. Then candles of saxons (double-ended tourbillons) with glitter bombettes above and shells of bright crossette stars. These were followed by large shells of electric comets turning to crackle and multi-break shell-of-shells of salutes and crackle, bringing this sub-segment to a close. The final section began with gold glitter candles in Vs with blue star candles firing above with shells of blue turning to red then comets above. Then shells of charcoal comets with the comets turning to stars with glitter comet candles below. These were followed by shells of blue stars with silver starfish comets and shells of stars turning to crackle with whistling tourbillon candles below. Then gold kamuro shells, multi-break shell-of-shells of crackling stars and more of the blue star with silver starfish comet shells. These were followed by shells of stars and comets, crossette star shells and crossette comet candles below. Then shells of tourbillons with tourbillon candles below and followed by large colour and comet shells and then shells of tourbillons with glitter comet rings around. Next, shells of serpents followed by shells of blue stars with clusters of stars appearing later and then a bombardment of nautic shells in the lake. Fan comet candles with kamuro shells above were augmented by bombette candles with shells of red stars turning to strobes above and then shells of comets turning to crossette stars. These were followed by large shells of electric comets with crackling pistils, huge barrages of crossette star shells and shells of tourbillons. Then large shells of charcoal comets with colour bombette candles below. These were continued with barrages of small crackle shells above. The segment came to a close with serpent shells and then a huge crackling comet shell which became a kamuro trailing to the lake.
Part 6 to the music Have you ever by Brian Adams. Yellow-headed meteor crossette comet candles were followed by shells of colour stars with crackling pistils. Then multi-break shell-of-shells of colour stars and the same in silver comets. More multi-break shell-of-shells of strobe stars were augmented by strobe pots on the ground. Then bombette cluster comet candles with crossette comet shells above followed by kamuro shells and shells of crackle and blue stars. These were followed by multi-break shell-of-shells of blue stars with comet fan candles in the centre below. Then silver comet shells with crackling comets turning to kamuros, the segment coming to a close with a barrage of large comet and crackle shells.
Part 7 to the music Medley by Ch. Kolonovitz. The final segment began with large multi-colour changing shells and then gold kamuros trailing to the lake. Below these, crossette candle fans and shells and mine fronts. Then multi-break shell-of-shells in silver, shells of stars with rings of comets ending in salutes, firing in a circle like siatene shells. The pace increased with bombardments of huge colour and pistil shells, bombettes below, electric comet and crackling shells above with barrages of titanium salutes thrown in as well. The sky was filled with large crackling comet shells, barrages of salutes, the final shells becoming kamuros trailing to the lake to cheers from the audience.
This was an enjoyable display. Though manually fired, the synchronization
for the most part was good. The traditional style worked well with the
classical music sections and there was a good variation of rhythm and
pace. There was a lot of beautiful product used, particularly the many
kamuro and crackling shells as well as the colour star crossettes.
However, perhaps the kamuros and crackle shells became just a little
repetitive. Also, some of the music edits were rather abrupt early on in
the program. These small criticisms aside, definitely a strong contender
which was enjoyed by the audience. At this mid-point in the competition,
Portugal are still my tip for the gold Jupiter with Austria and Japan
Ampleman Pyrotechnie. Artistic director Eric Cardinal, FireOne firing, ScriptMaker choreography.
'Montréal's very own Ampleman are the recipients of numerous international awares, including two Jupiters. "This presentation symbolises the passage from a destructive and tormented world to one where harmony and unity reigns between nations and individuals", says the company. "This union of fire with music delivers our message of peace and balance. All ranges of emotions felt in the music to which the fireworks are blended become sources of inspiration and contemplation of a better world to come."'
Perfect weather for the past few days looked like it might end as ominous-looking storm clouds approached. Luckily, they all slipped away to the west as ideal summer conditions prevailed and gave the largest audience so far a memorable evening for this complex seventeen-part display which used 65 FireOne firing modules, 50% more than used in their Silver Jupiter-winning display of 1999.
Part 1 to the music Natural Blues by Moby. The display opened with silver meteor comet candles with blue star shells above. Then mines of strobe-stars with white comet shells above these. These were followed by a sequence of tourbillon candles with strobe shells and shells with deep red stars above. More shells of white comets turning to strobes and shells of red stars were followed by shells of slow falling stars and then more synchronized shots of strobe mines, the segment coming to a close with dahlia comet shells with blue stars.
Part 2 to the music Who's Gonna Stop the Rain by Anastasia. Candles of pastel stars firing over the lake were augmented by shells of charcoal comets turning to pastel stars followed by rising tail shells bursting to more charcoal comets. These were followed by shells of silver and then more charcoal comet shells with crossed charcoal comet candles below and then silver kamuro shells above. Next, crossed candles of crossette charcoal comets with barrages of silver kamuro shells above. These increased in number, the segment coming to a close with silver kamuro stars trailing to the lake, to cheers from the audience.
Part 3 to the music Quand les Hommes Vivront d'Amour by Luce Dufault. This segment began with angled mines of glitter comets and colour comet shells above. These were followed by more angled mines of charcoal glitter and colour stars with kamuro shells above. Then kamuro shells with blue pistils and shells of thicker crossette kamuro comets turning to blue. These were followed by rising-tail shells bursting to larger kamuro comets, turning to blue stars and trailing to the lake and then dahlia shells of thicker kamuro comets with shells of blue stars. The number of kamuros increased, the segment coming to a close with huge blue-terminated kamuros and a massive front of crackling charcoal comet mines.
Part 4 to the music En Mon Bonheur by Daniel Bélanger. Shells of deep-red go-getters were followed by serpent candles and shells of silver comets. Then more red go-getters. These were followed by candles of star-headed glitter comets and then candles of meteor comets with shells of silver stars above and shells of slow falling stars and shells of colour comets. Then more shells of silver stars and red go-getters with serpent candles below and then silver comet shells above. The segment came to a close with nautic shells of fountains turning to whistling salute-terminated tourbillons.
Part 5 to the music Fallin' by Alicia Keys. Red magnesium star candles were followed by shells of pastel stars, mines and then shells of silver glitter turning to fireflies. Then shells of brighter stars followed by multi-break shell-of-shells comets and shells of meteor comet stars. These were followed by bright shells of red and blue with crossed candles of blue-tipped charcoal comets below. Then the same in shells above. These were followed by red comet shells and then more blue-tipped charcoal comet shells. Next, shells of blue charcoal comets followed by gold and red shells and then more blue stars and charcoal comets. The segment came to a close with shells of silver meteor comets and red meteor comets.
Part 6 to the music That's Life by Frank Sinatra. Salute-terminated tourbillon candles were followed by shells of silver kamuros and then shells of pastel coloured star-tipped charcoal comets. These were followed by salute-terminated comet shells and shells of stars with a ring of tourbillons with glitter bombettes below. Then multi-break shell-of-shells of crossing comets and shells of salutes followed by more shells of stars and rings of tourbillons. The pace increased with colour comet shells and salutes, the segment coming to a close with multi-break shell-of-shells, salutes and crackle.
Part 7 to the music Only Time by Enya. This began more serenely with crossed meteor comet candles with charcoal comet shells above, hidden somewhat by the meteor comet candles below. Then shells of weeping-willow charcoal comets and nautic shell of comets. These were followed by more weeping willow charcoal comet shells, the comets turning to silver and charcoal comet shells with pistils. These were followed by palm tree shells and thick charcoal comet candles. Next, shells of weeping-willow turning to fireflies with more thick charcoal comet candles below. These were followed by more weeping-willow shells turning to silver, with mines of pastel colours below, the segment coming to a close with large weeping-willow shells turning to colour stars.
Part 8 to the music Un Peu Plus Loin by Ginette Reno. This segment began with shells of gold glitter with the same in nautic shells in the lake and then kamuro shells above. These were followed by crackling candles and then shells of gold fireflies and blue stars as the crackling candles continued. More shells of gold glitter and blue with blue sky-mine shells and then more gold glitter and blue shells. These were followed by thick gold kamuros and sky-mine shells in lime green followed by shells of blue stars and comets and then more lime-green sky-mine shells. Next, large kamuro shells, shells of blue stars and gold comets and yet more sky-mine shells, the segment coming to a close with kamuro shells with clusters of blue stars.
Part 9 to the music I Believe by Blessid Union of Souls. Candles of meteor-headed gold glitter crossettes were followed barrages of salutes and comets above. Then shells of gold meteor comets and shells of comets turning to blue stars. As the lyric said "hearts", shells of blue hearts burst exactly on cue and were followed by more shells of comets turning to blue. Then candles of bright lemon-yellow comets, with the same in shells above and shells of lemon crossette comets and more blue heart shells on cue. The lemon-yellow meteor comet candles continued, with more of the same in shells above, the number increasing and increasing and with shells of gold glitter. The segment came to a close with cones of rockets bursting to silver comets.
Part 10 to the music Le Monda à Refaire by Natasha St-Pier. This segment began with bright magnesium star candles in pastel colours with sky-mine shells in pastels above. Then more bright magnesium pastel star candles and sky-mines. These were followed by shells of colour comets with pistils, shells of lime-green, paler pastel colours and sky-mines in the same colours. Below these, thick pale crossing comets and more pastel shells above with sky-mines followed again by the magnesium star candles in pastels as the theme continued above with more shells and sky-mines. Then shells of meteor comets, continuing sky-mines in pastels with candles of crossed magnesium pastel stars below, the segment coming to a close with barrages of sky mines and shells in pastels.
Part 11 to the music Love Theme, St Elmo's Fire by David Foster. Fans of candles below and silver comet shells above opened this segment. Then shells of rings of tourbillons with stars and shells of silver glitter comets. These were followed by shells of pale silver comets, shells of glitter comets and then shells of silver meteor comets and then shells of bright silver stars. Next, shells of silver and shells of bright pastel green followed by larger silver comet shells. Silver rising-tail shells bursting to silver glitter comets and pastel green stars brought this segment to a close.
Part 12 to the music Pipes of Peace by Paul McCartney. Bombette candles were augmented by shells of blue rings with red pistils and then shells of glitter comets. The size and brightness increased and then there were smiley-face shells and shells of hummers and also shells of silver comets and sky-mines. These were followed by shells of glitter and shells of colour comets and then shells of falling stars, bringing the segment to a close with shells of sky-mines as well.
Part 13 to the music The World's Greatest by R. Kelly. This began with a big fan of glitter charcoal and aluminium comets across the whole floating ramp. Then shells of stars and comets above followed by rising-tail shells of kamuros. These were followed by shells of silver comets and then shells of charcoal comets turning to silver comets and then cones of rockets bursting to kamuros. Next, colour comet shells and then more kamuro shells and brighter kamuros with pistils. Large colour comet shells were followed by kamuros, bringing the segment to a close.
Part 14 to the music Main Theme, Survivor T.V. by Ancient Voices. As the popular TV music stared, nautic flares lit up in the lake, with red flares at the back of the display and a ring of gerbs on the control-room roof. The nautic flares turned into strobes as shells of single magnesium flares, falling slowly (without the banned parachutes) lit up above and were followed by ring shells. The segment came to a close with more comet shells and shells of the single flares.
Part 15 to the music mix At Sunrise by Tan Dun, Hulelam by Juno Reactor and Solaris by Juno Reactor. This segment began with several posts lined with lances firing out fast blue stars in V shapes left and right. As these continued, candles of screaming whistles filled the air as nautic fountains lit up in the lake, a ring of flares on the control room roof and then a fabulous flight of double-ascension glittering gold girandolas rose up and down in the air to cheers from the crowd. Then huge sequenced mines and sequenced comet shots as the music changed and strobe shells fired above. These were followed by shells of comets turning to strobes and mines of strobes below. This theme continued and moved to silver comet shells as the music changed and flares lit up on the roof of the control room. Above this, shells of comets and then rocket cones bursting to salutes and strobes. These were followed by thick glitter comet bombette candles with shells of firefly comets above. Then shells of blue rings with red pistils and cones of rockets bursting to silver kamuros.
Part 16 to the music Aria by Yanni. This segment began with shells of brighter comets amd shells of crossing-comets followed by rocket cones bursting to silver kamuros as the more flares continued on the control room roof. Then large shells of bright silver kamuros, shells of silver glitter comets and then shells of colour comets. The pace increased with more and more silver kamuro shells and then multi-break shell-of-shells of silver comets.
Part 17 to the music mix World in Union 95 by by Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Beynd Light by Tan Dun. The final segment in the display went beyond my ability to take notes. The pace was terrific, with huge barrages of shells with nautic shells in the lake. These increased in size until eight-inch nautic shells were fired, filling the lake with stars and exploding tremendously, especially considering I was only about 100m away from the shells anchored in the lake (these nautics being just too big to be fired into the lake safely, though many six-inch nautics were). Above the chaos on the lake, huge barrages of shells and then enormous volleys of large salutes and titanium salutes, with salute candles and silver comet shells. The noise was fearsome, my notes simply ending with WOW as the display came to a deafening end with the sky filled with salutes to cheers from the audience.
This was a fabulous display. The Ampleman team received a well deserved
standing ovation in the salon des artificiers after the display.
The choice of music was excellent and the
transitions between the many tracks were handled very well with many
being much more seamless than my notes indicated.
Synchronization was excellent and there were none of the sometimes
clichéd effects that computerized firing systems can give. The
choice of material was excellent, with beautiful colours from the
specially designed Rozzi sky-mines and gorgeous lemon yellow Spanish
comets. Of course, the nautic shells were superb, with the eight-inch
anchored shells simply stunning. The theme of the display was well
done, representing a passage from chaos to harmony, though the lake
was pretty chaotic in the finale! Because this display was so well done,
a couple of small points of criticism. Sometimes there was not quite
enough of a pause between tableaux and a little bit more
dynamic range could have been used in a few spots. Also, there was a portion
where charcoal comet shells were visually drowned-out by meteor comet
candles. However, all said and done, Ampleman must be fighting with
Portugal for the top prize this year. Two very different displays, both
deserving of the Gold Jupiter. My feeling is that it could well be the
music choice which determines the final order, though the uniqueness
of the Portuguese "ring" might prove to be their trump card. The level
of competition amongst the top displays this year is very high.
Austin Pyrotechnics Inc. Master pyrotechnist Paul Austin, Pyrodigital firing;
'As usual, these Americans will be noticed for the great variety of their displays. "Out presentation includes from the music all the nuances of tempo, dynamics, phrasing and accent", said Paul Austin. "And from the fireworks, the changing colours, the varying intensity of light, the intricacies and subtleties, the timing of explosion, the rising and falling projectiles. The combination and succession of sights and sounds is transformed into an unforgettable spectacle". Mr Austin has been taken by pyrotechnical art since childhood. He founded his own company in 1966, and today, it stages thousands of shows a year in amusement parks and at special events of all kinds'
Terrible weather conditions prevailed about an hour before the display, with a storm overhead and torrential rains. Some shells were set off early, with three distinct accidental releases. However, these were not related to the lightning but were due to resolving some shorts - the tester having enough current to set off the shells. The rains appeared to subside before the display started, but resumed just before the display began. The main problem was the lack of wind and very wet air which lead to a vast amount of smoke accumulation, not helped by the approximately 500 cakes fired and generally large shell barrages. There were points where nothing could be seen at all. Then the rains increased. This made it very difficult to take notes, the paper getting wet, but I managed the best I could, though took very few notes in the final segment.
Part 1 to the music Spring Rain. The title of this music was prophetic since the rains which had eased began again. After a narrated introduction, the display finally got going with crossed candles in bright colours and the same in shells above. Then crossette candles with weeping willow shells above followed by kamuros. This theme was maintained for the entire segment, coming to a close with salute-terminated kamuros.
Part 2 to the music America Tonight by Leonard Bernstein. Several large and bright mine fronts were augmented by bright yellow magnesium star candles. Then fronts of glitter mines and fronts of firefly mines followed by cakes of bright stars and candles of stars in fans. Above these, gold glitter comet shells. These were followed by dahlia shells of glitter comets and shells of starfish comets with stars. Next, shells of kamuros, but shot through with bright shells of colour stars and then shaped-burst shells in the form of double concentric hearts. These were followed by shells of bright colour-headed comets and more of the double concentric hearts. Due to the weather, it was difficult to tell exactly when the next segment started so I'll just continue assume my notes refer to it.
Part 3 to the music If We Only Have Love by Jacques Brel. Large shells of colour stars and comets were followed by shaped-burst heart shells. Then mine fronts of strobe stars. These were followed by shells of glitter comets with salutes above, with more strobe mines below and then kamuro shells above. The size of the kamuros increased, trailing to the lake at one point as well as weeping willow shells of charcoal comets and then silver kamuros. These were followed by shells of bright comets and then huge shells of stars with pistils. Next, glitter comet shells and shells of crossette stars with crossette candles below. The segment came to a close with shells of strobes and salutes, but continuing after the end of the music and bleeding through into the next segment.
Part 4 to the music Itsy Bitsy Spider by Carly Simon. This segment began with the tail end of the shells from the previous segment. Then shells of comets turning to strobe. Then black sky for a considerable time. Then, suddenly, shells of crackling comets and shells of crossette comets. The black sky then returned. This eventually was followed by large shells in orange and then in white. Followed by more black sky.
Part 5 to the music Fire on the Mountain by Marshall Tucker Band. Broccade shells were intermixed with colour shells at a lower level and then shells of star crossettes. Then more broccade shells again shot through with colour shells. These were followed by glitter comet shells and then shells of crossette comets. Next, shells of fast strobe stars and bees. Barrages of these were followed by shells of colour turning to strobes and then a period of black sky again. Eventually, things got going again with large colour shells and shells of strobes. Then really large colour shells with glitter comet shells at a lower level, turning to strobes, the segment coming to a close with large weeping willow shells.
Part 6 to the music Quiet Village by Martin Denny. Things were back on-track in this segment which opened with whistling serpent cakes, with dahlia comet shells above. Then more whistling serpents with bright dahlia shells above. Next, large cakes of screaming whistles, though I could only see smoke, there were shells above of crossette stars and crackling comets (judging by the sound). More cakes of loud whistles with some sort of glitter comet shells above. The cake barrages increased in size and number, with glitter and salutes, though it was very hard to see anything because of the vast amount of smoke, bringing the segment to a close.
Part 7 to the music Stardust by H. Carmichael. Again some black sky. Then shells of gold glitter comets turning to strobes with crossed ball candles below. Above these, shaped-burst shells making saturns and then shells of slow falling coloured fireflies. Then cakes of dazzling coloured meteor comets and cakes of bright stars. Some more black sky and then ring shells, the segment coming to a close with barrages of gold glitter shells turning to strobes.
Part 8 to the music Circle of Life by Elton John and Tim Rice. The gold glitter to strobe barrages from the previous segment continued for some time, with barrage after barrage. Then huge shells of multiple rings, echoing the theme of the music, and more barrages of gold glitter comet shells. Then enormous shells with pistils and shells which made four-leaf clover patterns and again more enormous shells with pistils. Back to the gold glitter comet shells with huge colour pistil shells above followed by barrages of multi-ring shells and saturn shells. This theme continued, with more multi-ring shells, barrages of smaller rings below (though hard to see in the smoke) and shells of comets turning to strobes above. The segment came to a close with massive barrages of ring and saturn shells.
Part 9 to the music Russian Easter Overture by Rimsky-Korsakov. I didn't take many notes here due to the extreme weather conditions. This final segment began with waterfall shells and then these were followed by kamuros and shells of bright crackling dahlia comets. Next, shells of crossette stars and then barrages of huge shells. As the music became more serene for a time, barrages of shells of slow-falling coloured fireflies. Then shells of rings of tourbillons. As the musical pace increase, barrage after barrage of 12" shells with pistils and shells of crossette comets. The pace increased still further with sky (and smoke) filling barrages of massive shells with pistils, huge titanium salutes, the display finally coming to a close with barrages of salute cakes, which, unfortunately, went from a huge crescendo to fizzling out with odd salutes here and there.
There's a saying which goes something like "an ounce of preparation is
worth a pound of effort". This display was, unfortunately, a classic
proof of that statement. Forgetting the technical problems, which
no doubt will be argued over as to their cause, though it seems they
were not weather related, this was simply an ill-prepared display. Whilst
I was told many different stories, it seems clear that there was no
site plan until day 2 of the setup and none of the product was pre-sorted
as to its final location on the firing ramps. With such a large and
complex site, this approach simply cannot work. And, sadly, it showed.
I feel very sorry for the crews who worked long and hard to get everything
set up as best they could. That said, and it may just have been a lack
of experience, the display itself cannot in all honesty be classed
a pyromusical. Despite using an electronic firing system, there
was poor synchronization and little attempt made at choreography. Just
firing cakes and shells is not sufficient. No use made of the lake,
no attempt made to show-off the precision that electronic firing
systems are capable of. And on top of that, in my opinion, it never
works firing bright colour shells on top of weeping willows or kamuros.
This is a serious international competition which merits carefully
planning and preparation. Perhaps twelve years ago a less rigorous
approach worked, but this is 2002 and the state of the art has advanced
very considerably since then.
Pirotecnia Soldi S.R.L. Artistic director Sergio Soldi, traditional electrical firing
'Pirotecnia Soldi's earliest documents date back to 1869. Their display will be original pieces, carefully handcrafted following Italian traditions dating back more than a century. "This uniqueness allows us to produce original and individual displays composed of numerous items designed differently for each particular occasion", say Sergio and Fulvio Soldi, heirs of the long tradition'
After the torrential downpour earlier in the week, perfect conditions prevailed for this return of the Italian team who'd had such bad luck with the weather in the past. With all the fireworks specially constructed for the display, it promised to be an evening to remember.
Part 1 to the music Aquarius from the Hair soundtrack. The display began with shells in half red and half green comets with a front of mines below. Then shells of silver comets followed by barrages of large shells of comets with blue star pistils. These were followed by crossed charcoal comet candles with blue star candles in between. Above these, shells of blue stars with titanium-laced burst charges. As the candles below continued, more blue star shells with titanium bursts. Next, crossed glitter comet candles with colour comet shells above. These were followed by large multibreak shell-of-shells and sky-mine shells. More and more multibreak shell-of-shells brought the segment to a close with barrages of salutes as well.
Part 2 to the music Soul Vibrations by J Walk. A line of orange-sparked fountains in X shapes lit up along the floating ramp. Then the same in white. Above these, red star shells with a couple of strobe pots in the centre below. Then fans of foutains in three pairs per fan, with a whole line of these along the floating ramp. Above these, shells of comets and strobe stars. Next, more fountain set pieces shaped like a backwards L at the left, an L at the right and an upside-down T on the top - with these replicated along the floating ramp. Above these, shells of bright orange photoflash, and more of the titanium-laced blue shells. The orange photoflash shells continued with another line of fountains below followed by shells of comets turning to strobes. These were followed by mines and multibreak shell-of-shells above, more mines and then shells of colour comets turning to strobes. These were then followed by shells of gold glitter comets with silver starfish comets in, a barrage of these bringing the segment to a close.
Part 3 to the music Let the sunshine in from the Hair soundtrack. A front of mines with stars turning to strobes was followed by star candles in the centre and gold glitter comet candles at the left and right. Then another front of mines with stars turning to strobes and candles aimed horizontally over the lake firing silver comets which skipped across the surface of the water. As these continued, fans of comets were fired from the centre. These were followed by more mine fronts and then multibreak shell-of-shells in gold glitter with tourbillon and star candles below. More mine fronts and multibreak shell-of-shells above and nautic shells bursting out of the lake. This theme continued, the pace increasing with more nautic shells and multibreaks, bringing the segment to a close.
Part 4 to the music Un bel di by Aria. The lake became filled with nautic flares in red as the music became more serene. A line of silver fountains pointing horizontally over the lake opened up as the nautic flares turned into silver fountains. Then a flight of double ascension silver girandolas lifted slowly and majestically into the air. Blue cluster star candles opened up as more flights of girandolas rose into the air, started to fall and then rose up again. The line of silver fountains continued as more girandolas rose up. Then candles of thick crossed silver comets with silver comet shells above. These were followed by brighter crossed thick silver comet candles and more silver comet shells above. Next, huge shells of silver and blue and then blue with gold glitter comets. This theme continued with more and more silver and gold glitter shells and gold glitter and blue shells bringing the segment to a close.
Part 5 to the music Sanza by Cirque du Soleil. The music pace changed and then shells of fabulous charcoal serpents burst into the sky, filling the air with eccentrically spinning and hissing serpents. Barrage after barrage of these was fired, then orange comet shells and then back to the charcoal serpents. These were then replaced by the same, but in silver and augmented by blue sky-mines and more colour comet shells. Next, shells of rings of tourbillons with blue pistils and more of the silver serpents. A line of strobe pots lit up below as more of the silver serpent shells continued above. Then shells of salutes and more sky-mines, the segment coming to a close with shells of serpents, sky-mines and yellow-headed comets.
Part 6 to the music Straight to the Heart by Sina Vadjani. This segment began with two large ring set-pieces in red-flamed silver fountains. Then meteor comet candles straight up at the left and right and in a V in the centre. Next, a line of silver fountains and then a line of fountains in the shape of starfish. These were followed by mines and shells of crackling charcoal comets and then a line of strobe-pots along the floating ramp at one side. The crackling charcoal comet shells continued and were augmented by the same in candles and mines bringing the segment to a close.
Part 7 to the music Onon Mweng by Olivier Shanti. This segment opened with pastel star and whistling candles. Then candles of red-headed meteor silver comets with shells of rings of tourbillons and blue pistils above. Next, multibreak shell-of-shells with tourbillon candles below with star candles and more multibreak shell-of-shells above and ring tourbillon with blue pistil shells. Fronts of mines were followed by nautic shells in the lake with sky-mine shells above and whistling candles below. More mines were followed by gold kamuro shells, trailing to the lake and then more mines and nautic shells. A return to barrages of gold kamuros, bombette mines and more nautic shells. These were followed by larger gold kamuros, with some of the stars ending in strobes as nautic fountains lit up on the lake, the segment coming to a close with a large barrage of gold kamuros trailing all the way to the lake, to cheers from the audience.
Part 8 to the music Tout est bleu by Ame Strong. This segment began with blue cluster star candles with shells of blue stars above. Then shells of gold glitter comets. These were followed by shells of deeper gold glitter comets turning to deep gold strobes and followed by more blue star shells. Next, barrages of large shells of blue stars and gold comets. These were followed by barrage after barrage of multibreak shell-of-shells in blue and blue sky-mines. Then shells of charcoal comets followed by a return to barrages of multibreak shell-of-shells in blue. This theme continued, the segment coming to a close with large volleys of blue multibreak shell-of-shells.
Part 9 to the music Alone by The Amalgamation of Sound. Two strobe-pots lit up in the centre. Then fans of firefly comets from the centre of the control room - which lead to a small fire in some bushes at the side of the display area. Above these firefly comets, shells of strobe stars. These were followed by barrage after barrage of the bright orange photoflash shells, this segment consisting of mainly this theme, save for the end when there were strobe shells above the photoflash shells.
Part 10 to the music Calma by Nova Fronteira. Some technical problems lead to a period of darkness. Then fans of candles in blue and green clusters followed by two fountains in Vs as the music moved seamlessly to:
Part 11 to the music Close Cover by Wim Mertens. Two silver fountains in Vs fired up as a line of bright red flares lit up the back of the display area in this very serene segment. A circle of V-shaped fountains lit up on the top of the control room and then a line of candles firing glittery charcoal and aluminium comets which turned over like a wave and fell to the lake. These were followed by huge gold glitter comet shells with pistils, with barrage after barrage of these. Next, crossette comet candles with the same in shells as well as titanium salutes as the music became less serene. This theme continued and then returned to the gold glitter comet shells with pistils and shells of gold glitter with blue pistils. The segment came to a close with barrages of these large glitter comet and pistil shells.
Part 12 to the music Fable by Robert Miles. This techno music segment began with dazzling white star fans. Above these, bright yellow-headed meteor comet shells with dazzling silver candles below. Then red-headed meteor comet shells, with barrage after barrage. These barrages continued with shells of gold glitter comets with pistils at a high level and salutes below these. As the pace increased, just barrages of salutes were rhythmically fired with an alternating sequence of salute barrages, comet shells, then salutes and then a huge barrage of salutes. The music pace slackened off from this faux finale and moved into
Part 13 to the music Children by Robert Miles. Screaming whistling serpent candles were followed by Then barrages of weeping willow crackling comet shells above. These were then followed by barrages of salute shells more comet shells. The pace started to increase again with salutes at a mid level, rhythmic burst of very intense salutes, large silver comet shells above, then gold glitter, more salutes and titanium salutes. By this point, the music was inaudible but move to:
Part 14 to the music Drifting Away by Faithless. The sky was becoming filled with dazzling silver comets at a high level, silver stars and comets below, continually rhythmic barrages of salutes at a mid level. I was unable to take any more notes at this point due to the fearsome spectacle taking place in the sky. The pace increased further and further with terrifying and deafening barrages of enormous salutes with massive silver comet shells above, the display coming to a thundering close with the sky torn apart by enormous volleys of dazzling and deafening salutes, to cheers from the trembling audience. My final notes just say WOW in very wobbly letters.
This was a very enjoyable display with a stunning finale. Many
beautiful shells, and especially the unique large gold serpent
shells. There was a good variation in rhythm and pace and the
synchronization was excellent for a manually fired show.
The silver girandolas were very elegant, rising
slowly into the air and there were many different types
and colours of fountains used, plus the lake was used
to good effect with the nautic shells, flares and strobes
as well as the water-skipping comets. There were a couple
of technical problems here and there (not due to the Italian
team), where it appeared
that perhaps only half the display area at the front
was being used, but these were very minor and did not
distract from an excellent display. The only criticism
of the magnificent finale was that it was not really
related to the music used, the salute barrages having
their own compelling rhythm and crescendos. But this is
a small criticism only, since the finale was in the
pure Italian tradition that we were hoping to see.
All in all, the strongest of the non-digital shows
with an excellent chance of a position on the
winner's podium. So far, it seems that it will
be Canada and Portugal battling it out for the
#1 spot, with Italy and Japan battling it out
for the final place.
Société Lacroix-Ruggieri, Pyrodigital firing; Show Director choreography
'This company is the foremost European pyrotechnic show design. It is said that its products illuminate more than 8000 fireworks presentations yearly. They were the first pyrotechnician team to be able to literally write in the sky - specifically the figure 2000, during a millennium firework presentation, giving them the name "Sky Painters"'
Perfect weather with low humidy and just enough wind to move the smoke was the setting for this final display in the competition. Using 131 PyroDigital firing modules, this promised to be a well choreographed display. Lacroix-Ruggieri is the oldest fireworks company in Europe with a history dating back to 1739. The display represents the six elements of earth, water, air, fire, love and money.
Introduction to the music Main Titles from the film Planet of the Apes by Danny Elfman. Strobe pots at the back of the display flashed into life as angled mines in the centre fired in perfect note-synchrony in rainbow colours. A narration, explaining the theme of the display then began for a minute or two. When this was over:
Part 1 to the music Bud on the ledge from the film Abyss by A Silvestri. Nautic flares were fired into the lake and cones of rockets climbing into the sky like growing flowers and bursting into slow falling clusters of stars. The flares on the lake became strobes as strobe shells were fired above and then a line of fountains lit up at the back of the display. An alternating sequence of note-synchronized mine fronts and fans of comets from the centre of the display was augmented by kamuro shells above. Then candles of charcoal comets with fireflies and barrages of charcoal comets turning to silver in shells above, with thick comet fans in the centre below as the music moved to:
Part 2 to the music Main Titles from the film Waterworld by J. N. Howard. Screaming serpent candles and weeping willow bombettes were followed by mines in thick bushy pale gold charcoal/aluminium comets with the same in shells above. Then larger kamuro shells with the stars trailing to the lake and then more mines. Flights of rockets bursting to charcoal comets were followed by large kamuro shells with big pistils, with repeated barrages of these and some brighter bombettes below as the music moved to:
Part 3 to the music Suil a Ruin from Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance by R. Hardiman. Star candles with star bombettes above were augmented by rising tail shells bursting to star-headed comets. Below these, fans of comets in the centre and then rising tail shells bursting to broccade. The comet fans in the centre continued with rising tail shells bursting to kamuros with pistils above. This theme continued for the rest of the segment.
Part 4 to the music from the film The Brotherhood of the Wolf by J. LoDuca. Screaming serpent candles were followed by shells of bright orange. Then shells of glitter comets, then the bright orange shells at a lower level. This alternating sequence continued and then was augmented by a barrage of titanium salutes. Back to the orange shells, with the glitter comet shells interspersed and then a return to the screaming serpent candles. Above these, bombettes in colour, comets and with crackle. Flights of rockets burst to bright stars as bright lemon-yellow mines fired below. Large cones of rockets thrust into the sky bursting into bright colour clusters, like huge bunches of flowers and were followed by silver comet shells above. Then candles of bright lemon-headed comets with fans of comets in the centre and a huge barrage of titanium salutes, bringing the segment to a close.
Part 5 to the music Allumer le feu(live) by J. Hallyday. Sky-mines, some bursting rather low, began this segment. Then candles of charcoal comets with fireflies were followed by large mines in the centre of pale silver comets turning to deep red stars with crossette comets in as well. Note-synchronized mines were followed by tourbillon ring shells. These were followed by candles of meteor crossette comets and then more note-synchronized mines with more of the tourbillon ring shells with pistils above. The meteor crossette comet candles continued as the sequence repeated with more note-synchronized mines with double ring tourbillon shells with pistils above. The segment came to a close with huge double ring tourbillon shells with deep blue pistils.
Part 6 to the music On Sacred Ground by Yanni. A line of gold glittery fountains angled over the lake opened up this serene segment. Gold glitter comets fired from the left then the right will weeping willow bombettes above. Then gold glitter comets firing up with pale gold broccade shells above as crossed gold glitter comet candles opened up below. More weeping willow bombettes with gold glitter comets from the centre and weeping willow shells with trunks. Next glitter charcoal/aluminium comet mines fired at angles over the lake, with the stars trailing to the waver in perfect note synchronization. Behind these, shells of whizzers and then colour mines in note synchronization. Weeping willow shells with trunks continued and then blue-headed meteor comets fired up from the centre with mixed mixed colour shells adding to the weeping willows still being fired. Colour bombettes and glitter comet bombettes were augmented by broccade shells above. This theme continued and then thick comets were fired from left and right with rising tail shells bursting to kamuros above. The left and right comets continued and were added to by bombettes of bees. This theme continued and then a flight of gold girandolas rose into the air as more of the angled mines of charcoal/aluminium comets trailed their stars into the lake as a final flight of double ascension girandolas took off, bringing the segment to a close.
Part 7 to the music Fallen Embers by Enya. A ring of fountains in the centre lit up as clusters of crossed firefly charcoal comets fired into the air. Then strobe mines in note synchronization and bright flash-burst colour bombettes. Above these, barrages of shells of strobes and multi-break shell-of-shells of the same, filling the air with falling flashing stars.
Part 8 to the music Main Titles from the film Planet of the Apes by Danny Elfman. Fast cakes of white tourbillons were followed by the large mines in the centre of pale silver comets turning to deep red stars with crossette comets. Above these, shells of comets turning to red and silver and shells of rings of tourbillons. These continued with red mines in the centre below and then a line of fountains. Mines of crackling strobes lit up and were followed by dazzling star mines with bright crossette comet shells above and dazzling mines in silver and lemon-yellow below. More crossette comet shells and shells of rings of tourbillons were followed by large silver crossette comet shells. This theme continued, the segment coming to a close with barrages of huge glitter comet to silver star shells.
Part 9 to the music Race to Old New York from the film Final Fantasy by E. Goldenthal. A line a blue flares lit up the back of the display area. Flights of silver girandolas rose up and burst into stars. Then another flight of these with blue-headed meteor comet cakes. Then mines of fabulous deep blue stars and gold glitter with the same in shells above. Then the same in bombettes as well and with mines and shells, the segment coming to a close with a huge shell of blue turning to green.
Part 10 to the music The Feeling Begins from the film The Last Temptation of Christ by Peter Gabriel. Thick bushy comet mines fired in the centre with note-synchronized angled mines in alternating glitter and bright pink moved along the floating ramp. Fan comets fired from the centre were followed by broccade shells and then silver comet shells. Back to barrages of broccade shells, then silver comets and then back to the alternating glitter and pink mines with a return to silver comet shells above. The synchronized mines continued, with shells above, the segment coming to a close with sky-mines.
Part 11 to the music The treason of Isengard from the film Lord of the Rings by H. Shore. Rockets bursting to weeping willows and gold glitter were immediately followed by a line of horizontal spinning rings along the floating ramp shooting stars up as they spun. Above these, bombettes in colour aimed over the lake. Then mines of blue stars and then also in shells. Fans of comets in the centre were followed by kamuro shells above, more comet fans in the centre and then gold glitter shells. Below these, bombettes of crackle with colour shells above, this theme continuing for the rest of the segment.
Part 12 to the music May it be by Enya. Bright flash pots emphasized the sound of a heartbeat very effectively. Then red flares lit up on the roof in the centre with dazzling crossed meteor comet candles. Behind these, girandolas burning red with silver sparks rose into the air and burst into stars. The crossed meteor comet candles continued and were followed by bombettes of strobes with strobe shells above. Meteor comets candles firing out over and above the lake were augmented by strobe bombettes from the centre as more colour girandolas rose up as bright red bombettes fired below. Then a repeating sequence of bright lemon mines, bombettes and shells in deep red. More red star shells and then several shells of lines of red stars on parachutes (see later), to cheers from the crowd. These were followed by silver crossette comet shells and shells of comets with blue pistils. Flights of rockets bursting to crackle were followed by mines of salutes, bringing the segment to a close.
Part 13 to the music Suerte by Shakira. Bright lemon-yellow shells with salutes and salute candles below were followed by shells of blue and yellow and then shells of dazzling lemon-yellow comets. Then mines of huge electric comets with blue stars as well and shells of silver comets above. More of the mines of huge electric comets with blue shells above and shells of glitter. Shell barrages continued and then huge multibreak shell-of-shells of blue stars. Then the same in gold glitter, then in blue and then in deep red and then in crossed silver comets. Mines of crackle were followed by crossette candles and then screaming whistling serpents with blue shells above. These were followed by silver kamuros and large shells of silver comets. The pace increased as huge salvos of salutes were fired, with salute candles, massive shells of dazzling silver comets, an enormous barrage of large salutes, more and more dazzling silver comets, the display coming to a close with huge numbers of salutes and a massive silver crossette comet shell.
This was a fantastic display. The material used was fabulous with amazing colours,
especially the deep blues, reds and lemon-yellows. Great rocket cones too. The
synchronization was flawless and worked really well with the music, which was
also well-chosen. The display was very artistic with a strong theme running
throughout. However, I was surprised more use wasn't made of the lake, with
just a few nautic flares and somehow there just weren't quite enough
exciting moments in the display, save for the finale. These are but small criticisms though.
The main question will be whether the use of parachute shells causes
disqualification. My guess is that these shells were probably mis- or confusingly
labeled Chinese shells: I think that red falling leaves were what was
intended at this point since the French team are well aware of the "no parachutes"
rule. It would be a tragedy if this error removed them from a sure place
on the winner's podium.
The competition had a promising line-up, with a couple of new comers and some old favourites. However, like last year, there was a split between firing systems used with three traditional electrical and five computerized systems. And, assuming that there are no disqualifications, the winners will almost certainly be from the computerized system users.
When the weather was good, it was really good. On the one time it was bad, it was really bad. Despite dismal weather during the day, the opening show was fired under dry conditions. The rest of the displays all had pretty much perfect setup conditions. All the displays had dry firing conditions, save for the torrential rains before and during the first half of the American display. I can report, though, that the weather does not, in my opinion, alter the final result.
This was a year with both tradition, innovation and a severe break with tradition. First, I will talk about the break with tradition and will openly criticise La Ronde for changing the format of the fireworks evenings. This is a serious issue since atmosphere and antipication are a very important aspect of the spectacle. The tradition used to be like this:
- Salute fired
- Chariots of Fire plays
- Lap of honour around the lake for the pyrotechnicians to the music "Winter" by David Foster
- The esteemed Michel Lacroix introduces the pyrotechnicians to music from the film 1492 by Vangelis
- Michel reads an interesting press release concerning the display
- Team's national anthem played
- Salute fired
- Fifteen minutes of atmospheric Vangelis music until 10 seconds before show time
- Michel counts down from 10 in his inimitable style, perfectly preparing the audience for the display
- 22:00 Display starts
This year, we had a dismal succession of radio announcers as part of a simulcast broadcast, interspersed with adverts, a brief lap of honour, introduction and national anthem. Half the time the opening salute was fired in the middle of an advert. Then an interminable mix of music and adverts until just before showtime. Finally, some incredibly feeble attempts at the countdown, many times not even starting at ten, with no authority or style whatsoever. This is fine for radio broadcasts, but, please, the people on-site at La Ronde deserve better than this. Would theatre goers who'd paid for seats expect to listen to dismal adverts, feeble banter and generally distracting nonsense before a performance of a symphony? I think not. And neither should the amateurs de feux d'artifice at La Ronde be subjected to such nonsense either.
As to tradition, we had a couple of displays which were very much in the traditional fireworks with music style. Unfortunately, the state of the art of the pyromusical has advanced considerably in the last ten years and these type of displays very rarely compete effectively with the more modern approaches, save when they are presented by Master of Fire such as the Spanish and Italians.
Finally, to innovation. The Portuguese "ring" was truly innovative. Click here for a couple of daylight photos, kindly supplied by Vitor Machado. Also innovative, in both the Portuguese and Japanese shows, but differently implemented, was the effect of breaking waves over the lake.
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"). Where there is an asterix, it
means my notes for the finale were mainly summarized by the
word WOW in big wobbly letters.
|Japan||PyroDigital & ShowDirector||
Excellent theme and artistic design. Innovative wave-breaking mine sequence. Perfect synchronization. Some fantastic product used with interesting bright-orange crackling stars. Use of colours perfectly reflected the Four Seasons theme. Nice variation of rhythm and pace, though the exciting finale did not really fit into the theme of the rest of the display. Could just squeak into third place depending if France is disqualified .
|Portugal||PyroDigital & ShowDirector||
Very innovative display with the use of the fabulous ring. Fabulous product, especially the many different types of glittering comets. Also used an interesting wave-breaking sequence. Almost perfect synchronization, especially on the ring. Good variation of rhythm and pace, though perhaps not the most fluid of themes. Very exciting finale. Guaranteed to be a winner.
Very traditional "candles and shells" display. Not a very clear theme and only moderately good synchronization, though some parts were very well done. A good effort for the debutants, but not at a high enough level to be a winner.
Fairly good synchronization for a manual show. Lots of beautiful product used, particularly the kamuros and crackling shells. Some good variation in rhythm and pace, though some of the music edits were too abrupt. A good traditional display, though, again, not a very evident theme.
|Canada||FireOne & ScriptMaker||
Very well designed and seamlessly choreographed complex display. Perfect synchronization. Best use of the lake of any display this year, with fantastic 8" nautical shells. Slick transistions between music tracks and lots of beautiful Spanish product used. Good choice of music and a coherent theme throughout. Very exciting finale. A good variation in rhythm and pace but just a tad more dynamics would have made it perfect. The best Ampleman display ever seen in Montreal. Guaranteed a winner.
It is difficult to fairly sum up this display since the hard-working crew just did not have enough time to set up the display. Lack of planning really was severely evident. Very bad luck with the weather due to the lack of wind to remove smoke from the excessive number of cakes used. Unfortunately, despite using a computerized firing system, no synchronization was evident and it was more of a "big fireworks with music" approach. Suffered from some technical problems which were more exacerbated by the lack of time rather than the bad weather. Sad to say, not a serious contender.
Well themed and artistically executed display. Excellent synchronization for a manually fired show. Good variation in rhythm and pace and good use made of the lake. Beautiful product of all types and a stunning pure Italian finale. The best of the traditionally fired displays by far. Could squeeze out Japan if France is disqualified.
|France||PyroDigital & ShowDirector|
Very strongly themed display, artistically designed and flawlessly executed. Fabulous colours and lots of beautiful product used. Best use of rockets in the competition and interesting girandolas. A bit more use could have been made of the lake. Perfect synchronization and good music choices to highlight this perfection. Good choice of music which went very well with the theme. Fair variation in rhythm and pace but a few higher dynamics would have been appreciated, there being missing a certain oomph in places. A winner for sure, if there is no disqualification for the parachute shells used.
The top three displays this year are easy to determine,
assuming no disqualifications, though there are a couple
of displays which are also deserving of a podium position.
It is easy to say which won't. At the back of the pack, the United
States, followed, considerably ahead, by Belgium. Then Austria a way
ahead of Belgium.
The US display cannot be called a serious entry in the competition.
The Belgian display was too traditional for the high level of
such a competition, but allowance must be made for the fact they
were debutants. The Austrian display was very good, but not at
high enough level to be within site of the podium.
The Japanese display was very artistic and well executed but
not quite enough oomph to make it in my opinion. The Italian display
certainly had the oomph and will make it if France is disqualified.
The top three displays are clearly France, Canada and Portugal.
How to determine the order? Music alone carries 25% of the
marks so I think this might be the determining factor.
Overall concept also carries 25% and Portugal must get top marks
here because of the ring. But France and Canada were also
strongly themed and will both do well here as well. For pure
pyrotechnics, all three had fabulous product, but Canada
stands out as having the best use of nautical shells, Portugal
the best variations in comets and France the best colours.
So it is all very close. For music, I liked all three, but
in different ways. France was good, but it was the most
memorable because it was the most recent. So it's hard to
judge. I'm going to make two sets of predictions, in case
France is disqualified for the parachute shells.
Paul's jury predictions - no disqualification
- Gold Jupiter - Portugal
- Silver Jupiter - Canada
- Bronze Jupiter - France
Paul's jury predictions - France disqualified
- Gold Jupiter - Portugal
- Silver Jupiter - Canada
- Bronze Jupiter - Italy
Paul's personal choice
- Gold Jupiter - Portugal
- Silver Jupiter - Canada
- Bronze Jupiter - France
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 - Société Lacroix-Ruggieri, France
- Silver Jupiter - Luso Pirotecnia, Portugal
- Bronze Jupiter - Ampleman Pyrotechnie, Canada
Thanks to the public relations people of La Ronde for the official
press release material, shown in white.