Reports Book Forum Photos Information Links

Le Mondial SAQ 2002
Montréal International Fireworks Competition Report

Japan The Four Seasons June 15th, 2002

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.


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