Le Mondial SAQ 2004
Montréal International Fireworks Competition Report
Germany Saturday July 24th, 2004 Eau de Cologne
Weco Pyrotechnische Fabrik [Gold Jupiter, 2000], designed by Georg Alef, music specially composed by Günter Hässy; FireOne firing, ScriptMaker choreography; ~70 Firing modules and ~2000 cues
The German firm Weco, based in Eitorf, near Cologne, was founded in 1948 by Hermann Weber. Previous participation in the Montréal International Fireworks Competition has won this company a Gold Jupiter in 2000, a Silver Jupiter in 1997 and a Bronze Jupiter in 1996. Its pyromusical odyssey "Eau de Cologne", is an invitation to discover in music and images the majesty and exceptional character of Cologne and Montréal, two wonderful multicultural metropolises that boast hundreds of years of history and customs.
Once again, perfect, though slightly cool, weather was the setting for the final entrant in this year's 20th anniversary competition, making it a year unspoiled by rain or wind. Two large cranes had been called into service to suspend a large waterfall and the outline of Köln Cathedral. A stage, floating in the lake, had also been added for the Junge Sinfonie Köln (Youth Symphony Orchestra of Cologne) so they could give a live performance of Günter Hässy's specially commisioned symphonic poem for the display - a unique event in the history of the competition. A capacity crowd was present to witness this unique spectacle.
Part 1 to music Fireworks Fanfare composed and conducted by Günter Hässy and performed by the Junge Sinfonie Köln. The display began with a line of crossed comets as a set piece spelling out "Eau de Cologne" lit up along the front of ramp three. As this burned, fans of firefly comets with silver kamuro shells above and then shells of white strobes. Next, fans of meteor-headed comets and shells of the same above, followed by red shell-of-shells. Then cakes of silver comets with barrages of red shells above, breaking large and low followed by fans of comets on ramp 5 and then mine fans of ramp 5. This theme continued, in perfect synchronization to the music, with large shells breaking above and then sequenced multibreak shells and mines of strobes on ramp 5, a thematic pause coming with a shell-of-shells of strobe stars.
Part 2 to music Galeane Overture composed and conducted by Günter Hässy and performed by the Junge Sinfonie Köln A short narration introduced the display as a line of white flares lit on ramp 3. Then mines burst from ramp 5 as girandolas rose into the air behind. Above these, shells of multi-colour stars. Then as the orchestra played a glissando on the harp, a note-sequenced line of stars crossed on ramp 3. This continued as shells burst above and was followed by large shells of blue stars and white comets. A flight of double-ascension girandolas rose into the air, then fell, then rose again as fans of charcoal comets fired on ramp 4. Above these, large farfalle shells. Then candles of blue-headed crossed gold glitter with crackle augmented by the same in cakes as large shells of blue crossing-stars burst above. This theme continued and then cakes of go-getter comets and cakes of blue stars with more shells of blue crossing-stars above. These were followed by shells of firefly comets with the same in candles below and then shells of tourbillons. Low angled red-headed comet fans on ramp five fired left and right as fans of crackling bombette cakes fired and were then augmented by larger cakes of silver crossette comets. Fans of mines of ramp three and then sequenced comet fans were augmented by shells of silver crossette comets above. Then three sets of triple mine fans on ramp 3 followed by shells of triple rings above. These continued and were augmented by shells of really thick pale gold comets and then a return to the silver crossette comet shells. Angled comet shots to the left and right were followed by shells of large spinning tourbillons and shells of serpents. These were followed by remarkable shells bursting into butterfly shapes in comets that then wiggled. This theme was repeated several times, particularly the butterfly shells. A return to fans of mines on ramp three and then sky-mines of fast-strobing strobes with crossed comets below. Barrage after barrage of the fast-strobing star mines were followed by shells of firefly comets turning to strobes. These were followed by a flight of double-ascension gold girandolas and then by fans of bright meteor stars on ramp three augmented by cakes of silver crossettes above these. Next, cakes of stars with crackle with shells of comets above and then cakes of silver comets and blue stars. Huge shells of comets and blue stars burst above and were followed by a barrage of titanium salutes. Then massive shells of kamuros with pistil, trailing to the lake and then huge weeping willows. These were followed by shells of yellow comets and then shells with red pistils surrounded by serpents. This theme continued and then volleys of very large blue shells. Fans of mines on ramp three were followed by huge multibreak shell-of-shells bursting to blue stars and gold strobes.
Part 3 to music Schlaraffe Overture, composed for the 50th anniversary of Weco by Günter Hässy and performed by the Junge Sinfonie Köln, Günter Hässy conducting. A ring of vertical red lances in three on poles on the top of ramp 4 lit up as a short narration introduced the next section. Mines and comets on ramp three were followed by "Z" cakes of colour stars with each wave a different colour of the rainbow. As these fired, shells of yellow comets fired above. The Z cakes continued and then were augmented by cakes of bombettes with fans of stars on ramp 4 and comet shots also. Low angled meteor-headed shots from left and right, first in red and then in yellow were followed by cakes of salutes and crackling stars and colour with shells of comets and glitter above. Then very fast cakes of deep blue stars, augmented by silver comet fans and then meteor-headed comet fans as the blue cakes continued. Above these, remarkable shells of go-getters which turned into gold waterfalls. Next, fans of red, blue and green stars and then fans of crossed glitter comets. These were augmented by bombettes of gold broccade. These continued and increased in number as barrages of shells of broccade turning to blue tips fired above. These continued and increased in number also. Then star shots angled to the left and right with green stars shooting straight up from cakes. Then silver meteor comets were added into the mix as the left and right angled star shots continued with the green vertical stars and and now cakes of crackle. Above these, sky-mines of crackling comets. Suddently, very thick and high silver comets at the left and right rising vertically and the same at angles from the left and right and meeting at an apex in the middle. These bright comets continued and then were augmented by silver comet shells above and then huge double ring farfalled shells with blue pistils. Next, barrages of shells of rings of comets and then red rings and then silver rings. This theme continued and was followed by crossed silver star candles with cakes firing bright red stars vertically. Above these, shells of meteor comets and candles of crossette stars below. These were followed by gold weeping willow shells and then shells of pale blue as the crossette star cakes continued below. Next, charcoal comets with fireflies in cakes and shells of gold flash. Gold strobes lit up in vertical lines of three on ramp three and four and turned whiter. Then shells of strobes and shells of gold flashes above augmented by sky-mines of very fast strobing stars and more shells of the gold flash stars. This theme continued with more gold flash shells and sky-mines of fast pink strobes. Next angled star shots left and right and fans of stars. Then shells of broccade comets turning to strobes, with barrages of these. These were followed by shells of tourbillons and gold strobes and then massive triple-ring farfalle shells in gold, this theme continuing and coming to an end with shells of tourbillons and gold strobes.
Part 4 to music Canadian Overture composed specially for this display by Günter Hässy and performed by the Junge Sinfonie Köln, Günter Hässy conducting. A short narration with a line of flares and then several vertical circles lit up in the lake and started to rotate about a vertical axis in the water driven by gold sparks. Then shells of double rings of salutes (siatene shells). These were interspersed with weeping willow shells and then more double-ring salute shells. Back to weeping willows in threes with fans of stars below and more double-ring siatene shells. A line of bright silver wheels lit up on ramp 3, with a line of silver cakes behind and then red stars as well with shells of silver above. These were followed by candles of blue stars and comets with shells of blue above and the same in mines. Crossed stars left and right were followed by more large farfalle shells and then shells of weeping willow ending in silver, trailing to the lake. Meteor comet fans angled left and right were followed by fans of crossed glitter and then low rising comet cakes with stars on ramp three. As these cakes fired, shells of broccade fired above, with more and more and then with pistils. A return to the huge weeping willows turning to silver as they trailed to the lake and then nautic fountains hissed to life in the lake. Then sky mines in silver kamuro waterfalls with barrage after barrage of these filling the sky followed by shells of red strobes. Below these, note-sequenced comets with multibreak shells above. Larger nautic fountains had lit up in the lake as well. Then a flight of silver girandolas and cakes of serpents and double-ended tourbillons. Above these, barrages of very large red shells. The outline of the Köln Cathedral lit up in bright orange lances (a few didn't light unfortunately). Above this, shells of crackle with crackling pistils and then shells of pale broccade. The same in sky-mine waterfall shells and more shells of crackle with crackling pistils. Barrage after barrage of glittering sky-mine waterfalls were followed by blasts from below of screaming serpents and then shell-of-shells of strobe stars. Meteor comet fans on ramp three were followed by more shell-of-shells of strobes and then silver kamuros at a high level. The massive high waterfall suspended above the still-burning outline of Köln Cathedral burst to life and trailed sparks all the way to the ground, forming a silver curtain of fire as the music incorporated the theme from "Oh Canada". Then shells of gold flash stars as the waterfall continued and a move into barrages of gold broccade. The pace increased with more and more barrages of broccade with multi-break shell-of-shells of the same and barrages of titanium salutes and a finale barrages of some massive chest-thumping salutes (surely from IPON!) as huge kamuro and broccade shells trailed to the lake, to cheers from the audience.
This was a fabulous display where the music and fireworks were in perfect harmony.
The range of effects used was very wide and the music had all sorts of familar themes,
from English Hornpipes to French folk tunes to "Oh Canada", emphasizing the multi-cultural
nature of Montreal and Köln. Synchronization was especially impressive considering
the music was played live. There were one or two dead moments but nothing to
worry about though I did spot the wrong shell in the wrong place a couple of times
and a few shells fired after the end of the display. These minor criticisms apart, this
was truly a very special display. Regardless of the outcome of the competition,
we were fortunate enough to witness a unique spectacle and the team from Weco
deserve hearty congratulations for pulling it off so well. I took 42 pages of notes -
a good indication of the complexity - so I hope I did the display justice.
Thanks to the public relations people of La Ronde for the official
press release material, shown in white.