Choreographing and firing a fireworks display to live music is one of the most exciting and challenging parts of being a pyrotechnician. Working with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on a major event like the London Borough of Newham’s Under the Stars concert series is a real thrill and honour for any firework display designer.
The Classical night of the Under the Stars series is the final night of a 4 nights of great free music in the Borough’s Central Park, and the choreographed firework display is a hugely popular climax to the whole programme. We liaise closely with the Council, the RPO and the event production team before the event, contributing our thoughts to the music selection for the firework pieces. We also suggested the incorporation of close proximity pyrotechnics, fired from a raised platform immediately behind the stage. This provided highly visible “hit points” to enhance key moments in the music, and one musically trained member of our firing team was responsible for firing these effects, independently of the main show. Glenn Plume: “The cherry picker pyro added a real element of surprise for the audience, and made the choreography between music and fireworks much more precise just at the moments when the music really demanded it.”
The main show itself also requires a good knowledge of firework material and behaviour. We know that it can be windy at this venue, and the prevailing wind is towards the audience,” says Glenn Plume “The firework display takes place in Central Park, which is in a residential area of the London Borough of Newham, with houses and roads fairly close on 3 sides, and the huge stage and backstage area on the fourth side. You have to be sensible and choose your fireworks carefully to make sure that the fireworks are both visible above the stage but not so big that you can’t fire them safely if the wind blows. Add to that the need to choose fireworks that complement each movement in the music, and designing a great display becomes a real 3D puzzle with many factors to consider – it’s a great challenge and keeps us on our toes!”
“A fantastic fireworks display” Newham Cultural Services website.
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