Photography by Angelo Caruana
This was another impressive year for the Mount Carmel Pyrotechnic team of Żurrieq. A year you could say culminated on Saturday, July 26th, when Malta’s nighttime skies above Żurrieq filled with intensely bright colors and a creative intermix of innovative pyrotechnic effects.
Actually, July 26th was a genuine night of firsts for the company. This because for the very first time, ALL of the stars used in the display shells were made of a combination of magnalium*, Phenolic resin** and were PVB-bound***. This new processing technique was based entirely on formulas developed by Mount Carmel’s lead factory pyrotechnician during the last five years. Whereas stars of this sort are not really new to the creation of high-end professional fireworks, it was the first time stars like these had been formulated in this way for use in classic Maltese cylindrical shells. Fortunately, the night they were fired, a moderate southeasterly breeze kept smoke interference to a bare minimum, and the true intensity of these phenomenal colors created using this technique were easily visible.
Żurrieq’s Angelo Caruana took some wonderful photographs accurately capturing these newly created colorful stars. Notice how exquisite the greens are, as well as the reds, yellows, blues, lime colors, purples, oranges, whites and silver. Inadvertently, this processing technique has given rise to perhaps the finest multi-petal 8-inch colored shells created in Malta all summer.
It was a big year for pyrotechnic choreography as well, with the introduction of a wonderfully unique novelty in the form of two “Hanabi” towers. These two, 98-foot tall structures (lighted at their base and easily discernable in photo #5 showing them as they stand straight up, situated 100 meters apart at both ends of the firing field) can then be used to showcase an unprecedented number of intricate effects set to music. In this case, over 1200 single shots—shot in just three minutes at various angles and configurations—were fired to the music of the “Can-Can.” The splendor, intensity and intricacy of using these two towers to launch choreographed fireworks displays is destined to create endless possibilities for the art of pyrotechnics on the islands. These towers regularly feature carbon tail comets, strobe matrix comets, metal-fuelled colored comets as well as flash pots and mines.
In addition to the unique tower displays, spectators who viewed this show were treated to over 20 minutes of pyrotechnic magic as a multitude of prime quality shells and ground effects were fired, all of them perfectly choreographed to the Music by John Miles, “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen, “Let it Go” from Disney’s “Frozen” and a finale using large caliber shells set to the tune of Avicii’s “Wake Me Up”.
*Magnalium is an aluminium alloy made with magnesium and small amounts of copper, nickel, and tin.
**Phenolic resins are most often used in the production circuit boards.
*** PVB is actually Polyvinyl butyral and is a resin usually used for applications that require strong binding, optical clarity or adhesion to different surfaces. It is known for its toughness and flexibility
For those who would like to watch any of the displays described in this article, We have the video’s right here!