Illuminata - Music & Pyrotechnics

​​Illuminata was a show combining live music, dance performances, fire sculptures and pyrotechics into a hour long audience event. It was performed at the Venetsialaiset ('Venetian Carneval') in Kokkola, Central Ostrobothnia in Finland, 2017. ​​In all, about 60 persons, including designers, builders, dancers and singers were working in the production. By estimates several thousand persons saw the show. Show design by Teemu Haapaniemi (music, script) and Sami Tammi (concept, pyro design). Fire sculptures by Fýr Romu.

Fire Sculpture Design

For the show, about a dozen fire sculptures were needed to tell the history of the Kokkola town (chartered 1620) in a hour-long sequence. The fire narrative was to visually support the music and songs. One sculpture was made to burn for 10-15 minutes. The igniters were programmed to the special effects computer, but launch was manual as the exact pace of the live action was not controllable. Some sculptures has additional pyrotechincal effects, as the cannon. The most complex run was for the sailing ship sculpture, which was assembled on a raft, remotely ignited and tugged along the river on a cable line.

Specification and practical issues

The sculptures needed to be large to be convincing to the audience away at the safety line, but transportable with a stardard truck. Size gives statelines to fire art, so the pieces were designed to be 3 to 4 meters in size. The frames needes to be sturdy enough to be self-standing, to hold the stone wool soaked with fuel - and not to bend when hot. Weight was important, as the units needed to be moved and erected and on the field. The sculptures are designed to be reusable, making the ecological strain smaller. All sculptures were armed with 4-6 pyrotechnic ignition units for each,as in a live show the operation must be extremely reliable.

Original designs for the scultures

Test sample and the final products

The Show

It´s difficult to turn a live show into a meaningless video, but here you can see some video clips about Illuminata and there are more on YouTube. The event was quite a success, with many Ostrobothnian area newspapers writing positively. Also, on the links on right you can listen to the music by composer Teemu Haapaniemi and read one witness story about it.

The complete story told by the fire sculptures: