Godzilla music was used for the Canadian entry for HSBC Celebration of Light Vancouver fireworks competition on Wednesday July 23.
I sat in front of Kitsilano pool along the sea wall, as the “radio warning” told citizens that the city was under attack, and to stay indoors. It was exciting. Radio stations all day had been saying that Godzilla movie soundtrack music would be used by the Canadian fireworks entry Archangel Fireworks for the HSBC Celebration of Light.
I brought my big boom box because music on a good speaker system is important for a good synchronized fireworks show. I am constantly surprised by the numbers of people who don't bring music. At English Bay Beach, the sound delay is frustrating if you are further away from the speakers, because it the synched-up sequences are all delayed.
We marvelled at the synchronizaton of the opening music… were the the single chords supposed to be foot steps? As a single burst of light timed with each chord? Cool…
Was the Godzilla monster approaching? What was happening? Were there airplanes attacking the monster or ground troops when the march type music came on?
The music left me empty… it was hard to relate to if you didn't know the story.'
Maybe I should have printed out the program from the website that listed some of the song titles such as
- Godzilla Rises from the Sea
- Mechagodzilla 2
- Monster Battle March
- Giant Bees
- Storm Over the Sea
- The Giant Crab
The program left a lot to the imagination, and I was yearning for something that could connect more emotionally with the audience. I imagined what the fireworks would be like if Star Wars music had been used, or a James Bond score.
My favorite fireworks music has often been classical. Familiar stuff like William Tell overture (Lone Ranger Theme), Sabre Dance, 1812 Overture. I started imagining what the fireworks would be like if they based the theme on the movie Fantasia with Bach's Tocatta in D Minor or Beethoven's 5th Symphony, or Dukas' Sorcerer's Apprentice.
A good fireworks event should not only have good choreography and synchronization, it should have music that the audience can relate to emotionally. I can remember years ago listening to China's first fireworks presentation with Chinese music… which was generally lost on a non-Chinese audience. The attention wanders… and the audience is lost. China's program this year will feature a wide diversity of music, some with Asian themes, some by Western artists.
But the best part of the music was the final sequence… sort of a traditional feel-good romantic fan-fare where good conquers evil and all the people in the city are saved. After the fire works were over, a lot of people around us thanked us for bringing the portable stereo.
Too bad the Godzilla music fizzled. It started off so promising…