Based on the book of the same title by Richard Bach, Illusions encourages us to take hold of our hidden potentials – that everything we need is already inside of us. Divided into three movements, 'Donald Shimoda, a Mechanic in Indiana,' 'Flying' and 'Miracles & Revelations,' "Illusions" perfectly captures the spirit of the story.
Genre: Band | # of Players: Standard
Level: 4 | Duration: 15:30
Bb Clarinet 1
Bb Clarinet 2
Bb Clarinet 3
Bb Bass Clarinet
Eb Contrabass Clarinet
Timpani (4 drums)
Percussion (snare drum, bass drum, tambourine)
Bells, Vibraphone, Marimba
Cymbals (crash cymbals, suspended cymbal, triangle)
In 1993, I attended a workshop where Eugene Corporon shared his ideas on performance and life from a book by Richard Bach called "Illusions." Mr. Corporon's talk gave me some ideas about where I was as a young conductor and how I was in a position to change the world. However, shamefully, I did not read Bach's book until 1996. After reading the text I was inspired to take hold of my hidden potentials. I began magnetizing what I wanted in my life and what I did not need. This caused some broken relationships with people that seemed to sidetrack me on my way to success. I re-read Illusions in 2001 as I graduated from the University of North Texas where I studied conducting with Mr. Corporon, a truly unforgettable experience.
In 2002, Andrew Trachsel wanted to commission a new band piece. I decided after my experiences to set impressions of Illusions and so here is the birth of a new work. The piece is based on impressions rather than exact storytelling elements.
I. Donald Shimoda, a Mechanic in Indiana
Contains my first amazement at the simplicity of this text. Donald (the Messiah) is captured in a flood of both man and nature. He vanishes and then quickly reappears in the world of Richard Bach, a barnstorming pilot.
Bach sets the book in his world of free airplane rides and barnstorming. His mysterious friend flies an outdated beautiful plane that seems bug-free. It is here that Shimoda cures a disabled person and the crowd begins to build in wonderment. Similar to crowds of early Christian believers, the Messiah is admired and then mobbed and soon to be put to death. Richard escapes in the very last measure of this movement. Richard flees and lands in a field 100 miles away.
III. Miracles & Revelations
Richard, believing he is safe from the mob, is soon startled by the sound of the old plane flown by Shimoda. it is here that truly inspiring thoughts are presented in the Messiah Handbook. Richard begins to realize his own destiny is in his hands and that we are all, as Donald, our own Messiah. Richard learns to poof clouds and to magnetize a blue feather. Donald once again finds his imminent demise is approaching and leaves Richard on his own to figure out his own life ... after all, it is all illusions.
- Jim Colonna