I don’t want to influence your imagination while you experience “Flying” but I will share how I experience it. When I was a kid, I was obsessed with the idea of being able to fly. I even tried to build a helicopter and then an airplane. These projects were failures but it didn’t stop my imagination. I imagined soaring high above the trees and then climbing higher through the cloud layer and finally above the clouds with a rocket pack that I had created.
So for me, this piece is about a boy who realized his dreams and successfully created a rocket pack after months of work. In the opening section of the piece, I picture the boy going to his barn early in the morning before the sun has come out from behind the hills somewhere in rural Indiana where I’m from. A fog has drifted across the fields of the farm from the surrounding forest. Inside the barn, he lifts the tarp off of his prized possession, a creation that is the culmination of months of hard work and much trial and error. Today is the day to finally take his rocket pack on its first flight. After filling fluids and checking levels, he straps it to his back and walks out to the field behind the barn. The stars are still out but a hint of sunlight is glowing pink and purple in the horizon. Now standing in the middle of the field he starts to realize the implications of what he is about to do. Though he was filled with anticipation only moments before, he is now flooded with feelings of fear and doubt. No one has ever done this before. This is really dangerous. What if he crashes at takeoff or the gas tank explodes or something else goes wrong in mid-flight? But his dream is just too powerful for his faith to be overcome by this momentary uncertainty. He starts up the rocket pack, takes a deep breath… and begins his extraordinary flight.
Now let the music tell the rest of the story.
- Piano part and Performance Accompaniment Track
- Full Orchestra Version
- Symphonic Band Version
If you are interested in any of these, send me an email and I will put a rush on it.