Rudess told Loud Online
about this song's classical music influence. "Well," he said, "I come from a Julliard classical music background, I like pieces where motifs and ideas get developed and changed and can be allowed to breathe and that track's certainly not any sort of standard pop song format in any way, shape or form. I just love the fact that we're just really going for it and there's all these kind of progressive parts where there's interesting counterpoints and harmonic changes going on, and I'm also very fond of the fact that in the middle section of 'Illumination Theory,' there's that whole section that really is very ambient and very electronic-soundscapey which leads into a string ensemble part which was actually done with the help my young protégé Eren Başbuğ, a young Turkish arranger/conductor who took what I had composed on my keyboard and fleshed it out for a string orchestra. And then the string orchestra came into the studio and he came in and conducted them."
"That piece just has so much to it," he continued. "I love when we get deep and it all gets a bit wild, and I also love that in the midst of all that madness, we really let that middle section to really breathe and slow down and be melodic like a movie score."