One of my favorite, if not my absolute favorite, solo pieces by Du is a composition called “Volvitur in rota“, which loosely translated means “the turning wheel”. Now, Du will correct me if I am wrong, but from what I gathered, the piece is inspired by an old woodcut illustrating a man caught between two “worlds”: one world being dark with a starry sky, the other being light with the sun shining. In the starry heavens, one can see a large wooden wheel turning, a symbol of the “wheel of fortune”.

And I love this piece not solely because of its compositional genius, but also because it makes me contemplate the ever revolving wheel of fortune and the role it has had in my life on a number of occasions, musically in particular. So, in the words of Rodgers and Hammerstein, let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start…

I remember when the wheel of fortune first turned its cogs in my life musically when I was about five years old. My mother then worked as a cleaning lady at a factory called “Girlock”. As my family was unable to afford a baby sitter and dad would sometimes come home late from the glass factory where he worked, my mum would grab me by the hand, make a dash for the bus, get off at the stop just in front of work and run inside the factory. And it was on one of these occasions that I remember seeing a piano in the hallway of the office area. I’m pretty sure it was the first time I had ever set eyes on a real piano and I recall thinking that it looked like something magical, something so entrancing that I had to go up to it and touch it. As soon as my mum noticed my intentions, she told me to stop in my tracks and not even think about touching it. And although I was quite an obedient, well behaved child, the lure of the piano was way too much for me – I had to touch it, no matter what the consequences were. So I pressed a key. And it was from that moment that I decided, I have to learn how to play this bewitching instrument… to be continued 🙂

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  1. […] And just sitting and playing at the piano reminded me of how I first fell head over heels in love with music.  If you don’t know the story already, you can read about it here. […]