Much like our field study last year for Eminent 2013, we visited a library to gather more information on our eminent person. This time we went to the SFU library with the whole TALONS group.

Before I mention how the trip went, I want to first write about my purpose. My main purpose was really just bond with my classmates and enjoy the SFU campus this time around. I really wanted to talk to some of the new niners that I hadn’t had a chance to talk to yet. I wasn’t too worried about resources, because just the day before I got 2 huge biographies about Paganini from my violin teacher. 20141104_002150 copyMy violin teacher (being the old age that he is) has a very extensive library in his house with almost 2 rooms filled with wall-to-wall bookshelves! Within his collection he had many books about Paganini, but I limited myself to just 2 for now. One is about 700 pages (which I’m almost halfway through now!) and it has many details and useful information about his life. Despite it being published in 1980, I believe that it will still be useful for this project. The other is a bit of an abridged version of the first (also published in 1980), but it also holds more information about his rumored association with the devil and his relationships with other composers. I thought that this would be enough print material for now, because I’m already lacking the time to read through one biography.

To briefly describe the day, we started off the day with a trip to the Museum of Anthropology and a Solo spot.

The convocation square during our campus tour
The convocation square during our campus tour

Due to the fact that the museum was quite small, the morning and afternoon classes split up and took turns; the latter taking the solo spot first. We were given some time to reflect on our thoughts which could have been related to eminent and we also got to observe a bit of the campus life.

After taking our solo spot and touring the museum, we got to dine on some amazing Indian cuisine which I thoroughly enjoyed. I might I mention that it was a buffet. After a very thorough and well executed tour of the campus lead by Katie (Jamie’s Sister) we finally got some time to explore the SFU W.A.C Bennett Library.

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On the fifth floor, I found some books about Paganini, but unfortunately, at least of third of the meager amount of books were in a foreign language such as German. There were two other noteworthy English books about his life, but skimming through the books, I found that the content was quite similar to the books I already had, so I decided to let them rest on their shelf once more.

Overall, I wasn’t able to learn too much about my eminent person, but I enjoyed the field trip as a whole. The museum, the lunch and the tour were all very inspiring (yes even the Indian food) and I learned a bit about what it might be like on a university campus. It was really nice of Jamie’s sisters to tour us around, because I felt that they were able to capture the life at SFU skillfully, making it personal and interesting to TALONS learners. It was quite different from your standard tour.

To continue on with my Eminent Project now, I hope to finish reading the biographies I borrowed from my teacher and I also hope to find more interesting articles and sources online preferably on more specific events of his life to further enhance my knowledge. Other than his life, I also hope to be able to understand his playing style, technique, and musicality with a greater depth and I hope that I come across this topic in my interview coming up very soon!

On a more Halloween theme, here is a recording of Paganini specialist Eugene Fodor playing the infamously difficult Witches’ Dance. You might recognize the theme around 3:20.



With more information at my hands, I feel as though this project is starting to come together! I look forward to the next step!