quinta-feira, 12 de setembro de 2013

Harriet Low: music impressions

The diary of Harriet Low (1809-1877), which testifies to her stay in the territory between 1829 and 1833, contains several references to bands. This young American woman, the niece of William Low, a partner in the trading firm Russell & Co. working in Canton, arrived on 30 September 1829 in order to keep the company of her Aunt Abigail in Macau during the latter’s husband’s prolonged absence. She also wrote a journal.
Sunday, October 11 - 1829
(…) This is a feast-day with the Catholics. (…) After waiting some time, we at last saw a Catholic procession, and it was worth waiting for, though I cannot tell you what it meant or anything about it (…). There were several little girls, rigged up with wings to resemble angels, and a fine band of music.
Sunday, October 18 - 1829
(…) On Thursday we went to Mrs F.’s, and I enjoyed myself very much. You would be astonished if you were to see your once diffident sis dancing the first quadrille, not without much urging. However you must know that I am the only spinster in the place, and I am pulled about in every direction. We had considerable singing and dancing, some fine glees, and a fine band of music…
February 28  - 1830
Seven o’clock, Sunday Eve. (…) I have just returned from seeing a procession of this wretched set of people, the Catholics. If I could discover any signs of devotion in their hearts, I could tolerate them; but to see such mockery is beyond everything. In the first place came six or seven men with muffed drums, and black silk drawn over their faces. They were all dressed in black robes. I do not know what they represented. Then followed others, bearing a banner with the cross and other banners with Latin inscriptions. One of the men in front was blowing a trumpet. Then followed about twenty little girls dressed as angels, with wings, hooped petticoats, and all sorts of finery. The little things were carrying banners in their hands. Then followed men chanting, dressed in black and white, without hats. Then came a car borne by four men, with the image of our Saviour bearing the cross. It rested on his shoulder. Then followed more padres, chanting. The military, with a band of music, then citizens, in the ordinary dress. The bells were ringing. There was no order, nor did the people, either high or low, appear to feel anything. 
Sunday, April 11 - 1830
(…) Was waked from my sleep this morning by a band playing in the most spirited style. The music was fine. Another procession went from the church, and one man walking in it represented Christ risen from the dead (…)
Harriet Low chegou a Macau em Setembro de 1829 e permaneceu até Novembro de 1833. Foi nesse ano que George Chinnery pintou o quadro que se pode ver à esquerda. No tempo que viveu em Macau teve a companhia da sua tia, Abigail Knapp Low, esposa de William Henry Low, e escreveu vários diários que após a sua morte  seriam publicados pela sua filha Catherine Hillard com o título My mother's journal (1900) A young lady's diary of five years spent in Manila, Macao, and the Cape of Good Hope from 1829-1834. Uma segunda versão seria editada em 1953 por uma das suas netas, Elma Loines, com o título The China trade post-bag of the Seth Low family of Salem and New York.
Em cima apresentam-se alguns excertos desses diários com as impressões de Harriet sobre os concertos (Banda do Batalhão do Príncipe Regente, criado em 1810) a que assistiu e outros aspectos relacionados com a música. Harriet Low teve uma vida repleta de aventuras. Visitou a China amiúde, algo invulgar para a época.

Sem comentários:

Enviar um comentário