This problem has been with us for a while, and it seems to be getting worse, rather than better. Personally, I’ll never forget the mobile phone that went off during a delicate moment in a Toronto performance by Lang Lang, a few years ago. Such things remain etched in the mind – and if Dante were alive today, he’d invent a new circle in hell just for people who perpetrate such outrages.
Perhaps the time has come for concert halls to have a special “mobile phone section,” for those unwilling or unable to part with their gadgetry. It would be walled off and soundproofed: thick glass windows would allow people inside to see the concert, and the sound would be piped in through loudspeakers. There they could chirp, warble and play snippets of Für Elise to their hearts’ content, without disturbing anyone except each other.
Anyone seated elsewhere in the hall whose electronic device uttered so much as a single beep would be banished for life to the mobile phone section.
Dante would approve.
© Colin Eatock 2012