January 15th, 2012| Topic: RaMbLeS | 0


An unusual instrument was added to a rendition of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony the other day. An iPhone. To Mahler’s Ninth. I doubt whether Mr. Mahler would’ve enjoyed it last week being played by a New York Philharmonic + iPhone combo.

But it wasn’t the fault of the NYPO or its conductor that day, Alan Gilbert.

It just so happened that someone’s iPhone went off in the middle of the last movement: Adagio. Sehr langsam und noch zurückhaltend  = very slow and even cautious/reluctant. The offending gadget was neither slow nor reluctant. It went off piercingly and unhesitatingly with its proprietary marimba ringtone.

Usually, everyone just ignores such unconscionable interruptions, for the mortified patron, in normal situations, silences electronic gizmo in a millisecond.

Nope, not this time. The bold marimba kept on marimbating. With aplomb. In the middle of Mahler’s Ninth! No one stopped the ring.

Finally, Mr. Gilbert downed his baton, his fiddlers their bows, the trumpeters their horns, the drummers their sticks, etc. Yup, Mahler’s Ninth came to a dead halt in mid-performance last week. Because of an iPhone. Nope, Mahler would not have been amused with a digital marimba in the middle of his Adagio. Sehr langsam und noch zurückhaltend.

Someone (probably from Wall Street) shouted, “$1,000 fine.” Another yelled, “Kick him out!” This was New York, after all.

Shockingly, the ring just went on. “Nothing happened,” Gilbert told reporters. “Nobody was owning up to it. It was surreal.”

Then someone pointed to a couple sitting in the audience who just kept on staring back at Mr. Gilbert who was, understandably, trying to strangle them with his eyes. Finally, the man put his hand to his pocket. The marimba quit.

All it took was an iPhone. And everything fell apart.

Another Fall a long time ago was caused by something seemingly small. A bite. From a piece of fruit.

When the woman saw that
the tree was good for food,
and that it was a delight to the eyes,
and that the tree was desirable
to make one wise,
she took from its fruit and ate;
and she gave also to her husband with her,
and he ate.
Genesis 3:6

Cell phones continue their pestilential ringing in churches, classrooms, movie theaters, concert halls …, despite vigorous warnings announced loudly and displayed prominently.

The LORD God commanded the man, saying,
“ … from the tree of the knowledge
of good and evil you shall not eat.”
Genesis 2:16–17

No matter. Marimbas still keep going off. Fruit still keeps being eaten. And sin continues to reign.

Despite threats.

“… for in the day that you eat from it
you will surely die.”
Genesis 2:16–17

Or, as the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, TX (a movie-theater) warns: “Follow our rules, or get the h#*% out and don’t come back till you can.” (Not that that stops anyone.)

Mahler’s Ninth, “some of the most spiritual and peaceful music ever written,” disturbed.

And God’s “very good” creation disrupted.

For the wages of sin is death.
Romans 6:23

After the noisome scourge was silenced, Mr. Gilbert apologized to the audience to loud cheers and applause, and segued the NYPO back intoAdagio. Sehr langsam und noch zurückhaltend. The performance ended without any further interference from iPhones.

God’s got a plan, too, to finish his performance.

… but the free gift of God is
eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23

For all who believe in Jesus Christ as only God and Savior, there is redemption from sin and life eternal with God.

The Fall reversed. Performance back on course.

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