Tapping the tabletop lightly, trying to remember a staccato timpani arrangement by movements so my mind doesn’t have to worry about eating itself, I ask Jo, what constitutes hate speech for mutes, and he shrugs, cocks his head about three degree, then scribbles quietly in his book. It takes a minute to recognise the missive he slides in front of me — Saying nothing is the worst crime. Startled, I stop tapping. Jo reaches out sharply, flips the note, strikes his palm to the table and beats an IO. I read what he wrote and it says — Go for baroque.

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