A great Hopper, in the paint, is all stillness, silence, solidity. Not the stillness of Vermeer, of stopped yet reverberating time, but a stillness all of his own: the hiatus, the lapse, the longueur, the moment between significant moments. A man staring out of the window while a girl sleeps beside him. A woman seated in the dead light of a theatre during intermission, blank as the safety curtain.
You don't hear the waves of Cape Cod in Hopper's seascapes or the cicadas in his landscapes. There are no crowds or sirens in his cities. All is silence; the mind turned in on itself, thinking, or not quite thinking, the only action. How implausible it would be to enter a Hopper and hear actual sound.