Sounds in my corner

September 26, 2006


I get up early (5 am), make coffee and go down to a quiet little corner in our house. There I compose melodies on paper. I play Sudoku. There it is very, very quiet. All the animals in the house are sleeping, and even outside no one is up yet. That corner is deafeningly quiet. The silence is occasionally pierced by a cricket that I have allowed to coexist with me. I know that there is a black widow over there behind that old synthesizer. I wonder if it knows I killed its parent last spring? It dines on flies and crickets. (Can the spider hear the cricket? Its hearing is likely related to feeling vibrations on its web, so its web is like its ear drum.)

The spider makes no sound. Or does it? Could we amplify the sound of a cobweb being built? That would be very cool, putting a spider in an anechoic chamber and recording it. Alas, my poor ears hear nothing, so I get no warning that my little friend is lurking over there with the silent “fiddle” emblazoned on its belly.

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