North America Nebula

A performance of Domenico Scarlatti’s Sonata K208 by Alexandre Tharaud

A Brief Statement on North America Nebula
The title North America Nebula refers to a NASA image of the North America Nebula which I used to create a sense of place in the painting. I wove the colors of the nebula into the sonata, keeping the blues, oranges, and other colors, as usual, rigorously stationed where they occur in the sonata. The sonata itself is delicate, and shifts from major to minor in a flickering way, right as the B section begins. The painting starts at that point and depicts the last half of the recording. While Tharaud plays this sonata on a piano, recordings of the sonata on harpsichord (an early plucked keyboard) are also tender and have sensitive precision. White, cream, and pale blue lines represent stars in the nebula, placed in a regular way within the structure of the music. The painting is created with sponges, giving it a sketch-like and fragile feel.