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On the cover of Continuum, Paul Jebanasam’s album released last year, is the photograph of a nuclear fusion reactor at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, in England. The vast majority of us cannot comprehend its mechanics and activity, but we recognise, in its image, a power that transcends us all. Above all, this image, of a highly technological machine that challenges our reality, opens up for us the doors to an imagination that similarly transcends us, with such distant limits as the very dimensions of the universe itself. It was within this field of infinite possibilities that Paul Jebanasem created Continuum, a magnificent album that makes electronics a part of our constant search for life in the Universe, elaborating a possible soundtrack for its History, ranging from the appearance of the first signs of life to a future hypothesis about the Cosmos. Divided into three parts, Continuum recreates celestial events, algorithms in action and cellular behaviours, as if we were looking both at the heavens and at a microscopic power: everything has a place in this work, just as everything exists around us.
But a soundtrack is just the musical side of this whole film. Continuum exists, above all, in its presence (and absence) on stage, in which all the musical speculation is transposed to a visual speculation. Tarik Barri, one of today’s great visual aesthetes (with important work for Monolake or Thom Yorke), tells us what this beautiful History of the Universe may have been, with a luminous poetry that disturbs us and transcends us. Continuum is, in its live version, an astonishing masterpiece, and one of the happiest moments that shows how electronics has found its perfect visual identity on a screen. Few, but truly very few, experiences in a concert hall have such powerful magic as this. Let us be bold and suggest the word “miracle”, because it is also this noun that we remember when we try to think about the Universe.