Jules Massenet

Jules Émile Frédéric Massenet was a French composer of the Romantic era best known for his operas, of which he wrote more than thirty. The two most staged are Manon and Werther, he composed oratorios, orchestral works, incidental music, piano pieces and other music. While still a schoolboy, Massenet was admitted to France's principal music college, the Paris Conservatoire. There he studied under Ambroise Thomas, whom he admired. After winning the country's top musical prize, the Prix de Rome, in 1863, he composed prolifically in many genres, but became best known for his operas. Between 1867 and his death forty-five years he wrote more than forty stage works in a wide variety of styles, from opéra-comique to grand-scale depictions of classical myths, romantic comedies, lyric dramas, as well as oratorios and ballets. Massenet had a good sense of what would succeed with the Parisian public. Despite some miscalculations, he produced a series of successes that made him the leading composer of opera in France in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Like many prominent French composers of the period, Massenet became a professor at the Conservatoire. He taught composition there from 1878 until 1896, when he resigned after the death of the director, Ambroise Thomas. Among his students were Gustave Charpentier, Ernest Chausson, Reynaldo Hahn and Gabriel Pierné. By the time of his death, Massenet was regarded by many critics as old-fashioned and unadventurous although his two best-known operas remained popular in France and abroad. After a few decades of neglect, his works began to be favourably reassessed during the mid-20th century, many of them have since been staged and recorded. Although critics do not rank him among the handful of outstanding operatic geniuses such as Mozart and Wagner, his operas are now accepted as well-crafted and intelligent products of the Belle Époque. Massenet was born on 12 May 1842 at Montaud an outlying hamlet and now a part of the city of Saint-Étienne, in the Loire, he was the youngest of the four children of Alexis Massenet and his second wife Eléonore-Adelaïde née Royer de Marancour.

Massenet senior was a prosperous ironmonger. By early 1848 the family had moved to Paris. Massenet was educated at the Lycée Saint-Louis and, from either 1851 or 1853, the Paris Conservatoire. According to his colourful but unreliable memoirs, Massenet auditioned in October 1851, when he was nine, before a judging panel comprising Daniel Auber, Fromental Halévy, Ambroise Thomas and Michele Carafa, was admitted at once, his biographer Demar Irvine dates the audition and admission as January 1853. Both sources agree that Massenet continued his general education at the lycée in tandem with his musical studies. At the Conservatoire Massenet studied solfège with Augustin Savard and the piano with François Laurent, he pursued his studies, with modest distinction, until the beginning of 1855, when family concerns disrupted his education. Alexis Massenet's health was poor, on medical advice he moved from Paris to Chambéry in the south of France. Again, Massenet's own memoirs and the researches of his biographers are at variance: the composer recalled his exile in Chambéry as lasting for two years.

On his return he resumed his studies. The family's finances were no longer comfortable, to support himself Massenet took private piano students and played as a percussionist in theatre orchestras, his work in the orchestra pit gave him a good working knowledge of the operas of Gounod and other composers and contemporary. Traditionally, many students at the Conservatoire went on to substantial careers as church organists, he gained some work as a piano accompanist, in the course of which he met Wagner who, along with Berlioz, was one of his two musical heroes. In 1861 Massenet's music was published for the first time, the Grande Fantasie de Concert sur le Pardon de Ploërmel de Meyerbeer, a virtuoso piano work in nine sections. Having graduated to the composition class under Ambroise Thomas, Massenet was entered for the Conservatoire's top musical honour, the Prix de Rome, previous winners of which included Berlioz, Thomas and Bizet; the first two of these were on the judging panel for the 1863 competition.

All the competitors had to set the same text by a cantata about David Rizzio. He recalled: Ambroise Thomas, my beloved master, came towards me and said, "Embrace Berlioz, you owe him a great deal for your prize." "The prize," I cried, bewildered, my face shining with joy. "I have the prize!!!" I was moved and I embraced Berlioz my master, Monsieur Auber. Monsieur Auber comforted me. Did I need comforting? He said to Berlioz pointing to me, "He'll go far, the young rascal, when he's had less experience!" The prize brought a well-subsidised three-year period of study, two-thirds of, spent at the French Academy in Rome, based at the Villa Medici. At that time the academy was dominated by painters rather than musicians.

Hold Your Colour

Hold Your Colour is the debut studio album by the Australian drum and bass band Pendulum, released on 25 July 2005 and reissued in 2007 by Breakbeat Kaos. The album was mastered by Stuart Hawkes at Metropolis in London; the album features collaborations with artists such as the DJs Fresh and TC, the MCs $pyda and Fats, vocalists from bands Freestylers and Halogen, guitarists from bands Karnivool and Concord Dawn, together with Peredur ap Gwynedd. Five singles were produced from the album, including "Slam" / "Out Here", the first single by Pendulum to reach the top 40 in the UK Singles Chart. In addition, a non-album single, "Blood Sugar" / "Axle Grinder", released on 18 June 2007 replaced "Another Planet" and "Still Grey" on the reissue of Hold Your Colour due to its popularity. Otherwise, the LP was released as a triple 12", features, together with "Hold Your Colour", all the tracks that did not appear on any single. A promotional LP contained "Slam" / "Out Here"; the album cover inspired the single cover for the Pendulum release "Witchcraft".

The album received positive critical attention in both Australia and the United Kingdom, becoming one of the best-selling drum and bass albums of all-time, along with New Forms by Roni Size. 225,000 copies of Hold Your Colour were sold in the UK. On 25 May 2008, it entered the top 40 of the UK Albums Chart for the first time, peaking at number 29 on 16 August."Slam" was featured in the soundtrack for the video game MotorStorm on the PlayStation 3 console, the Bipolar mix of "Hold your Colour" was featured on "FIFA Street 2", Dance Dance Revolution Universe on the Xbox 360 console and on the premiere episode of Sky1's Gladiators. It has been picked up by the relaunched Nine's Wide World of Sports as an outro to the show and as a precursor to advertising breaks; the track "Tarantula" was featured in the Australian television drama series Underbelly, in an episode of the UK series Skins and CSI: Miami, in the soundtrack for the video game MotorStorm: Pacific Rift. In the 2007 reissue, "Blood Sugar" and "Axle Grinder" took the place of "Another Planet" and "Still Grey".

The reissue contains gaps of silence at the end of each track. The vinyl version has a different track order and omits tracks that were released as singles, aside from "Hold Your Colour"; the tracks "Prelude", "Slam" and "Axle Grinder" use samples from the American television series The Twilight Zone. Samples similar to those in "Slam" are read aloud in "Rock Civilization" by Headhunterz; the track "Fasten Your Seatbelt" uses a sample from the song "Go Home Soundboy" by Buju Banton and Cocoa Tea, a sample of Doctor Octopus from the film Spider-Man 2. The track "Through the Loop" uses samples from the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, a small section of whale song; the track "Hold Your Colour" uses an intro vocal sample from "Lycaeum", a song Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen made with Karl Thomas and Jay Burns in Xygen, their former metal band. The track "Another Planet" uses samples of Richard Burton from Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds and a drum sample from the Megadeth song "Skin o' My Teeth".

The track "Prelude" is used as a short sample in Los Angeles based radio station KIIS-FM. The track "Girl in the Fire" contains a sample from the 1991 song "The Choice is Yours" by Black Sheep. Hold Your Colour at Allmusic Hold Your Colour at Discogs The full Pendulum discography. Pendulum. Archived on 28 September 2008

Javier Barraycoa

Javier Barraycoa is a philosopher and Spanish writer, associate professor in Abat Oliva CEU University. He has been secretary of the political party Comunión Tradicionalista Carlista in Catalonia. Collaborates with La Gaceta, he is the current president and founder of Somatemps. He states, a founder of Catalan Civil Society but the organisation negates it. However, Somatemps published in their blog a photograph of him being in a SCC meeting planning their political agenda while stating they gave the initial support to the entity, he has published books delegitimizing Catalan nationalism by portraying it as racial nationalism, emphasizing the racism of some Catalan nationalists of the 19th century. He denies that sardanas are Catalan, stating they were reinvented by andalusian-born Pep Ventura and that Catalan nationalism has hidden that fact, it was known that sardanas were popularised in the 19th century and elements from zarzuelas and Italian operas of the time were incorporated in Pep Ventura's compositions