Lluís Llach

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Lluís Llach
Investidura de Lluís Llach i Miquel Martí i Pol (38338293204).jpg
Llach receiving his honorary doctorate at the University of Girona.
Born (1948-05-07) 7 May 1948 (age 74)
Occupation
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • Novelist
  • Politician
Years active1965– present
Known forVoice, piano, guitar
Notable workL'Estaca
StyleNova Cançó
TitleDeputy of the Parliament of Catalonia
Term26 October 2015 – 28 October 2017
Political party
MovementCatalan independence movement
Honours
Websitewww.lluisllach.cat


Lluís Llach i Grande (Catalan pronunciation: [ʎuˈiz ˈʎak]; born 7 May 1948) is a Catalan singer-songwriter, novelist and politician from Spain. He is one of the main representatives of the nova cançó genre and an outspoken advocate of the right to self-determination of Catalonia. His most famous song, "L'Estaca", has become the unofficial anthem of the Catalan independence movement.[3] He was a member of the Catalan Parliament from September 2015 until January 2018.[4]

Music[edit]

He is one of the main representatives of nova cançó (New Song), a movement of musicians, and singers who defied Francisco Franco's dictatorship by singing political songs in Catalan during a time where the language, and other cultural manifestations of Catalan identity were allowed although Castillian was the official language in public institutions; nonetheless, on January 23rd, 1973, TVE aired the show Lluís Llach, in Catalan languague, shot various locations in Gerona province.[5] His famous song "L'Estaca" about a rotten stick about to fall was clear enough as an image of the regime. As many other singers, writers and politically involved artists, Llach left Spain and lived in voluntary exile in Paris until the death of the dictator.

Though partially dependent on arrangers, like Manel Camp or Carles Cases in his early works, Llach's songwriting has largely evolved from the more basic early compositions to a vastly more complex harmonic and melodic writing. Self-taught as a guitarist, Llach only strums simple chords on guitar. As a pianist, he shows a good knowledge of the European song tradition from Schubert to Hahn with touches of Satie ("Nounou") and his local imitators like Mompou and Manuel Blancafort ("A la taverna del mar"). Llach has used salsa piano patterns ("Terra") and jazzy whole-step block modulations ("El jorn dels miserables") and progressions ("Cançó d'amor a la llibertat"). Some early songs depicted some inspiration from Baroque dances ("Laura", "Jo sé", "Vinyes verdes vora el mar") and ostinato chord patterns ("Non", "Somniem"). Among his influences as singer, Llach has recognized Mahalia Jackson and Jacques Brel.

His lyrics can range from the most traditionally romantic songs, to more complex, philosophical song-cycles and also to some more ironic, politically based compositions, with a more upbeat tempo. Sea and vitalistic attitude in face of death are two of his cherished topics. When he doesn't write the lyrics of his songs he puts music to a variety of poets, including Constantine P. Cavafy, Màrius Torres, Josep Maria de Segarra, Pere Quart and, perhaps more often than with any of the others, Miquel Martí i Pol.

Llach has occasionally performed as a classical baritone, including a series of performances of Gabriel Fauré's Requiem, and has also been a wine producer. He marked his retirement as front man in music with a farewell concert in Verges (March 2007), in Baix Empordà on the Costa Brava, the village in which he grew up. Afterwards, he has performed incidental music for theatre pieces.

His 1968 song "L'Estaca" has become the anthem of numerous freedom and political movements, including Solidarność in Poland,[6] the Tunisian Revolution,[7] the Indignados or Occupy movement in Spain,[6] and the Catalan independence movement, regularly sung by crowds at demonstrations.

Politics[edit]

Llach (centre, with hat) taking part in the 2013 Catalan Way protest

Llach is a supporter of Catalan independence and the left-wing party ERC.[8] He stood for election in the parliamentary elections of September 2015, as an independent candidate in the Junts pel Sí (Together for Yes) pro-independence alliance. He headed the alliance's list for Girona, one of the four constituencies, and was elected. The coalition got 11 out of 17 seats in Girona.[9][10][11]

In 2021, Llach endorsed the left-wing, pro-independence CUP citing the issue of healthcare.[12]

Controversial statements[edit]

In July 2017, Lluis Llach stated that civil servants in Catalonia who continued to follow Spanish law after a future declaration of independence would be "penalised".[13][14][15]

On 7 October 2017, prior to the anti-independence unionist demonstration the following day, he tweeted: "Tomorrow let's leave the streets of Barcelona empty. Let the vultures find no food"

Personal life[edit]

Llach is openly gay. During the trial of Catalonia independence leaders in 2019, he protested being asked to answer questions from the lawyers of the far-right party Vox, "as a homosexual and pro-independence citizen, and aspiring citizen of the world."[16]

Discography[edit]

  • Els èxits de Lluís Llach (1969)
  • Ara i aquí (1970)
  • Com un arbre nu (1972)
  • Lluís Llach a l'Olympia (1973)
  • L'Estaca (1973)
  • I si canto trist... (1974)
  • Viatge a Itaca (1975)
  • Barcelona, gener de 1976 (1976)
  • Campanades a morts (1977)
  • El meu amic, el mar (1978)
  • Somniem (1979)
  • Verges 50 (1980)
  • I amb el somriure, la revolta (1982)
  • T'estimo (1984)
  • Maremar (1985)
  • Camp del Barça, 6 de juliol de 1985 (1985)
  • Astres (1986)
  • Geografia (1988)
  • La forja de un rebelde (1990)
  • Torna aviat (1991)
  • Ara, 25 anys en directe (1992)
  • Un pont de mar blava (1993)
  • Rar (1994)
  • Porrera (1995)
  • Nu (1997)
  • 9 (1998)
  • Temps de revoltes (2000)
  • Jocs (2002)
  • Junts (2003)
  • Poetes (2004)
  • Que no s'apague la llum (2005)
  • i... (2006)
  • Verges 2007 (2007)

Bibliography[edit]

  • Memòria d'uns ulls pintats (2012)
  • Estimat Miquel (2014)
  • Les dones de la Principal (2014)
  • El noi del Maravillas (2017)
  • Escac al destí (2020)

Literature about Lluís Llach[edit]

Pep Blay's Lluís Llach (Col·lecció "Los Autores", SGAE, Barcelona, 1995) is a biography about the Catalan musician and songwriter Llach, which contains an interesting chronology, a collection of pictures, an anthology of songs and a discography.

Awards and Distinctions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lluís Llach Doctor Honoris Causa". University of Girona. University of Girona. Retrieved 9 July 2022.
  2. ^ "Lluís Llach, premi M. Àngels Anglada de narrativa". El Punt Avui. 9 October 2013. Retrieved 9 July 2022.
  3. ^ "Classic Catalan song 'L'Estaca', grand finale of Madrid independence march". elnacional.cat.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ Catalunya, Parlament de. "Fitxa del diputat/ada". Parlament de Catalunya (in Catalan). Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  5. ^ "Programas de radio y televisión • TVE". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 17 January 1973. p. 59. Retrieved 17 August 2022. 23 del presente mes, a las 4,30 de la tarde, T.V.E. ofrecerá a los espectadores de Cataluña y Baleares el programa musical en catalán «Lluís Llach» […] Lluís Llach es uno de los cantantes catalanes que mayor proyección ha tenido tanto en nuestro país […] Este programa ha sido rodado en blanco y negro y color utilizando como marco diversos lugares de la provincia de Gerona
  6. ^ a b "L'Estaca sigue siendo reivindicativa". La Vanguardia. Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  7. ^ "Los islamistas se presentan como favoritos en los comicios tunecinos" (in European Spanish). Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  8. ^ "Lluís Llach demana el vot per a ERC - Catalunya Sí". ERC. 2012-11-21. Archived from the original on 2021-12-19. Retrieved 2015-08-01.
  9. ^ "Diputats Electes: Girona". Retrieved 2015-10-19.
  10. ^ [1][permanent dead link]
  11. ^ "Resultats Eleccions al Parlament 2015 27-S - Diari Ara". Ara.cat. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  12. ^ "Lluís Llach anuncia que votarà la CUP el 14-F". 31 January 2021.
  13. ^ "Catalogne : Lluís Llach, de chanteur menacé à député menaçant". Liberation.fr. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  14. ^ Segura, Cristian (25 April 2017). "Lluís Llach dice que se sancionará a los funcionarios que desoigan la ley de desconexión". El País. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  15. ^ "Catalan public workers caught in referendum crossfire". Thelocal.es. 10 June 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  16. ^ Lasalas, Marta (30 April 2019). "Musician Lluís Llach to Vox lawyer at trial: "I'm a gay, pro-independence citizen"". El Nacional. Retrieved 5 May 2022.

External links[edit]