Lluís Llach

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Lluís Llach
Born (1948-05-07) 7 May 1948 (age 71)
Girona, Catalonia, Spain
GenresNova cançó
InstrumentsVoice, piano, guitar
Years active1965–2007

Lluís Llach i Grande (Catalan pronunciation: [ʎuˈiz ˈʎak]; born 7 May 1948) is a Spanish singer-songwriter from Catalonia. 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. He was a member of the Catalan Parliament from September 2015 until January 2018.[1]


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. 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,[2] the Tunisian Revolution,[3] the Indignados or Occupy movement in Spain,[2] and the Catalan independence movement, regularly sung by crowds at demonstrations.


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.[4] 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 in fact 11 out of 17 seats.[5][6][7]


In July 2017, Lluis Llach was criticized for stating that civil servants in Catalonia who continued to follow Spanish law after a future declaration of independence would be "punished".[8][9][10]

In October 2017, he made statements which caused significant controversy by comparing participants in the 2017 Barcelona anti-independence demonstrations to "carrion".[11][12]

Selected discography[edit]

  • Com un arbre nu (1972)
  • Viatge a Itaca (1975)
  • Somniem (1979)
  • Verges 50 (1980)
  • I amb el somriure, la revolta (1982)
  • T'estimo (1984)
  • Maremar (1985)
  • Geografia (1988)
  • Un pont de mar blava (1993)
  • Nu (1997)
  • 9 (1998)
  • Temps de revoltes (2000)
  • Jocs (2002)
  • Junts (2003)
  • Poetes (2004)
  • i... (2006)
  • Verges 2007 (2007)

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.


  1. ^ Catalunya, Parlament de. "Fitxa del diputat/ada". Parlament de Catalunya (in Catalan). Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  2. ^ a b "L'Estaca sigue siendo reivindicativa". La Vanguardia. Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  3. ^ "Los islamistas se presentan como favoritos en los comicios tunecinos" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  4. ^ "Lluís Llach demana el vot per a ERC - Catalunya Sí". ERC. 2012-11-21. Retrieved 2015-08-01.
  5. ^ "Diputats Electes: Girona". Retrieved 2015-10-19.
  6. ^ [1][permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Resultats Eleccions al Parlament 2015 27-S - Diari Ara". Ara.cat. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  8. ^ "Catalogne : Lluís Llach, de chanteur menacé à député menaçant". Liberation.fr. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  9. ^ Segura, Cristian (25 April 2017). "Lluís Llach dice que se sancionará a los funcionarios que desoigan la ley de desconexión". Elpais.com. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  10. ^ "Catalan public workers caught in referendum crossfire". Thelocal.es. 10 June 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  11. ^ "Llach compara a los manifestantes de este domingo con carroña". Politica.e-noticia.e-noticies.es. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  12. ^ Báez, José Manuel. "Twitter despelleja al miserable y mastuerzo de Lluìs Llach por su carroñero ataque a los españoles". Periodistadigital.com. Retrieved 14 November 2018.

External links[edit]