Joan Lluís i Pallarès

Biography

He was born in Montardit de Dalt in 1912 and died in Barcelona in 1999. His father was the son of Casa Misser in Sort and his mother from Casa Aurens in Roní. He was christened in Enviny and went to live in Rialp, in Casa Xampaineta. At the age of six he began to work as a cowherd, woodman, shepherd boy and later as a herd boy and shepherd in the mountains of Olp, Llessui and Montsent de Pallars. His fondness of music came from his contact with the high mountain and its shepherds. He learnt to read music with Manuel from Cal Serrador, the Rialp musician.


At the age of 13, he started to work as a shepherd keeping a flock of 87 animals for Casa el Quimet and was later hired as a herd boy on the mountain of Llessui. In 1929 and 1930 he learned the tinsmith trade and played the flageolet and clarinet in Rialp orchestra. The following year, he set up as a tinsmith in Tremp where he also played as a musician with different orchestras in the city.

He was in Tremp at the outbreak of the Civil War. He marched to the front with the Republican Army and fought in the Battle of Teruel, the Battle of the Ebro and in Les Pedres d'Auló (above Roní). In February 1939, he went to France and was interned in the Argelers concentration camp from which he escaped with a companion. He was arrested in Girona, sent to Barcelona and later to the Valle de los Caídos.

Because of a complaint made against him he was forbidden to return to his home region and he settled in Barcelona, where he held several jobs, one of which, relating to industry, caused an intoxication which required him to rest for four years, during which time he read a great deal.

From 1946, he was part of the Board of Directors of the Esbart Montserrat, he did several programmes on Ràdio Barcelona in which he talked about Pallars and performed tunes on the flageolet and started to give talks about the Pyrenean culture in several centres such as the Ateneu Barcelonés, the Esbart Verdaguer and the Centre Comarcal Lleidatà. There he got to meet people related to culture and history in Catalonia, such as Ferran Soldevila, Agustí Duran i Sempere, Aureli Campmany, Esteve Albert, Rafael Tasis and the philologist and publisher Josep Maria de Casacuberta who, together with Ramon Violant i Simorra, encouraged him to write down everything he explained and to continue in his task of revealing the popular spirit. He also met Joan Coromines who, in 1963, he accompanied on his onomastic and toponymy surveys in the Àssua Valley and the river banks in Sort.

In 1992, the Generalitat de Catalunya awarded him the National Prize for Popular Culture.

In 1997, the town of Rialp paid homage to him and presented the book Joan Lluís, pallarès il·lustre. Miscel·lània d’homenatge.

In 1998, the Generalitat de Catalunya awarded him the Creu de Sant Jordi (St George Cross).

He died on 18th of July 1999 in Barcelona at the age of 87 and was buried in Rialp. 

WORK RELATED ROUTES

Records de la meva vida de pastor (1955). Barcelona: Ed. Barcino.

El meu Pallars (1959, 1961, 1967 y 1979). Barcelona: Ed. Barcino (4 volumes).

L’home de la bossa (1960). Barcelona: Óssa Menor.

Els pastors i les estrelles (1965). Barcelona: Ed. Barcino.

Històries i llegendes del Pallars (1971). Barcelona: Ed. Barcino.