The only writer and composer museum in Iceland
Múlastofa in Vopnafjörður is a memorial exhibition featuring the works of the brothers Jón Múli Árnason and Jónas Árnason, both of whom were born in Vopnafjörður, where their father was a manager for a general store from 1917 to 1924.
The exhibition is in Kaupvangur, a beautifully renovated building near the old harbor in the town of Vopnafjörður.
The brothers were well known in Iceland for their art and skills at music, lyrics, theatre and much more. Jón Múli (1921-2002) was a composer, who wrote world-class melodies when Jónas (1923-1998) wrote the lyrics to their songs always with a local content, deep-rooted in everyday life in Iceland. There lies the dynamic in their collaboration; man-of-the-world musician meets local lyricist – and humorist – par excellence.
Jón Múli was a man of many strings. He wrote books of legends/folktale of himself and his contemporaries, he blew a horn in a brass band, he wrote epigrams when it pleased him, he wrote a famous play with others, including his brother Jónas, and broadcast, played jazz and knew the story of jazz better than anyone else – possibly better than any in the world at the time. Introduced all the concerts Symphony of Iceland for decades of classical act, wrote songs that everyone knows, became the kind of public property as a radio man. Therein lies the paradox between the radio person whose mellow baritone voice was closer to the Icelandic people than any other and his knowledge and interest in the world jazz. He hosted hundreds of radio shows and was considered by many the messenger – or even prophet – of jazz in Iceland. His songs bear the mark of the best in classic standards.
Jónas was a journalist, teacher, writer and lyricist, and twice elected as a member of parliament for the socialist movement, always a dedicated left-winger, as was his brother Jón Múli. Jónas wrote new lyrics to many popular English and Irish folk songs, some that were featured in one of his theatre plays. In many ways, Jónas did not enjoy a reputation as songwriter – and above all as a poet. History has shown, however, that people appreciate his lyrics, and although it was often the dominant humor in the lyrics it is undisputed that great depth is in many of them. Jónas was namely storyteller of the grace of God.
They had their separate successful carriers, but when they joined forces they were at their best. Together they wrote four musicals for the stage (the first one as a radio-musical later produced on stage) that have been performed over and over in Icelandic theatres. Most of their songs were written for these musicals.
The exhibition in Múlastofa has 30 separate exhibits with photograps, videos and personal artifacts plus eight interactive stations where visitors can listen to their voices in radio shows and various artists perform their songs or plays. Much of this material is from the archives of the State Radio and Television.
Múlastofa was opened August 9th 2008 with a concert of their work, and since an annual festival in their honour is held in Vopnafjörður in August, “Once Upon an August Evening”.
Múlastofa is open for groups and by request in the winter and every day in the summer.
On the ground floor in Kaupvangur is the restaurant Kaupvangskaffi. > Vopnafjordur – Video
- Múlastofa – Museum
Tel: + 354 473 1331 and + 354 844 1153