Myllarheimen

Myllarheimen is the peasant’s farm where the artist and fiddler Torgeir Augundson (1801-1872), better known as Myllarguten or the ’Miller’s son’, lived during the last years of his life.

Myllarheimen lies in Arabygdi in Vinje municipality. Myllarguten was born in Sauherad, and he got his nickname as a result of being the son of a miller. The family was poor and lived a tough and transient life in poverty. When he was only five years old Myllarguten began playing the fiddle, and in time he became a sought after fiddler for festivities. He played all around the district, and met many great fiddlers whom he was inspired by. In 1831 he met Ole Bull in Bergen, and Bull was very impressed with Myllarguten’s playing. In 1849 Bull arranged a concert in the ”Logen” guild hall in Kristiania (today’s Oslo) that featured Myllarguten as the main attraction. The concert was a success, and Myllarguten established a large audience. But toward the 1850’s his luck turned. The nationalistic romance period was coming to an end, and with it the public interest in”farmer’s fiddling.”
Myllarguten eventually settled down in West Telemark, and when he was around age 30, he married Ingebjørg Eddanshaugen from Edland (Vinje). They had ten children altogether, but three of these died very young. Kosi is the name of the peasant’s farm where Myllarguten lived during the last years of his life, and there he died a lonely and poor man.
In the Myllarheimen today, one can experience and listen to stories about the life and artistry of Myllarguten. Groups of ten or more may make reservations for a tour where tunes after Myllarguten are performed on the hardanger fiddle, (willow) flute or langeleik, the traditional Norwegian dulcimer.   

 



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