I joined my favourite band – story about magic and screaming with joy

I joined my favourite band – story about magic and screaming with joy

I believe in fate. Sometimes it makes you do the right thing at the right time without you realising that. And although this story does not belong directly to the realm of Ancient Made Present blog, there’s something magical in it for sure.

I was living a perfectly normal life. Going to school, listening to music, dreaming a little bit about this and that. Until point 3 from my last post happened.

I got to know my beloved instrument, the hurdy gurdy, thanks to Eluveitie and since then there was nothing I wanted to do more in the whole world than to play it. You already know what was going to happen in my head 4 years ago: hunting for the hurdy gurdy began.

hurdy gurdy



So after a few years of swooning over every single trace of this instrument online, I manned up and did my research towards finding my hurdy gurdy. Which ended up very badly.

All the hurdies I’ve found were from abroad (I’m from Poland) and their prices! Way too high for a freshman! But… I felt the urge. I had to find it. I carried on. But as the websites went by, the situation seemed to become worse…

My fading faith was saved when I stumbled upon a Polish hurdy gurdy maker, Stanisław Nogaj. Beautiful instruments, promising sound samples; I grabbed my phone and called him immediately.

“Two years”, was his answer, when I asked about how long is it going to take him to finish my hurdy.

“But”, he continued, “I’ve got a friend, who can do it faster”.

My eyes lit up with hope again.

It turned out that this friend was Jan Malisz, my master and savior. His last name is by accident exactly the same as mine – and I took it as a good sign. Half a year later, after we’ve talked, for Easter 2014, I got my first hurdy gurdy.

My journey began – this is what I thought. But in fact it’s started long before, when I was 7 and went to the music school. I played piano for 4 years and classical flute for 10 years. This is where I got my basics: ear training and motor control in my hands.



I started practicing immediately. By playing Eluveitie songs of course, it was a natural choice. And since starting to play a hurdy gurdy is not that difficult, the effects came pretty fast. 3 months later I started my youtube channel, called Helvetion – dedicated to Eluveitie covers.

Two fun facts about Helvetion:

  • It shows how fascinated was I (and still am!) about the instrument itself

Most of the videos look like this: stable frame, hurdy in the center, forget about seeing my face. Only hurdy gurdy and my hands playing it. Nothing is actually happening, not a single change that could draw the attention of viewer. When I watch it now, it looks funny. But it shows perfectly what I was thinking: “Look! This is my instrument – the only thing that matters here”.

helvetion youtube channel

  • I used to record the tracks in horrendous way

So I had a camera with “sound recording” option. I used to put one headphone in my ear, with the actual mp3 of Eluveitie song. I recorded parts of the song with the camera (and no click) and then I put it together in Audacity (equivalent of Paint for sound edition). Tadaaa!

I knew it was not perfect. But perfection is the last thing you need to achieve your goal. The secret is in making a decision: I START NOW. Hard work comes later, but a) with practice you’ll get into the rhythm of actually doing the thing you want to do, b) you’ll learn necessities along the way. You stop being lost when you start acting and I promise it’s true – I’m experiencing this on a daily basis.



I wanted to grow, so with time I chose more and more difficult songs. I even departed from Eluveitie material, looking for other songs, that would sound great on hurdy gurdy.

At that time I was preparing my next cover after “Jinn”. School has been busy, I wasn’t getting that much sleep. In the early morning, May 5th 2016, I woke up to my phone buzzing. Not very content with being woken up I glanced at the screen. There was a Facebook message. From a dude, who has Chrigel Glanzmann’s face as profile picture.

“Yeah, sure,” I thought, “maybe later…”

Few hours later I woke up.

I ate breakfast.

I went to school.

In the early afternoon came back home.

The message sat in my inbox untouched. I looked at the screen with hesitation.

“Hey, Michalina! This is Chrigel from Eluveitie…” I read. No, it can not be!

“I see you’ve covered quite some of our song and I wanted to say this is amazing!…”

Hearing such things from your idol is an honour. I wanted to take some time to answer properly. I was just scrolling through my feed, wondering what to say back and then a headline stroke me like a lighting. Anna, Ivo and Merlin to leave Eluveitie.

It was the earthquake. I froze in front of that screen. Unbelievable! What the hell is going on?!


But then…

Then it all began to add up. This message from Chrigel, it was not a coincidence I got it in the morning. I had no idea about the split before. It broke my heart. Yet on the other hand I…

“I HAVE A CHANCE TO BE THERE!” I realised. I was discovered and I had a realistic chance to help. I was ready to do the laundry for these guys. I ended up somehow differently.

The rest of this story consists of exchanging emails for a month, organizing everything and me dying from excitement every single second, screaming with joy in hectic, feverish bliss. Imagine being invited on stage by your favourite band. Pure madness and peak of euphoria.

In the end this whole story was a mixture of incredible amount of luck (just look at the simultaneous result, precious Cellar Darling!), dedication and work. And that little bit of magic, that pushed me where I’m now.

michalina malisz hurdy gurdy eluveitie

My first ever show with Eluveitie, RockFels 2016, credits: pushingpixels.de


Do you know more stories like this one? Tell it in the comments! I’d love to read about dreams coming true. 🙂

26 Replies to “I joined my favourite band – story about magic and screaming with joy”

  1. Hey Michalina!

    I just saw that you are having a blog, which I will follow 😀

    You are right about having own dreams and with the necessary effort and work you can achieve almost everything. Unfortunately I’m still chasing after my dream in the future but I keep going!

    But here, I have a fun fact.
    I saw you on Youtube an also subscribed to your channel. I like the sound of a gurdy an so I watched all of your videos. Shortly after that I got the news that Eluveitie had a new member… which was you! Such a small world 🙂

    Keep your good work up!

    Greetings from Luxembourg.

    1. Hello, Vermillion!
      I’m glad you like my blog, thank you for following here and also on my youtube channel, where I hope to be back soon! 🙂 Totally agree, the world is really small, especially in the age of internet.
      All the best!

  2. Hi, Michi! Salva here again! I LOVE your story with capital letters. I believe in magic, but also in hard work. Once again, your story seems similar to mine in a lot of ways. When I was a kid, I always dreamed of being a journalist. When all my friends were role-playing to be football players, doctors or actors, I played to host news on a cardboard TV I built on my own. Time passed by, and I started my studies of journalism… but everyone said maybe they were too hard for me, thay maybe I should try other choices… but I decided to carry on with my dreams. It took a lot of effort, but I finally succeeded! Since then, I’ve tried TV, radio (I worked as a Metal DJ in a radio station for almost two wonderful years), and now, I work in a motor magazine. Dreaming is the real key tu success! So nothing is impossible if you really want it and you’re commited to achieve it! Sometimes you only need some inspiration (you’re exactly that for me) to keep on fighting and putting all your efforts on what you’re doing, but the results really worth it. Please, keep on sharing with us your (now ours too) journey! Can’t wait to read your next chapter! Love from your Spanish friend 😘❤️

    1. Hey Salva!
      Great to hear from you again. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your story and congratulations on achieving your dream, I’m proud of you! Now you’ve said one super important thing, which I applaud 100%: it is magic PLUS hard work. Dreaming itself will not work. So we need to stay with our heads in the clouds, but our feet on the ground.
      Until the next time! 🙂

  3. Unreal… honestly this story is why I’m here.. I started following you the second I found out about the news and read up on your story and watched some interview with you explaining this and introducing yourself to the fans in a way. I started going back and watching all your cover vids of Eluveitie and really getting a sense of true passion for the instrument and the band! But these types of stories make my heart feel warm! I can’t even imagine that feeling of getting a message like that. I have to say I’m incredibly proud, excited and inspired. You have achieved the unthinkable with pure passion and drive. I look forward to following you and the rest of the band on this journey, and I’m so damn excited to hear some new tunes!!! Thank you very much for sharing this story with us, it’s not only important to you, but it’s extremely important to fans to hear these types of stories from their idols and give more depth and understanding to the people they listen to every day! This is only the beginning of “Ancient Made Present” and so far it’s been a lot of fun, and I await your next post like Christmas morning!
    With love and respect from Toronto,

    1. Hello, Brad! It was a pleasure to read your comment! ^_^ Thank you so much for sharing this on Ancient Made Present. Inspiring others is a great honour – we rise by lifting others. What is your passion? What are you motivated to do after reading this text? Looking forward to your answer! 🙂

      Next post is arriving next week, stay tuned and always feel warmly welcomed here!
      Best wishes from Poland,

  4. I used to see your videos in youtube, and i couldnt believe when i saw you at Leyendas del Rock 2016 (Spain)… in fact, i have a picture with you and your signature in my t-shirt 😀

    I think you are perfect for Eluveitie and the story is so great. Its like the story of Diego Palacios, Mago de Oz’s flute, who shoot cover video in youtube and Mago contact him for a tour…

    1. Hey Jurando! Thank you for leaving this comment. 🙂 Fantastic, I’m always looking out for stories like this one, because there’s something really unbelievable to it, yet they are 100% true, makes my brain tingle. 😛 Hey, I’d love to see that picture and I hope I can see YOU soon again in Spain!

      Have a great day! 🙂


      1. I’d prefer not share that, i didnt go well in the photo ;p, but here’s you signing my most preciated t-shirt (i am the half face at rigth) and the t-shirt with the signature of all Eluveitie’s member (except Fabienne because she hadnt joined the band yet). It was a really great momment! two shows at the same day! 😀


        I hope see you again Spain too!

        1. This is awesome! I remember that day very well, the accoustic show was fantastic and the metal one – pure madness! Looking forward to coming back to Spain for sure. ^_^ Best wishes, Jurado!

  5. Oh my god. So I’ve been following your Youtube channel since your Lamb of God – Grace cover, been a massive fan ever since, and honest to God had NO IDEA THAT WAS YOU NOW IN ELUVEITIE!!! I can’t believe I’ve never put the two together. You’ve been one of my biggest inspirations to pick up hurdy gurdy ever since that Grace cover. It’s on my bucket list, and I can’t wait until I make that dream come true. Keep rocking, and I CAN’T WAIT until you guys come through my town again!!

    1. Haha, surprise, Wes! 😀 No problem, I have troubles with putting it together myself sometimes! 😉 Have you already ordered one or is it in the plans for now? And where do you live? Maybe we will visit your town this summer? 😮

      Have a great day!

  6. Hi Michalina!
    Great article, I was always wondering how did you join my favourite band. Its really nice to know, that such nice things like this still can happen nowadays. Just one question, will we see you singing? 😛
    Keep up with this blog, Its great reading.

    1. Hey, Jaromír! I’m glad you liked this post! No, unfortunately – I can’t sing very well. But my dear friend Fabienne Erni does this incomparably good. Come to Eluveitie shows to see us together! 🙂

      Best wishes,

  7. Greetings from Greece. First of all I would like to congratulate you about everything you have achieved. You never gave up your dreams even if they seemed to fade. For that reason only, the “Eluveitie” reward is perfectly deserved. I am a metal guitarist myself but I love to experiment with folk and medieval European music so I get the feeling ”I want to play that instrument badly, but where I can find the damn thing?”… Eluveitie is one of my favorite bands by far. I follow their work till the beginning so I hope it matters when I’m saying to you that all the new member replacements were excellent 😉 . I wanted to say a lot more things but I ll say no more but one: Magic happens….but only to those who deserve it 🙂 Congrats once again and keep up the great work. I’m looking forward for your posts and your hurdy gurdy 😉 …….

    1. Hello, Jarl Nastos! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and many kind words! 😀 Do you have any projects going on right now? I’d love to listen to your music. 🙂 And next post is coming up this week, so stay awesome and stay tuned!
      Warmest greetings from Poland,


      1. Dear Michalina, Thank you for your reply and your interest in my music. In fact I have uploaded some songs on my You Tube channel.
        You may check this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFowf_ndOiw
        Its in german and the “lyrics” are based in a book I have wrote. It will be a great honor if you would listen even just a few seconds of my art. I hope you have a good day. “See” you on your next post 🙂

  8. Hello!
    I’ve been waiting for this story for two years. Thank you so much it’s really magical and motivating! I’m looking forward to the new stories and the clear sound of Hardy Hardy on YouTube!

    1. Hey Aleksis! Thank you for leaving your words here for me. 🙂 New stories are being written and I’m coming back on YouTube for sure as well!

      See you there,

  9. Seems like you already have quite a material for your future autobiorgaphy book 😀
    You have interesting writing style, so I’m looking forward for your next posts!

    I was fortunate enough to see you on stage in Novosibirsk, and I have to say that you perfectly joined the team. Just as you always were there. Keep up the good work! :3

  10. Well, I have no such magic story to tell, but yours shows that perseverance pays off. I just hope that I will be able to meet you one day on one of your concerts 🙂

  11. I think this very amazing story. I read with pleasure. And I glad, what you enjoy this favorite band. Maybe when you (eluveitie) come back in Kiev , we meet with you in live)))

    Your follower from instagram 1_skywalker_1 ( Paul Skywalker)

  12. Hey Michalina,
    I just followed the link you dropped under my YT channel, and damn what a cool story 😀
    Must have been a very weird feeling to have a message from Chrigel and then to realize that Anna, Ivo and Merlin left the band…
    I also like your writing style, definitely will follow your blog 😀
    Greetings from Germany 🤘

  13. Michalina congrats! I really like your work with Eluveitie I hope to see you live (come to argentina!). I know that thing where you are playing so many hours per day and day dreaming playing with your favorite band, I couldn’t fancy the feeling from that email, keep up with your blog and your youtube channel, those are amazing!

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