Skip to main content

Watch Swiss hurdy gurdy visionary play five Black Sabbath riffs

"Long ago, in a long forgotten land far away, someone had the idea to combine a violin and a coffee grinder," says Michalina Malisz. "That's how the hurdy gurdy was born."

Michalina may be joking, but that's OK. As hurdy gurdy player with Swiss metal act Eluveitie, she's earned every right to say whatever the hells she likes about her chosen instrument. 

She's also earned the right to play whatever the hells she likes, which includes delving into Tony Iommi's bottomless pit of riffs to pull out a few before subjecting them to the hurdy gurdy treatment.

Paranoid? Check. Sabbra Cadabra? Check. A National Acrobat? Sweet Leaf? Supernaut? They're all here. And they're all extremely hurdy gurdy-ish. 

"A hurdy gurdy is a complex instrument and it has plenty of parts and because of that the most important thing in this instrument is balance," says Michalina. "So the parts work well together. Balance is rule number one in building the hurdy gurdy and playing the hurdy gurdy."

This isn't Michalina's first adventure with hurdy gurdy covers of rock classics – only last month she released a version of Metallica's Master Of Puppets, which you can hear below. 

Also last month, French hurdy gurdy expert Guilhem Desq performed a cover of Pantera's Cowboys From Hell on the hurdy gurdy. It must be a thing, clearly. 

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 35 years in music industry, online for 22. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.