The popular group Melnitsa is one of the most important projects for the russian musical stage, playing for everyone who likes music in general. As a curious result, the group amuses, from fans of metal to the most academic and conceptual musicians; from romantic maidens and 17-year-old punks to officers of the Russian army and rich businessmen.
Such are the combinations of elements, which separately may not be original, but aren't often found within the boundaries of one musical project all together. Cello, double bass, violin, acoustic guitar, percussion, flute, and a beautiful female voice. Their style is orientated on a fantasy-like kind of music which combines elements of folk (Russian, Scandinavian and even Spanish), barocco and other medieval influences glued all together. A very important pillar of Melnitsa is also Natalia Nikolaeva (vocalist and live-action RPG player), who often uses the pseudonym "Hellawes".
She studied West European languages, including old one like Altic, Gothic, and Altiric. Beside her own songs she also used poems from Gumilev, Tsvetaeva, Yates and Burns. The pseudonym is based on Thomas Malory's "Death of Arthur", XV Century. In the story, there's witch named Hellawes who tries to seduce Sir Lancelot, unsuccessfully.
Why the word "mill"? This was Hellawes' idea. She explained: "Charming fairy-tale building... fits us". After that, more details appear such as the giant which Don Quixote battled against; the home of the red-eyed miller-sorcerer from the Slavonic/Baltic folklore; a kind of demiurgic mechanism that not only turns grains into flour, but also creates a fully fantasied world. "The Mill" is something deeply implanted in tradition while it caters the imagination of everyone.
published with kind permission from http://www.uberblah.com/2005/melnitsa.htm