When we created the Vital Duo project, I clearly needed a broad range of traditional instruments capable of covering several frequencies, from low to high. So I added to the cittern and the mandola this blue grass mandolin, witch have a very nice sound, between tradition and modernity. I tuned it my way (F#, B, D#, G#), wich is not too high for a mandolin, but works well for my music.
As everyone knows, the neck of a mandolin is very thin, so it demands a certain practice to get right with it, but when you’ve got it, it’s very pleasant to play. It’s for sure the kind of guitar that gives you the desire to dance to early tunes in a medieval market place! I used the mandolin a lot on the Atlas album (2004) and of course on the Vital Duo album. On the first video tape (Loué son nom), you can appreciate the “dancing” and powerful mood of the mandolin, as the second one (Fantaisie pour mandoline) will show you an example of solo piece for this instrument.
Minimum Vital - "Fantaisie pour mandoline"
(video by Gilles Pialat)