I have always loved the crystalline brilliance of the mandolin (ex definitio: bowlback), which I like to bring out even more by using bronze-wound, light-weight strings and super-rigid picks (ivory, natural fossil matter, or the hardest plastics available).
But, in the course of human events, one does come to a performance space that is in and of itself extremely treble-friendly; or the ensemble's instrumentation requires a mellower tone of the mandolinist; or any other such circumstance that makes the natural sonority of the instrument come across a bit too bright, almost shrill.
How, then, does one "trim the sheen", that bright aureole that glows around the tremolo of a bright, brightly set-up mandolin? Obviously, it is impractical to restring the instrument from one performance space to the other. We are left, then, with picks:
What is the next-grade-darker than the high-gloss, virtually inflexible materials I use? I am not, of course, speaking of the gummy, rubbery picks the Germans use; I am not seeking an adjustment from a razor's blade to molasses. What I AM interested in is any material and/or type of pick that would sound a bit, ehm... less like a glass-chime, just for those naturally bright-sounding performance spaces.
It is not man who lives, but his work. (Ioannis Kapodistrias)