In this episode of the podcast I’m joined by the wonderful Brad Behn of Behn mouthpieces. We focus on his “EPIC” line of mouthpieces that feature reverse-engineered proprietary rubber, o-ring tenons, and are available in tilted ergonomic designs, but we also touch on his barrels, bells, reeds, and some really wonderful things he’s planning for the future of his company. His approach is all about getting more from the instrument with less effort from the player and his artistic wisdom and vision is truly inspiring.
- Branding the “BEHN” company
- Summing up Behn’s philosophy in one sentence: “More sound, less effort”
- Finding your set up
- The “truth” of the clarinet
- Range of expression: “If there’s no quiet, there can be no loud.”
- Artistic flexibility
- Finding the correct amount of effort (not too little, not too much)
- The importance of “working resistance”
- The displeasing “sound of effort”
- The “buzz” of ClarinetFest 2017
- My (wonderful) experience with Behn’s EPIC mouthpiece
- The science behind the EPIC series
- The importance of people in the process “great things don’t happen on their own”
- Getting to a point in your career that you can “explore yourself”
- It can be easier to change mouthpieces than reed strength
- Why are we going for a “dark sound”?
- Selecting a ligature with your Behn mouthpiece
- The importance of a ligature’s practicality in addition to playing characteristics
- Identifying which Behn mouthpiece is for you
- The possibility of a Behn clarinet
- “It’s good to have dreams”
Mentioned Products and Resources
- BEHN mouthpieces
- Ed Joffe’s interview with Brad Behn
- Kristen Denny Chambers’s interview with Brad Behn
- Bonade Inverted Ligature
- Florian Popa wooden ligature
- Charles Bay Ligature
- Ishimori Ligature
About Brad Behn and Behn, LLC.
Bradford Behn (pronounced BAYN) studied clarinet performance with Robert Marcellus at Northwestern University, where he received his Bachelors and Masters degrees in 1989 and 1990. Brad is Principal Clarinet of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and has also held positions as Principal Clarinet with the Fort Collins Symphony and Tulsa Symphony, and previously served as 2nd/E-flat Clarinet with the Tulsa Philharmonic and the Savannah Symphony. Additional experiences include frequent performances with the symphonies of Baltimore, Utah, Colorado, San Antonio, Alabama, Charleston (SC), and Naples (FL).
Since 1992, Brad has been intensely involved in mouthpiece design and acoustics and has been refacing mouthpieces for a large international clientele. In 2003, the business expanded to include clarinet mouthpieces for sale as well as refacing and customization services. Today, Behn, LLC, is owned and operated by Bradford Behn and So Rhee and offers mouthpieces, barrels, bells, reeds, and accessories creatively designed to enhance resonance, improve comfort, and exceed the highest professional standards.
Behn’s state-of-the-art 5-axis CNC manufacturing system, authentic hand-made reproduction of 1920s golden-era GRADE-A rod rubber, and revolutionary patented design enhancements attest unbound commitment to the mouthpiece arts.
Behn’s dedication and commitment can be viewed at www.clarinetmouthpiece.com where information about products and tutorial blogs and videos are available to offer solutions to common questions about the clarinet playing experience.