Today I speak with Morrie Backun, who is the President, Chief Instrument Designer, and founder of Backun Musical Services.
Backun is a relatively new Canadian company that started off producing just clarinet barrels and bells, but has grown to be a globally-recognized manufacturing brand since the release of their first complete instrument less than a decade ago.
They now proudly produce their original barrels and bells alongside mouthpieces, student and intermediate clarinets, and some of the world’s most sought-after professional-level instruments.
Many of these products are manufactured and assembled by hand in Burnaby, British Columbia Canada. Their instruments are played by some of the biggest names in the industry, including the legendary Eddie Daniels, Ricardo Morales, and David Shifrin, just to name a few.
In this interview, we discus:
- Backun’s philosophy on design
- working directly with artists to customize instruments to their liking
- exciting details about upcoming products
- how and why they keep their factory so impeccably clean and organized
Win a Backun Alpha!
The giveaway for this episode is the most amazing yet (thank you Backun!). One lucky winner will receive a brand new Backun Alpha clarinet, valued at $1075 USD!
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- Coming soon
About Morrie Backun
Musician, catalyst and gourmet food connoisseur. These are just a few of the many, many words used to describe Morrie, who wears several hats at Backun Musical; however, none are more important than Chief Instrument Designer. Born with a clarinet in one hand and a reamer in the other, Morrie spawned the after-market barrel and bell revolution with his handcrafted creations, while also becoming the go-to woodwind technician for many of the world’s most respected artists.
Whether it’s rebuilding Ricardo Morales’ basset clarinet fifteen minutes before a concerto performance (true story), or developing the next amazing Backun product (did someone say Backun Bass Clarinet?), Morrie is always thinking and always on Facebook. And while he’ll never admit it, he’s truly at home at his repair bench working with our artists on a new prototype or solving the latest woodwind quandary.
When not being traumatized by his personal trainer, Morrie can often be found on Skype chatting with Backun Artists, sampling the latest delicacies of Vancouver’s finest sushi restaurants, and biking the seawall with his wife, Mary (herself a professional clarinetist and educator), and sons Jeremy and Joshua. (PS: Rub Morrie’s head to reveal his hidden genie!) (Credit: http://backunmusical.com/pages/leadership)
About Backun Musical Services
Backun Musical Services evolved out of necessity, not by design. A family business with humble roots as an instrument repair shop, Backun Musical was founded by Morrie Backun in 2000. Years later, our family name is known around the world for some of the most innovative woodwind products of the last century.
Focused on the future, we also look to the past for inspiration. The first Backun Barrel ever made was for Wes Foster, Former Principal Clarinet in the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and a protege of the late, Robert Marcellus. Wes had a vintage Clarinet in need of a barrel. Rather than purchase a stock model, Morrie crafted one from a block of cocobolo wood. Fifteen years later, Backun Barrels, and later Bells, Mouthpieces and Clarinets, have grown into some of the most sought-after woodwind products in the world.
Our promise of ‘Advancing the Art of Woodwinds’ is not something we take lightly. Every day is dedicated to our craft, using our skills and advanced technologies to help musicians reach the highest levels of excellence.
From exceptional aged woods to the purest metals, Backun Musical has become renowned worldwide for its dedication to making the finest woodwind instruments and accessories. Driven by this vision and fuelled by the ever-higher standards of our clients – each a proud Backun Artist – our company is constantly pushing the boundaries of art and acoustics. Small wonder that Backun Musical has become the go-to source for woodwind instrument and accessory designs around the world.
While our product line has grown over the years, what has not changed is our commitment to provide woodwind artists with exceptional products and outstanding customer service. Ask any of the legions of artists who play our products, and they’ll tell you why our knowledge and proprietary manufacturing techniques are in demand the world over.
From our first barrel to the bell; from our mouthpiece to the first Backun clarinet; we really are ‘Reinventing the Clarinet One Piece at a Time.’ (Credit: http://backunmusical.com/pages/company)
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Clarineat Podcast Production Team:
- Sean Perrin, Host
- Andrew Morrow, Debate Co-Host
- Brian Schappals, Audio Editor
- Meghan Taylor, Copy Editor
- Bret Newton, Research Assistant
- Tony Park, Social Media