Complex simplicity by Hawkins and Backun
“It has long been my goal to create a clarinet mouthpiece that satisfies the nuances of change while preserving the history of the craft.” – Richard HawkinsOutstanding artist. Renowned educator. Master craftsman. Words and praise that are often bestowed upon Richard Hawkins. After decades of collecting, observing and crafting mouthpieces for many of the world’s finest artists, Hawkins collaborated with Backun Musical Services to develop a series of mouthpieces with tonal ring and clarity that will change the course of mouthpiece history.
Designed for all ages and experience levels, the Vocalise Series of B♭ mouthpieces features a model for every player and occasion, all of which belong in your clarinet case. Complex resonance at a reasonable price.
Designed at Backun using advanced CAD/CAM software and tested with 3D printing technology, the mouthpieces are crafted from hard rod rubber on a highly advanced nine-axis CNC machine and finished in a unique done-in-one machining program that combines the milling and lathing processes without the need for a second setup or recalibration. This results in an exceptionally consistent mouthpiece that stays true to the original design.
Each mouthpiece helps the player centre articulation, pitch and altissimo, with impeccable ease and consistency of voicing. It is the first mouthpiece of its kind specifically designed to play well on both synthetic and cane reeds, in strengths 2.5 to 4.5. Articulation Management allows players to capture the appropriate length of articulations for different styles without increased effort. Now offered in two pitch levels A=440 and A=442. Please select which pitch level you wish to optimize your performance preferences.
R Model Bb - Close/Short
Evenness and a focus of sound that sings with ease are two characteristics of this close facing mouthpiece. The R allows artists to articulate with reduced effort, while ringing true with fabulous clarity. This is Hawkins’s choice for young artists looking to step up to a more complex mouthpiece.
G Model Bb - Medium/Medium
A medium faced mouthpiece that combines exceptional evenness and round tonal complexity. The G has a smoother influence on interval connections just where you need it. An all-around mouthpiece for those who prefer medium facings and lengths.
H Model Bb - Open/Long
The most open facing in the lineup, the H is both smooth and dark, with ample cushion for those who need more robust flexibility throughout the registers. This mouthpiece gives as much as it takes, requiring balanced breath support and unyielding passion in performance.
Z Model Bb - Extremely Open/Long
The Vocalise Z was developed to meet the needs of artists who prefer mouthpieces with a larger facing, while offering significant volume and projection. With a robust tone reminiscent of more current European models, the Z is Extremely Open/Long, with ample cushion for those who want a bold and unyielding tone.
Watch the Video
Richard Hawkins on the New Vocalise Z
One gets excited about the development of something new and unusually rare in the history of clarinet mouthpieces. Together with the team at Backun, we developed the Vocalise Z model to give players not only polished flexibility, but volume and pop to the core sound. It is louder, bigger and has the dexterity to shine in any type of music. It is a mouthpiece like no other in its ability, out-of-the-box, to be louder in tone without the typical harshness, yet it does not require more embouchure pressure to perform. Addicting to play and hard to put down, this model has exceeded my expectations.
Clear, flexible sound
I waited a long time to pull the trigger on this mouthpiece, but have liked it. It produces a clear, resonant sound and is quite flexible. I've recently shifted to playing predominantly plastic reeds because as a teacher, my instrument often sits for a long time between playing throughout the day. This is quite responsive. I'm still looking for a great ligature to suit the mouthpiece/reed combo.
Easy to blow, especially with Legere reeds
Easy to blow, especially with Legere reeds; also, works well with cane
Smooth tone, even tuning between registers
I'm very happy with my new mouthpiece....far less squeaking, even sweet tone, better intonation!
I’ve purchased a bell, two barrels, and now this Vocalise G Bb mouthpiece for my Yamaha clarinet. Not only do they perform well, but the craftsmanship is beautiful.
These mouthpieces are fantastic.
I am currently playing on the Hawkins B facing, and was terribly worried when Richard informed us he was unable to make any more. I received both the R and G models of these new mouthpieces and am so pleased with them. I normally order many mouthpieces for a trial and keep only the best ones. I ordered just one of each this time. I tried the R first since it would most closely resemble the B and could not believe the feel and sound I could make with it. It has just enough cover to remain dark, good hold, excellent pitch and very clear articulation. I couldn't be more pleased. I then tried the G as it would resemble the Vandoren Black Diamond 5 and was pleasantly surprised how easily this mouthpiece played as well. The tone I made on the G was only slightly brighter than the R, yet still had excellent hold and pitch. Notes were much more even while playing very large intervals. The interesting aspect of my trial today was I was able to use the same reed on both mouthpieces and still feel as comfortable as I had playing on my B. Congratulations to all involved in the birth of these wonderful mouthpieces. I will be ordering more very soon.
First of all I have always found the people at Backun a pleasure to do business with. They are professional, friendly and, knowledgeable about their products. I have purchased from Backun over the years and have always found their products and Company to be outstanding . My New Vocalise Bb Clarinet Mouthpiece is an exceptional mouthpiece and lives up to its reputation at a very reasonable price.If you would like a new Clarinet then take a look at their lineup. They have an instrument to fit any of your demands and are absolutely works of art.