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 Benjamin Herman

Benjamin Herman

1

@ Frans Hanswijk

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As an improviser I know that being in the same place for too long can make you lazy. In my case I loose my interest in practicing when things get too familiar. I'm always looking for something to spark my imagination and make me want to practice more. For that reason for about 5 years now I have been looking for something different than my Selmer Mark 6. Of all the great new instruments I tried none of them really had that effect.
I remember when I got my first saxophone (a Selmer Bundy in a green plastic case) I couldn't take my eyes off it. All I wanted to do is sit in the attic all day and run scales and make it sound better. The same thing happened when I got my first Mark 6. It's like falling in love with music again. Not the horn per se, but the sound that comes out of it and the fact that everything feels new and grand.
The Reference I'm am playing now has really had that effect on me. For the first time in years I am thoroughly enjoying blowing long notes and practicing basics again, just to be able to hear the thing sing. There is a true richness to the sound that s extremely inspiring. Practically speaking the Reference has projection that is incredible. What I love about a great saxophone is that kick back thing where you always have the possibility to step on the gas and wail without the sound getting stuck somewhere in the horn. Somehow they fixed that at Selmer. There is also a significant difference in the higher frequency's of the sound. Therefor apart from being able to play sweet and outspoken at lower volumes the articulation is Crystal clear.
Also I have found some interesting new fingering for top tones. For the first time on an alto I am able to play a high G with just the quick f key. And I have even found an alternate high A which always jumped out a bit too enthusiastically on my Mark 6. In the middle register I had to get the springs tightened on the side keys because the sound is so powerful they started shaking. And the transition to the low register is nice and smooth, it doesn't take any extra effort to play below F like I was used to.
I have been performing and practicing on the Reference for three months. It's finally summer now in Amsterdam and everybody is enjoying the great weather sitting along the canals catching the sun. I'm afraid I won't see much of that this year, having much too much fun indoors.
www.benjaminherman.nl