I saw this posted to the Moldy Chum blog. Good stuff here boys, thanks!
In this little vignette, Vincent Maggio, adjunct professor of music at the University of Miami, describes the relationship between improvisation and fly tying. And he illustrates a great point that would make old Bill Monroe very happy. He basically says that tying flies and trying different materials is much like improvising on a melody. You take the basic pattern and replace one or two of the original materials and try your own version. The pattern is essentially the same and the over all look and feel of the fly might be very similar but you’ve created your own thought on it, your own take.
In the same way improvising over a set of changes allows you to take the melody and replace a few phrase with your own version of things. Supposedly Bill Monroe used to tell all his players that he never wanted to hear a guy play a solo the same way twice. So you take the basic structure and make your own twist on it. This is what makes Jazz and Bluegrass so exciting, you never hear a song the same way twice.
Of course, as fly tiers there is need for repetition and tying things the same twice (like a few dozen times) but maybe by improvising a little we create new and unique patterns that, if we are lucky, might fool a fish or two the next time we are out on the river.
Thanks to Vince Maggio for articulating yet another perfect example of the intersection of fly fishing and music, it almost makes my job here too easy! Below is a little bio info from the University of Miami School of Music website. And here is a link to a record by him at Amazon.
Vince Lawrence Maggio, Adjunct Professor (Jazz Piano), received B.M. and M.M. degrees from the University of Miami. He studied at the American Conservatory in Chicago and was a private student of Oscar Peterson in Toronto. He toured nationally with his own “Vince Lawrence Trio” and has performed with Cannonball Adderly, Stan Getz, Sonny Stitt, Chet Baker, Kenny Dorham, and the late Mel Torme, and is a former faculty/artist member at the Aspen Music Festival. Maggio’s student quintet, “The Bop Brothers,” performs regionally and internationally, and are two time winners of The National Collegiate Jazz Competition in Boulder. Maggio’s CD, Reunion, with saxophonist Mark Colby, was released on the Corridor label.