Time For Three: A Different Kind of String Trio

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Time for Three @ Echoes

We had the pleasure of hosting Time for Three, the string trio of violinists Zach De Pue and Nick Kendall and double-bassist Ranaan Meyer, in the Echoes Living Room a while back.  They gave a performance of almost frightening virtuosity and intuitive interplay, tapping into their more serene and contemplative side with renditions of Imogen Heap‘s “Hide & Seek,” Leonard Cohen‘s “Hallelujah” and their own originals, “Of Time & Three Rivers” and the quiet rapture of “Sundays.”  It was the first time they’d ever played “Sundays” live since they recorded it last July on their latest CD, Three Fervent Travelers.  Next week we’ll have a complete Echoes interview with T43, but here’s a taste from this week’s Echo Location.

You can hear an audio version of this with music from Time for Three.

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When you think of string trios, you probably don’t think of improvisation, Bluegrass, Imogen Heap or Classical Jam Band Camp. You also wouldn’t think a classical string trio would be called “the heartthrobs of many teenage girl musicians throughout the country.”

Zach De Pue: I’ve never heard that one
Nick Kendall: I’ve never heard that either.
Ranaan Meyer: I swear by it.

That’s violinists Zach De Pue and Nick Kendall and double bassist Ranaan Meyer.  Here’s a few they have heard.

Nick Kendall: We are classically trained garageband
Zach De Pue: Three benevolent monsters.

Time for Three is a string trio, all of whom were born in the late 1970s.  They mostly come from classical music families and they met at Philadelphia’s acclaimed Curtis Institute of Music.  But there were a few other things in their background, like jazz.

Ranaan Meyer:  Well, I grew up not knowing anything about jazz, and when I was 15 I got into it and it was pretty much like straight ahead, you know and Be-Bop at that point, but to tell you the truth now, like I am into all jazz and I grew up playing all jazz, you know after that point.

Then there’s Bluegrass.

Zach De Pue: That would be me.  Just growing up, four fiddle playing brothers, studying classically all year round, in the summer time going around to area fiddle contest in Bowling Green, Ohio, and then actually later on the surrounding countryside, we would camp, and basically learning Appalachian style fiddling, northern style fiddling and lot of fiddle tunes.

Time for Three takes these influences and more and fuses them into a sound that can have the flow of improvised music. In concert they don’t use written scores.

Nick Kendall:  Well this is a different of approach I think.  It is completely based by ear and by concept building. However the vibe is going, we can diverge from the actual part to accommodate the moment, so it is completely flexible and I think a lot of times that’s why it comes off as so improvised.  We weren’t learning it from an external source, we are actually ingesting it as we play it.

Time for Three compose most of their own music and don’t play much from the Masters, unless you consider the Masters Leonard Cohen or Imogen Heap, both of whom they cover. Their latest album is Three Fervent Travelers.  We’ll talk with them some more next Tuesday, April 19, 2010, on Echoes.  This has been an Echo Location, Soundings for New Music.

John Diliberto ((( echoes )))


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One Response to “Time For Three: A Different Kind of String Trio”

  1. Evelyn Frederick Says:

    Are you all coming West again? I saw you at the Deer Valley Music Festival in Park City, Utah a few years ago. Glad to see you have a new album. Thanks..

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