Weekender

String trio Time for Three: It’s ‘about the moment’

The musicians of Time for Three use their stringed instruments to put a new touch on more contemporary songs, including those by U2, Coldplay and Leonard Cohen.
The musicians of Time for Three use their stringed instruments to put a new touch on more contemporary songs, including those by U2, Coldplay and Leonard Cohen. Photo provided

Time for Three is a frequent guest on NPR and has performed worldwide, including at the famed Royal Albert Hall in London. To add to its resume, the string trio will make its debut at Penn State’s Center for the Performing Arts next week.

Violinists Zach De Pue and Nick Kendall and double bassist Ranaan Meyer are classically trained, but their music reaches across genres.

“The three of us met when we were students at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia,” Kendall said. “Back then we were the only ones having these free-form jam sessions after our lessons or rehearsals. ... Studying the great masterworks requires so much concentration and discipline, (but) all three of us wanted to be more impulsive and in the moment and share with each other. To let off steam, we’d have these jam sessions. It’d be this mishmash of anything we were working on (at the time).”

The three are known for their reworks of songs by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Leonard Cohen, Coldplay and U2 as well as traditional ballads.

“We’re kind of spinning or sourcing the great artistic depths of the knowledge of studying history’s most incredible compositions,” Kendall said. “It’s a way for us to connect. It’s such a high level of communication and playing off of each other and feeling the moment through various repertoire that we’ve written ourselves or worked with arrangers or composers. It’s more about the moment and sharing the music than what style we are in.”

Kendall said that a Time for Three concert can be “just what the doctor ordered” for someone curious about blending genres through classical instruments.

“After our concert, maybe their lives will be a little bit more inspired and rich,” he said. “They’ll definitely have felt like they got to know us a little bit more.”

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