two violins and a double bass aren’t normally the elements of sweeping rock music.
But in the hands of the fusion trio Time for Three, those elements of classical music are electrified into a new kind of performance entirely.
Time for Three has taken traditional classical music in an entirely unique, and sometimes bizarre, direction. Mixing Bach and Brahms with Led Zeppelin, The Beatles and Kanye West, the trio has reconstructed the symphonic music that most people identify with into something fresh and invigorating.
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“Ultimately, when you distill it, it’s about three guys who have this really incredible way of playing together,” said Nick Kendall, one of two violinists for the group.
Time for Three will be performing at 7 p.m. July 31 at Mallow Run Winery.
The show is presented by the Greater Greenwood Arts Council, to help support art efforts throughout Johnson County.
Kendall, violinist Zachary De Pue and double bassist Ranaan Meyer came together to form Time for Three in the early 2000s as students at Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music.
Since that time, they’ve gained traction across all genres of music and picked up fans through constant touring and their online presence.
The group has performed everywhere from New York’s famed Carnegie Hall to the legendary jazz club Yoshi’s in San Francisco. They’ve played European festivals, NFL games and the Indianapolis 500.
Starting in 2009, the trio signed on for a three-year residency with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. That relationship is now entering its seventh season.
In the midst of their ongoing North American tour, Kendall took some time to share what Time for Three is all about, and how they’ve established roots in central Indiana.
What is the philosophy behind Time for Three?
When we’re playing on stage together, it really turns into three very different musicians and different people who have this way of creating with each other. It’s all about spontaneity.
How do you plan and map out that spontaneity?
Our setlists are very flexible. It all depends on what we feel like playing that night. It’s all amazing to me how easy it is to blend with each other’s talents. The sounds we create, the way we spin our sound is so incredible to me, and so easy to lay into.
How do you get all of your individual elements put together into these unique kinds of performances?
At this point, we know each other’s playing so well. Everyone has to know their part. When it comes to the trio’s shows, it’s very rare that we’re rehearsing. And that’s so there is complete flexibility on stage. A lot of times, we’ll throw each other curveballs, and play something new. That’s when you get those unique qualities of discovery.
During the course of your career, how have you seen the classical music world change?
Classical organizations are very risk-adverse. In their history, they didn’t feel like they need to take a lot of risks. They didn’t feel like there’s anything to fix. Of course, as everybody has discovered after the financial crisis (of 2008), there was like this fire that burned through the forest. Now there’s this brand-new life growing from the rubble.
What has the residency with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra been like for you?
Because of our experimentation, and because of the symphony’s commitment to take a lot of risks, all of us have come out with something very valuable. There’s something for children, there’s something for young adults, and there’s something for our parents’ age. Knowing how to tailor that and have it hit a wider demographic is really great. We’re really proud of our relationship with the (Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra), and I think together, we’ve shown a lot of communities in North America what kinds of risks are actually good to take.
How has it been beneficial for you?
One of the biggest takeaways for us is how much there is a real place for this kind of art in today’s world. There is so much out there that’s wonderful and exciting. There is so much to choose from, but there is nothing that is the same as walking into a beautiful concert hall. Maybe you’ll find something unexpected, and have your imagination stretched a little bit.
How does what you do fit into the symphony’s mission?
Our music is not classical music. The underpinnings of it, we are classically trained, but we have immense care for the art form. What happens inside of a concert hall, with the multitude of different experiences one can have with an orchestra, we know it so well. It’s home to us.
For someone who’s never seen Time for Three live, what can they expect?
There will never be a dull moment. It’s very rare that we have a program book with our performances. To experience us, you just need to come ready to engage. We feel like we’ve failed if you look down at a program book or your watch.
Time for Three
When: 7 p.m. July 31; doors open at 6.
Where: Mallow Run Winery, 6964 W. Whiteland Road, Bargersville
Cost: $15 in advance, $20 day of show
Tickets and information: mallowrun.com/time-for-three