Time For Three: Tiny Desk Concert In person, the members of Time for Three come off as just three dudes in a band. But with their staggering technique and freewheeling genre-crossing, it's hard not to be swept up in the force of their contagious energy. Hear the "classically trained garage band" perform in the NPR Music offices.

Tiny Desk

Time For Three

Time For Three: Tiny Desk Concert

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/195563359/195563065" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Pigeonholing the classically trained string trio Time for Three isn't easy, but that's also a blessing. The musicians — violinists Zachary De Pue and Nick Kendall with double bassist Ranaan Meyer — say they love a kaleidoscopic spectrum of music. "If we like it, we play it" is their motto. That's why you'll find them riffing on Daft Punk and Kanye West in their popular anti-bullying video or blending Bach and Bon Iver at a Macy's. Their own compositions tend to swing wildly among pop, bluegrass and jazz.

Meyer, De Pue and Kendall don't act like your average classical conservatory grads (they met at the esteemed Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia). They come off as just three high-spirited dudes in a band — a "classically trained garage band," as they like to say. But they certainly don't play like it. Watching them weave together the colorful strands of their music, as they huddle behind Bob Boilen's desk, it's hard not to be swept up in the force of their staggering technique and contagious energy.

What fuels that energy, at least in part, is a strong urge to improvise. "Intuitively, we create a structure and then loosen the vibe up when appropriate," De Pue says.

You can feel it, along with the sheer joy of playing, in the opening tune "Banjo Love," in which two contrary violin solos get support from Meyer's expressively propulsive bass. "Sundays," with its slowly unfolding melodies, is a wistful homage to a weekend hangover. And the onomatopoetic "Don Don" spirals out as a funky, high-octane hoedown wherein violins chase each other while Meyer counterpunches the side of his bass.

These three short tunes are brimming with surprises. When the set ended, I longed for at least one more, just to find out what the band would come up with next.

Set List

  • "Banjo Love"
  • "Sundays"
  • "Don Don"

Credits

Producer: Tom Huizenga; Editor: Parker Miles Blohm; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Denise DeBelius, Gabriella Garcia-Pardo, Mito Habe-Evans

[+] read more[-] less

More From Tiny Desk

ALA.NI performs a Tiny Desk Concert on June 20, 2017. (Photo: Liam James Doyle/NPR) Liam James Doyle/NPR/NRR hide caption

toggle caption Liam James Doyle/NPR/NRR

ALA.NI

ALA.NI captures and conveys a reverent love of early-20th-century music, while injecting those sounds with charisma and charm well suited for any era.

Maggie Rogers performs a Tiny Desk concert at NPR headquarters. Liam James Doyle/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Liam James Doyle/NPR

Maggie Rogers

The rising pop star performs three of her best-known songs, including a sweet solo take on her career-making "Alaska."

Aldous Harding performs a Tiny Desk Concert on June 6, 2017. (Claire Harbage/NPR) Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Aldous Harding

Intensity in songs often expresses itself as volume – a loud guitar, a scream, a piercing synth line. But in the case of Aldous Harding it's in the spaces, the pauses, and her unique delivery.

James Mercer of The Shins performs a Tiny Desk Concert on June 19, 2017. (Liam James Doyle/NPR) Liam James Doyle/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Liam James Doyle/NPR

The Shins

James Mercer, the emotional and creative heart of The Shins, gives a moving performance at the Tiny Desk, with two new songs and a classic from the band's 2003 album Chutes Too Narrow.

Albin Lee Meldau performs a Tiny Desk Concert on June 12, 2017. (Claire Harbage/NPR) Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Albin Lee Meldau

Albin Lee Meldau possesses a thunderous, deeply affecting voice, which he uses to tell some utterly dark, but demonstrably cathartic, tales.

Rare Essence performs a Tiny Desk Concert on June 9, 2017. (Liam James Doyle/NPR) Liam James Doyle/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Liam James Doyle/NPR

Rare Essence

Rare Essence has been bringing go-go to the world since 1976 — the group brought that pedigree, and the genre's massive meld of funk, rhythm and blues and soul, to this raucous hometown Tiny Desk.

Tuxedo performs a Tiny Desk Concert on May 20th, 2017. (Claire Harbage/NPR) Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Tuxedo

Tuxedo, the unlikely-on-paper funk-soul duo of Mayer Hawthorne and Jake One, brought a left-of-center sonic approach and a sharp sense of style to their Tiny Desk Concert.

Fragile Rock performs a Tiny Desk Concert on June 16, 2017. (Photo: Liam James Doyle/NPR) Liam James Doyle/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Liam James Doyle/NPR

Fragile Rock

Fragile Rock is a band that relies on the boogie of The B-52s, the melancholy of The Smiths and the humor of Kermit the Frog. Oh, and they're all puppets.

Jay Som performs a Tiny Desk Concert on June 7, 2017. (Liam James Doyle/NPR) Liam James Doyle/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Liam James Doyle/NPR

Jay Som

Melina Duterte may have played all the instruments on Jay Som's newest record, Everybody Works, but her touring band brought a rougher edge to those silky recordings.

Chance The Rapper performs a Tiny Desk Concert on June 5, 2017. (Claire Harbage/NPR) Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Chance The Rapper

Chance The Rapper, fresh from a 23,000-strong, sold-out show the night before, brought a thoughtful and fresh take to his Tiny Desk concert.

Back To Top