Time For Three

Time For Three’s “Firework” Cover

The eclectic string trio, Time For Three isn’t interested in categories. The original members, violinists Nick Kendall and Zachary DePue and double bassist Ranaan Meyer, began jamming together as students at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. The result was a vibrant and free-flowing mix of musical styles and genres, including bluegrass, jazz, rock, and hip-hop. This “classically trained garage band” continued to perform together after Curtis, although DePue left to become concertmaster of the Indianapolis Symphony and his replacement Nikki Chooi has just joined the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra as concertmaster.

Here is Time For Three’s cover of Katy Perry’s 2010 dance-pop hit, FireworkThe euphoria-inducing song is built partly on a steadily-rising A-flat major scale. Time For Three’s cover retains this powerful sense of upward lift, while becoming something different entirely. Fragments of Perry’s song blend with the Dance of the Princesses from Stravinsky’s 1910 ballet score, The Firebird, itself inspired by a Russian folk song. The juxtaposition of the two creates some interesting moments. There’s one particularly beautiful modulation at 6:23 as we suddenly slide back into the chorus of Firework.

Today marks the 500th Listeners’ Club post! Thank you to the growing number of loyal readers and subscribers who come to this blog three times a week, earphones in hand. Please continue to share your favorite Listeners’ Club posts!


  • Time For Three’s complete discography iTunes
  • Stravinsky, The Firebird, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Pierre Boulez iTunes

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  1. The Chiara Quartet: Bartók by Heart | The Listeners' Club - September 28, 2016

    […] The third movement is a Scherzo marked, “in the Bulgarian style.” Bartók traveled the Eastern European countryside recording and documenting folk music which was in danger of extinction. The raw, vibrant sounds of this folk tradition emerge throughout Bartók’s music. You can hear it in this passage early in the Scherzo and in the ornaments here. (Compare this with the sounds of Bulgarian folk music here). Just before the movement’s nonchalant ending, listen for the “snap pizzicato” (also called a “Bartók pizzicato), which is achieved by pulling and releasing the string with so much force that it snaps back against the fingerboard. You may have heard this sound in Bluegrass music, as well as this Time for Three clip.  […]

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