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, Firework. The 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.