An In-Studio Echo with Philadelphia’s own Time For Three

Today, I had the opportunity to help out at the Echoes studios before and during a live in-studio recording session with Time for Three, a rather fascinating Philadelphia-based “new classical” string trio. The group consists of Zachary De Pue and Nick Kendall on violins, and Ranaan Meyer on upright double bass.

My job today was to work as an assistant to the sound engineer, Jeff Towne, and to help make the three band members and John comfortable during the three-hour-long recording session. When I arrived at the Echoes studios today, I began by setting up the recording booth with seven microphones in preparation for the day’s performance and interview with Time For Three. Each musician was given two microphones (one for instrument and one for voice parts in interviews/commentary) and the host, John, was given a microphone so he could provide commentary throughout the afternoon’s activities. It was a great experience getting to know how the inner workings of this recording studio come together in order to produce a full radio show.

After my work in the recording space was finished, I was able to sit back, relax, and enjoy the performance by Time For Three.

As soon as the first note of their performance rose from their strings, I became entranced by the colorful melodies that were blossoming from within the recording booth. The smooth and harmonious sounds of this trio blended much like the voices of David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Graham Nash on CSN’s “Guinivere”. Themes both of classical and contemporary origin echoed throughout Time For Three’s compositions, and improvisation added a silver lining to the soundscapes weaved by these prodigious musicians. Their set shifted from dreamy ocean-sized melodic pieces to energetic and spontaneously jagged upbeat tunes with ease. Every note was clean and clear, and I was unable to detect a single falter in their performance. To put it simply, I was completely blown away by these three incredible players.

After they had finished their short set and interview with John, the band members, Zachary, Nick, and Ranaan, chatted it up with me briefly before they had to leave. I was elated to discover that these three men were all incredibly humble, and very easy to talk to as a result. I spoke with Zachary specifically about the work of his older brother, Alex De Pue, with one of my musical heroes and greatest influences, guitarist Steve Vai. All three of these musicians come from very artistically strong families, and have all been playing music for as long as they can remember. I found a lot of common ground with these musicians. I hope that at one point I may be able to share experiences with my own musician friends that are similar to those that Time For Three has had over the years.

This was a great conclusion to a fantastic two weeks at the Echoes recording studios. The performance by Time for Three definitely made up for the fact that three events similar to this one were canceled during my internship. As a result of this, I walked away from the Echoes studios today with a true sense of closure and accomplishment.

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