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DeepBlue

Time for Three

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Last week, I was reading an article in the Wall Street Journal about the resurgence of improv in classical music circles.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122781195665062021.html

This is an interest area of mine since I have been trying to improve my improv skills for the church praise band I have joined.

The article mentioned a group that was showing the way called "Time for Three". It consists of two violinists and a bass player. The trio met while they were students at Curtis. They are all in their 20s and serious musicians. One of the violinists played with the Philadelphia Orchestra and is now the concertmaster of the Indianapolis Symphony. He also has a bluegrass background. The others seem equally eclectic.

The article mentioned that they would be performing in Tampa that weekend in a pops concert with the Florida Orchestra, so I went online and bought tickets on the spot for that evening's performance. How weird is it that you find out about a concert in your city from a New York newspaper?

Anyway, the concert was a great experience. These guys are great entertainers and musicians. They did everything from an improv version of the Bach Double to the Orange Blossom Special. The bass player is amazing. You don't see many double bass players taking the lead in a trio, but this guy can hold his own with anyone.

The group has a web page where you can hear some of their music:

http://www.myspace.com/timeforthree

The concert was very fun. I highly recommend them if they come to your town.

I pass this along because I happened to find out about them by chance. Hopefully they will continue to get good publicity.

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We just played with them on Thursday night.They were fantastic! The bass player was superb.They have wonderful chemistry with each other on and off stage.It was an honour to accompany them....

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DeepBlue,

Thanks for the links, and the heads-up about improvisation.

Pianist Alpin Hong played the Beethoven Piano Concerto #3, here, in Boise, last month. Into his cadenza to the first movement he inserted the first 6 notes of the Darth Vader theme, very subtly and quietly. I almost started laughing but no one else was, so I choked it down. That's not quite improvisation, and he probably planned it, but it was in the same spirit as improvisation, namely, treating the written notes as less than sacrosanct.

This is a great season for improvising on the violin, namely, with Christmas carols. They're easy tunes, well embedded in everybody's head. So they're easy to play by ear, and playing by ear seems to be a prerequisite for improvising. And they're easy to harmonize to, either to another instrument or singer, or to oneself on the violin, playing double stop harmonies. Silent Night is a fun one to play in double stop harmony, by ear.

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Zach De Pue is one of the players featured in a documentary on Philly, mentioned in another thread here (by me).

We have seen him play. He is great, doesn't appear at all stuck on himself, and was incredibly personable.

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