Sonophonix emerged from a long and fruitful friendship between two very dedicated classically trained musicians. Deborah Robb and Xue Yang Liu met for the first time while students at the Mannes School of Music at the New School in New York City. While attending Mannes they performed chamber music together and were members of the Mannes American Composers Ensemble (MACE) under the direction of composer Lowell Liebermann. MACE made its formal debut in Alice Tully Hall at the Lincoln Center.
After leaving Mannes, both went in different directions to complement their already strong skill sets. Xue performed frequently in the NYC area with various orchestras and chamber musicians. She worked as a studio musician composing string arrangements for recording artists. Deborah immersed herself in the rigors of music production working in a NYC studio learning to produce and record music and contributing musical arrangements for songs.
Eventually they decided to reunite and formed the Sonophonix duo. Sonophonix merges their composing, arranging and improvisation skills of many different genres of music with classical motifs, creating a rich overlay of sounds with electronic production elements. They performed in Alice Tully Hall at Carnegie Hall and composed and wrote arrangements for various projects. Most recently they created a piano quartet for the Endem Foundation in Mauritius. They are currently working on their first studio album based on a combination of music and colors.
Cellist Xue was born in Beijing, China where she began her musical training at age four on the piano and then switching to cello at age nine. A few years later at age twelve she was accepted at the pre-college division of the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, followed by her acceptance at the Juilliard School pre-college program studying with André Emelianoff at age sixteen. Subsequently she studied with Barbara Stein Mallow at the Mannes School of Music at the New School, completing her Bachelors Degree in Cello performance. Following her Bachelor degree, she continued her studies working towards Professional Studies and Masters Degree.
Alongside her classical music studies, Xue has also studied and delved into musical improvisation. She has also always had a passion for composing and exploring different musical genres ranging from classical to popular music. This has led Xue to work with many New York City based indie artists and singer songwriters both as a studio musician and a composer and string arranger.
Xue’s versatility as a cellist and performer has propelled her into a career as a soloist, chamber orchestral musician performing at venues such as Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Merkin Hall and the Rose Theatre at the Jazz at Lincoln center.
Deborah is a native of Salem, Oregon where she began her formal study of the piano at the age of four. At the age of five, Deborah composed her first piece and throughout the years continued writing and arranging music from popular to crossover music. She made her first formal appearance at age eleven as the featured pianist in “WunderKids – Oregon Musical Prodigies” at the Elsinore Theatre in Salem followed with her orchestral debut with the Salem Chamber Orchestra at age twelve.
Deborah has studied piano with Meng-Chieh Liu of the Curtis Institute, Dr. Samuel Bellardo of Juilliard and Columbia, Max Levinson at The Boston Conservatory at Berklee and Jerome Rose at the Mannes School of Music at the New School. Deborah earned her Bachelors Degree in Piano Performance from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee followed by her Masters Degree in Piano Performance from the Mannes School of Music at the New School.
Immediately following her masters degree, Deborah fully immersed herself in music production working in the top studios in New York City. That same year she created B3D Music Productions with partner and engineer Bruno Sutter III working with top artists, DJ’s, and singer songwriters.