a CIPHER story
In 2014 soprano Justine Aronson walked into a party in Brooklyn, knowing not a soul. Within minutes, she and and violinist Sarah Goldfeather, complete strangers, were enthusiastically singing Christmas carols, making merry for all. Music was made. Cipher was born.
Cipher, a voice and violin duo who will “blow your mind,” has given audiences "a collective chill" (New Classic LA) in their performances across California and New York City. The duo has been featured on New York City’s Classical radio station WQXR, and recently performed at Cornelia Street Cafe, The University of Southern California, UC Santa Barbara, The Factory in Pasadena, the Center for New Music in San Francisco, Roulette in Brooklyn as a part of the String Theories Festival, Cloud City in Brooklyn on the Permutation series, among others. Cipher has been awarded residencies at the Avaloch Farm Music Institute, where they have spent time retreating among the New Hampshire pines arranging even more music to play and sing together.
Named after composer Kate Soper's piece of the same name, the duo has additionally premiered works by Brooklyn-based composers Sarah Goldfeather, Rebekah Driscoll and Eric Shanfield.
Hailed by The New York Times as possessing "a deep reservoir of expressive devices" and by the Los Angeles Times as "dramatically…juicy," soprano Justine Aronson employs artistic and technical versatility to create passionate performances. Her interpretations have consistently captured the attention of those producing new music, earning her premieres with composers including David Lang, Daron Hagen, and Ted Hearne. She has appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Five Boroughs Music Festival, Eighth Blackbird, Mirror Visions Ensemble, Opera Philadelphia, and Brooklyn Art Song Society, among others. Justine has recorded for the NAXOS label, and is anticipating the forthcoming commercial record release of Christopher Cerrone's portrait album LA-based modern music collective wild Up.
Sarah Goldfeather is a Minnesota born, Brooklyn-based composer-performer who writes music for her three ensembles, Goldfeather, Cipher, Exceptet, and beyond. Her work has been performed in the continental US and Europe, including features at The Present Music Festival in Milwaukee, Roulette Intermedium, DePauw University's 21CM Initiative at (le) Poisson Rouge, the Ecstatic Music Festival and MATA Interval Series in New York, several features on WQXR, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago presented by Eighth Blackbird, the Times Two Series in Boston, concerts in Berlin, and tours across America with Goldfeather and Cipher. She has released two albums under Goldfeather, with a third forthcoming in 2019 as an experimental indie-rock trio configuration. In her concurrent life as a contemporary music violinist, Sarah has performed as a soloist in Madrid, Valencia, Berlin, and the TEDxMET series at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, to name a few. She is the founder, co-director and violinist of the seven-piece new music ensemble, Exceptet and one half of the soprano-violin duo, Cipher, and is currently on faculty at NYU-Steinhardt.