The Spirit and the Dust Beverley Johnston

Album info



Label: Centrediscs

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Chamber Music

Artist: Beverley Johnston

Composer: Richard Mascall (1973), Christos Hatzis (1953-), Norbert Palej, Dinuk Wijeratne

Album including Album cover


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  • Dinuk Wijeratne (b. 1978): The Spirit and the Dust:
  • 1The Spirit and the Dust: I. Death Is a Dialogue Between the Spirit and the Dust01:47
  • 2The Spirit and the Dust: II. Under This Vast Universe Pain's Mill-Wheel Rotates02:48
  • 3The Spirit and the Dust: III. For in the Sleep of Death What Dreams May Come02:27
  • 4The Spirit and the Dust: IV. But This Chain, Though Made of a Breath, Is Hard to Break02:22
  • Christos Hatzis (b. 1953): Vignettes:
  • 5Vignettes: I. Memories of Danforth Avenue04:59
  • 6Vignettes: II. Night Sky04:17
  • 7Vignettes: III. Preadaptation06:42
  • Norbert Palej: Ser con Él:
  • 8Ser con Él: I. —05:26
  • 9Ser con el: II. —02:35
  • Christos Hatzis:
  • 10Parlor Music: No. 5, Parlor Music07:51
  • 11Phosphorus08:08
  • Richard Mascall:
  • 12Quantum Hologram17:26
  • Total Runtime01:06:48

Info for The Spirit and the Dust

Internationally acclaimed Canadian percussionist Beverley Johnston presents her seventh solo recording THE SPIRIT AND THE DUST featuring the music of Christos Hatzis, Richard Mascall, Norbert Palej and Dinuk Wijeratne. All works on this recording are presented on two of by Beverley Johnston's favorite instruments: the marimba and the vibraphone. Also on the recording are a handful of her favorite musicians with whom she has had the opportunity and pleasure to work with over the years, Marc Djokic and the Amici Chamber Ensemble. Over the years, she has commissioned and performed many works by leading Canadian composers some of which have become a staple of the standard percussion repertory around the world. In honor of her exemplary commitment to the performance of the music of Canadian composers, she has been awarded the distinction of Canadian Music Centre Ambassador. Her exceptional stage presence, her remarkable virtuosity and musicianship have established her reputation beyond the border of her native Canada, where she tours and performs frequently as a soloist and chamber musician.

An interesting new commission I would like to share is a marimba solo called The Spirit and the Dust by Dinuk Wijeratne written in 2016. It is a ten-minute multi-movement work that certainly highlights some interesting and unusual colours from the marimba!

[An] intricate, emotionally roving piece.” (The Chicago Classical Review)

“Dinuk has effectively captured the vastly varied tone colours of the marimba in his evocative piece ‘The Spirit and the Dust’. Written in memory of my late nephew Cameron Thomas Haynes, each movement breathtakingly explores the never ending mysteries of life and death. This truly is a marimba masterpiece.” (Beverley Johnston)

Beverley Johnston, marimba, vibraphone
Marc Djokic, violin
Amici Ensemble

Beverley Johnston
Canadian percussionist Beverley Johnston is internationally recognized for her dynamic performances on marimba and percussion. Her exciting performances have been distinguished as contemporary music, and a touch of theatre. She has captivated audiences across North America and overseas with her personal charm and her unique style. Her performances and recordings have been broadcast on radio networks all over the world. She has released six solo CDs: Woman Runs with Wolves (2013, Centrediscs) Ming (2009, Centrediscs); Garden of Delights (2004, independent release); Alternate Currents (1992, Centrediscs); Marimbach (1989, CBC Records Musica Viva); and Impact (1986, Centrediscs, JUNO nominee). She can also be heard as soloist or chamber musician on numerous other recordings.

Ms. Johnston’s schedule in recent years has seen her travelling the world performing at several different percussion festivals in the United States, Europe and Asia including the Ivan Bilic Marimba Week in Croatia (2017), The International Katarzyna Mycka Marimba Academy in Europe (2013, 2015), the Shenyang International Percussion Festival in China (2010), The International Marimba Festival and Conference in Minneapolis, USA (2010), The Zeltsman Marimba Festival in USA (2005, 2009, 2013), Nebojsa Zivkovic’s International Marimba Academy in Germany (2008), the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (1988, 1995, 2006, 2009, 2014), the Stockholm International Percussion Event (1998) and the Journee de la Percussions in Paris, France (1999). The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity invited her to be a faculty member in the fall of 2016.

In the past two decades, Ms. Johnston has also maintained an active schedule of concerto and recital appearances across North America and abroad, premiering Canadian concerti (by Patrick Cardy, Chan Ka Nin, Omar Daniel, Alice Ho, Christos Hatzis, Gary Kulesha, Larysa Kuzmenko, to name a few) along with concerto performances of works by Tan Dun (Water Concerto), Maki Ishii (Afro-Concerto) and James MacMillan (Veni, Veni Emmanuel). She has made several repeat performances with Music in the Morning, Vancouver New Music Society, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, the Winnipeg New Music Festival, the Guelph Spring Festival, the Festival of the Sound, the Stratford Summer Music Festival, the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival and Scotia Music Festival.

In 2009 she was involved in the successful Zeltsman New Music Marimba Project and was given the distinction of becoming an Ambassador of the Canadian Music Centre in honour of her exemplary commitment to the performance of Canadian composers. She has performed several works by world-renowned Canadian composer Christos Hatzis which have been written expressly for her including the world premiere of Pyrrichean Dances for percussion, viola, and string orchestra and Tongues of Fire for solo percussion and orchestra along with solo works for marimba and audio playback which Bev has championed all over the world.

Beverley enjoys collaborating with other musicians and has performed several successful concerts with the Amici Chamber Ensemble, the Penderecki String Quartet, The Blue Rider Ensemble, The Art of Time Ensemble, violinist Marc Djokic, flautist Susan Hoeppner, TorQ Percussion Quartet and the Joint Venture Percussion Duo.

Ms. Johnston has been featured in several important interviews and documentaries including being one of the hosts for the CBC radio show “This is my Music” in 2016, featured guest for percussionist Casey Cangelosi’s popular internet podcasts (2017) and has had feature articles in DRUM! Magazine (Beverley Johnston: A Champion of New, Genre- Busting Works by David A. Brensilver; March, 2015) and Percussive Notes (Finding Her Voice: An Interview with Beverley Johnston by Nathan Daughtrey; September, 2014). She was also the subject of an hour-long documentary on CBC Television’s nationally broadcast Sunday Arts and Entertainment (1995). Her performance on this program was nominated for a GEMINI Award in the category of “Best Performance in a Performing Arts Program”.

She has performed as chamber musician and/or soloist in major concert halls all over the world sharing her love of Canadian percussion repertoire. At the 1994 Guelph Spring Festival she performed the world premiere of Michael Colgrass’ outstanding work Te Tuma Te Papa with subsequent international performances by her.

Among Beverley’s other performing interests, she has been keen in developing her passion for performance collaborations, which has included the combination of dance, movement, art and theatre. From the 1990s to the present, she has worked with such organizations as Urge (the women’s collective), the Blue Rider Ensemble, Valerie Kuinka’s Collaborations series, Winnipeg’s performance artist/pianist/composer Diana McIntosh, The Peggy Baker Dance Project and has worked with renowned theatre/opera director Richard Armstrong and television/theatre directors Joanna McIntyre and George Bloomfield . One of her highlights in 1998 was working with composer Peter Hatch, costume designers Steve Topping and Aniko Fenyvesi and choreographer Bill James to create a solo dance/music work titled Psionic Interference where she played small percussion instruments attached to her costume. She has been involved with the multi-disciplinary project entitled Frankenstein’s Ghosts with the Blue Rider Ensemble and choreographer/director Michael Montanaro.

Beverley’s interest in music outreach programs for the past 25 years is reflected in her performances of hundreds of school concerts both as a soloist and with the Toronto Percussion Ensemble.

Beverley Johnston received her training at Vanier College in her native Montreal and studied with Russell Hartenberger at the University of Toronto, where she now teaches. She currently lives in rural Ontario with her husband, composer Christos Hatzis.

Marc Djokic
Winner of the 2017-2018 Mécénat Musica Prix Goyer and a Prix Opus from the Conseil québécois de la musique, Marc Djokic is one of Canada’s most prolific violinists. He was named concertmaster of l’Orchestre classique de Montreal in 2018. In summer 2019 Marc Djokic will be embarking on his second European tour with solo recitals, chamber music concerts and masterclasses. His debut album, Solo Seven, garnered glowing reviews upon its release in 2018, and his newest collaborative album “André Mathieu – musique de chambre” will be released on May 3, 2019.

Marc first studied violin with his father, violinist Philippe Djokic, one of Canada’s great soloists and a pupil of the master Ivan Galamian. Marc continued his studies in the United States under the tutelage of David Russell at Cleveland Institute of Music’s Young Artist Program, Donald Weilerstein at the New England Conservatory, and Jaime Laredo at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. Marc made his first orchestra debut at 14, won the Governor General’s Millennium Award at 20, and at 23 was featured on Bravo! television series, The Classical Now.

A native of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Marc Djokic is known for his powerful and virtuosic performances. His engaging, anecdotal and down-to-earth approach has made him a fan favourite of audiences. Praised for his “rhythmic sense and natural phrasing” by La Presse, Marc is able to reach out to a diverse audience through his range of repertoire, new concert formats and collaborations. With the support of Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and Mécénat Musica, Marc has commissioned numerous Canadian compositions for solo violin, string trio, marimba and violin, two guitars and violin and an upcoming multi-movement work for ensemble, choir and children’s choir.

A past recipient of Canada Council’s Instrument Bank among numerous other prizes, Marc appears frequently as soloist with Canada’s top orchestras and in chamber music festivals across North America. He has been invited as soloist with such prestigious orchestras as the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra and Quebec Symphony Orchestra. He appeared with the Calgary Philharmonic as part of his Bowfire debut, and recently performed Philip Glass’ ‘American Four Seasons’ with the Sudbury Symphony Orchestra. Marc will be at Domaine Forget in July 2018 to present a program of music by François Dompierre with the McGill Chamber Orchestra.

Marc’s past performances with leading musicians of the world stage include concerts with Beverley Johnston, James Ehnes, Jamie Parker, Measha Brueggergosman, Charles Richard-Hamelin, Isabel Bayrakdarian, Denise Djokic, David Jalbert and Thorwald Jorgensen. Marc’s longtime collaborations include Trio Tangere, Bev & Marc duo, Air Strings and Keys, Djokic-Leblanc duo, and Art Crush. His concerts have been frequently broadcast by CBC Radio Canada, Espace Musique, Ici Musique. From BC Touring to Jeunesses Musicales and Debut Atlantic, Marc has toured several times throughout Canada.

CAMMAC Music Centre named Marc Djokic as their first Artist-in-Residence for the 2017-2019 seasons, a role that will include teaching, performances, research and the commissioning of a work to be premiered at CAMMAC. In July 2018, Marc and CAMMAC will be co-sponsoring and launching its inaugural Composers Callout competition.

Marc was a founding member of the Morpheus Ensemble (Fréderic Lambert, Chloë Dominguez, Paul Stewart) which was Quartet-in-Residence from 2010 to 2013 at la Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur in Montreal. He was Musician-in-Residence of the St. Cecilia Concert Series in Halifax from 2009 to 2010.

From 2015 to 2017 the classical music channel Mécénat Musica Videos produced more than 45 music videos featuring Marc and his collaborations, reaching viewers from over 100 countries. This multi-year project aims to promote classical music through new media in Canada and beyond, and was made possible by the Mécénat Musica foundation. These videos can be watched on his Youtube channel, Marc Djokic youtube

Always enthusiastic to share insights on violin performance and technique, Marc also teaches masterclasses at universities and summer music festivals; he has recently taught at the University of Toronto, Concordia University and Scotia Festival of Music.

Marc performs on a rare Guarnerius violin from 1740, a Carl Becker from 1927 and a Hannibal Fagnola from 1922, and is particular about choosing the right violin for the occasion!

Marc grew up in a large musical family; his sister is cellist Denise Djokic, mother is pianist Lynn Stodola and father, violinist Philippe Djokic. His aunt Michelle Djokic, uncles Pierre Djokic and Alexandre Djokic are all musicians, as well as brother-in-law Nelson Lee. Marc resides in Montreal with his wife, visual artist Avery Zhao-Djokic.

Marc gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

This album contains no booklet.

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