Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island is one of British Columbia’s “power places”. Not only due to the natural beauty that abounds on the island, but there seems to be a force field there that brings out the best in any individual.
One such creative person is Crissa Constantine, pianist, composer and author, who lives there. Of Estonian and Greek heritage, it has been a privilege for this writer to receive her recordings and books, which all emphasize her humanity and desire to support others.
After spending time with her grandmother in Athens in her youth Constantine experienced “culture shock” upon her return to Vancouver, her home at the time. Her Greek ancestry gave her deep appreciation of ancient Greek civilization; her Estonian side a profound love of nature.
To underscore the above, on her website Constantine notes that it is her hope that her recordings infuse listeners with love and cheer.
Her latest recording, from April of this year, certainly measures up to the composer/pianist’s goal. The CD “We are free” is ideal for background music while meditating. As the first cut on the recording, “Eagle Release 01” aspires toward telling of a new freedom for both the eagle and the human spirit, this aim is achieved through focusing on the gentle glissandos on the keyboard. The artist explains the choice of title for the CD as being free from fear, war, oppression, judgment, greed, apathy and cancer.
Constantine also believes in honest self-expression. “Crazy Dance” asks you to dance like no one is watching, advice that is well taken. Humour abounds in the composition “Australia”, emphasizing how Aborigines honour kangaroos, penguins and laughing birds with the didgeridoo.
Water is an important influence in this recording. The majestic Pacific washes on to the shores of Vancouver Island, and two cuts here are dedicated to the ocean: “Qualicum Beach” and “Parksville Beach”. Constantine’s liner notes underscore how in the first cut the Pacific is and immensely powerful ocean while in the second mentioned here it shows its calmer side.
The power of nature’s healing properties comes through in every cut on this recording. Indeed, this is a common theme in Constantine’s recordings and writing. She has faced numerous health issues during her life, as did her Estonian-born mother. No surprise them that proceeds from the sale of this CD will be going towards immunotherapy research at the BC Cancer Agency in Victoria, BC. Would that other artists direct income from sales, even a percentage thereof, towards essential health care research, both physical and mental.
The CD was recorded on a Steinway at the Philip Young Recital Hall at the university of Victoria. Sound quality is excellent thanks to engineer Zak Cohen. As noted, perfect for meditation. The CD packaging is enhanced by Chris Dahl’s paintings and designs, ensuring a complete peaceful package.
In a world that is beset with strife, hatred and various phobias, intentional negative action it is exceedingly refreshing to share in the vision of an artist such as Constantine. One can certainly say after a number of times of reflecting on the world with “We are free” playing in the background that the artist has achieved her admirable goal of diffusing positivism through her music.
More information about the artist is available at her website, www.crissa-constantine.com
If you would like a copy of this CD, please e-mail Crissa (through her web site) and then send a donation to:
Deeley Research Center
2410 Lee Ave.
DRC’s phone: 250-519-5500
Infused with love and cheer (3)