We Are Free is Crissa Constantine's third album. Inspiration for this album struck after witnessing an eagle release a few years back.

Parksville pianist releases album

We Are Free takes inspiration from an eagle release on the North Island three years ago

We Are Free, an album by local pianist Crissa Constantine, is about the human spirit.

Constantine’s third album, We Are Free, was inspired by an eagle release on the North Island about three years ago.

“When the eagle finally went over the tree tops, one of my friends, who was there and volunteers also, he looked at it and says, ‘There’s your next piece; freedom to soar.’”

Constantine, 65, then went home to write about the release, but Constantine said she realized the songs weren’t just about the eagle, it was about the human spirit.

“This whole idea of freedom is for the animals, but also for the human spirit,” Constantine said. “I want everybody to be free and happy, kind of thing. It may sound childish, but that’s my dream.”

Constantine, who has a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Music, said she wanted to create her own style of music, and after moving to the Island in 1994, she had a chance to do that.

“I always, always, always wanted to do my own style of music and I had a chance to do this — the Island is really inspiring — and I had the time.”

There are eight tracks on the album; two are about the eagle release. The album was recorded on a Steinway piano at the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall in Victoria.

Eagle Release 01 is described as “As the eagle flies over the treetops at the North Island Wildlife Recover Centre, it tells of a new freedom for itself and for the human spirit.”

Eagle Release 02 says “Freedom to love.”

Two other tracks are named after local areas, Qualicum Beach and Parksville Beach.

Constantine described her previous two albums as “experimental,” but she said she’s found her niche with We Are Free.

“This is the happiest style, and something I was aiming for for a long time. I feel like with the CD, I have really reached a way of expressing myself,” she said. “Even though this is still my style, it’s a happier, lighter style than the first two CDs which were done several years ago because I’ve changed in the meantime. I’m just so much happier and lighter in my own spirit.”

Constantine, who lives in Parksville, has been in remission from ovarian cancer for the past 10 years.

She had her hysterectomy in 2005 and she said that’s when the count for remission starts.

Most people, she said, don’t usually survive past stage three, but she’s “one of the lucky ones.”

“Don’t wait for a life-threatening disease to be happy.”

The CD is by donation with all proceeds going toward the Deeley Research Centre for cancer immunology.

We Are Free, which was released on March 3, can be found at Cranky Dog Music (154 Morison Ave.) or Café Adagio (147 Harrison Ave.) in Parksville or The Bookcase (676 Memorial Ave.) in Qualicum Beach.

Constantine also plans to do a few shows to raise money for the centre, but dates and locations have not been finalized yet.

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