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The Music of the Great Smoky Mountains A Film Composer’s Tribute to the Dream that is America

by Gary Malkin

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Real Music’s
The National Park Series™
The Music of the Great Smoky Mountains
A Film Composer’s Tribute to the Dream that is America



The History of the Making of the Smoky Mountain CD:

Twenty years ago, Gary Malkin dreamed of being able to create music that wasn’t just for commercials like Chuck E Cheese, Bank of America and Gallo Wine. He wanted to be able to create music that wasn’t just for reality television shows, like the one he’d been working on for fifteen years, the top ten NBC, CBS and Lifetime series called “Unsolved Mysteries”. He actually dreamed of one day creating music that was simply created for the love of music’s sake, rather than profit or prestige. So he sought out a record company who might be interested, and found Real Music in his Bay Area home. Real Music had already commenced The National Park Series Project, inviting recording artists to create musical tributes to the country’s astonishing parks.

Gary thought about which national park he was most inspired by, and remembered that way back in the early 70’s, he embarked on a two-week backpacking trip on the Appalachian trail in the very heart of the Smokys, with his mates from Oberlin College during Thanksgiving vacation.

Well, the rest was history. You see, Gary adored everything Americana: The Americana works of Aaron Copland; Bluegrass music; American history, especially the Civil war; and all the cultural influences that went into Smokies, both before and after the European settlers arrived. He also loved the heart and soul of the Great American Experiment, the inspirational dream of democracy that formed the foundation of our country’s values and principals. So he decided to create a CD that was a collection of ‘tone poems’, not only in tribute to the influences that were reverberating within the ancient Smoky Mountains for centuries, but also in tribute to the values that formed the dream that became America.

Now, twenty years later, Wisdom of the World, Malkin’s life-enhancing music and media company, is celebrating the Smoky Mountain CD’s 20th Anniversary. We’d like to reintroduce Gary’s “artist debut” CD by celebrating this music, especially when America is going through a painful course correction around its values, principals, and goals during these contentious, partisan times. Gary has decided to donate the musical tone poem that pays tribute to the Cherokee’s painful exodus from their ancient lands - Trail of Tears – to any First Nations wanting to use the track in any way, whether within media, museums, or live performance. Trail of Tears honors how this proud First Nations tribe - and the integrity of their honorable, earth-based ways - will never be vanquished. Gary has also decided to introduce ‘The Courage to Dream” to any organization wishing to use the track to help get out the vote during this extraordinarily important election coming up in November of 2016.

If you’ve never heard the Great Smoky Mountains CD, give yourself a treat and download the CD to play as your soundtrack as you take a drive across this remarkable land of ours. And may we all have the “courage to dream” of an America that honors our diversity and our freedoms with peace and justice for all!

Real Music describes the Smoky Mountains CD in the following way:

Emmy award-winning composer Gary Malkin paints the Smoky Mountains in orchestral colors, adding touches of mountain fiddle, Native American drums, and piano notes as soft and bright as raindrops. Appalachian melodies drift through like figments, presences from another time. A nostalgic solo flute calls out above shadowed chords, then soars over the vast panoramas, propelled by distant drums. Evocative and deeply inspired, this contemporary music captures the dignity of our American ancestry and heralds a vision of hope for the future. Called an “instant contemporary classic’, this American work is perfect for drives in the country, Sunday morning newspaper and coffee, or during a ‘musical siesta” for the heart and soul.



“A multiple Emmy award winning composer, Gary brings a wealth of thematic genius to this latest in the National Park Series from Real Music. An instant contemporary classic, the Music of the Great Smoky Mountains is Malkin’s best work to date, and an absolute must-have!”
-Excerpt from New Age Retailer Review

“I’ve been a big fan of Malkin’s music since I reviewed his terrific Thousand Pieces of Gold over a years ago. A multiple Emmy award winning composer who has scored many television shows and movies, Gary brings a wealth of thematic genius to this latest in the National Park Series from Real Music.

With The Music of the Great Smoky Mountains, Malkin has managed to capture many of the sounds that have reverberated through the Smoky Mountains over the centuries. He evokes the historical times and events with uncanny brilliance and attention to detail. With sweeping orchestral arrangements, Native American Drums, mountain fiddle, solo flutes, and delightful piano and keyboards, indigenous Appalachian musical themes blow softly through the CD like smoke playing tag with Autumn’s first raindrops. My favorite tracks include the grand and haunting “mountain Majesty’ with echoes of long ago flowing against a stunningly beautiful orchestration that literally brought tears to my eyes. Then there is “Trail of Tears” evoking, with dignity, grace, and passion, an infamous time in history of the Cherokee people. “The Innocent Land” is a heartfelt paean to the land with Malkin on the keyboards accompanied by oboe, guitar and cello. Another favorite is “The Courage to Dream” an exquisite orchestral jewel featuring Malkin on piano and a gorgeous violin solo.

As always from Real Music, the cover art is perfect featuring an astonishing sunset photo from the Smokys. An instant contemporary classic, the Music of the Great Smoky Mountains is Malkin’s best work to date, and an absolute must-have. Real Music and the artists of this series are contributing 10% from the sale of each album for the Resource Protection Fund to protect our magnificent parks.”


released April 18, 2016


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Gary Malkin Sausalito, California

Gary is an award-winning composer & performer who inspires the world to embrace music as a catalyst for inspiration & healing. He seeks to redefine music as a catalyst for compassion & mindfulness into our daily lives by offering innovative ways to face life with more gratitude & Grace. After 7 Emmys, Gary is dedicated to creating musical solutions for many challenges facing our society today. ... more

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