The Music of the Great Smoky Mountains: A Tribute to America
In Celebration of The Great Smoky Mountain 25th Anniversary from Real Music’s “The National Park Series™
“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!” The New Age Retailer Review
Music Composed, Performed, and Produced by Gary Malkin
Orchestrated by Gary Malkin, Dan Alvarez, and Kim Scharnberg
Programmed, Engineered, and Mixed by Dan Alvarez
Listen to a sample of the tracks
Total Time: 69:10
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. This soundtrack is a musical tribute to the Great American Experiment, 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.
In 2021, Wisdom of the World Wellness will be celebrating the Smoky Mountain CD’s 25th Anniversary. We’d like to reintroduce Gary’s “artist debut” album by celebrating this music, especially when America is going through a painful course correction around its values, principals, and goals during these divisive difficult 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 tribal community who would appreciate using 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 is also willing to license ‘The Courage to Dream” to any organization wishing to use the track to unify and heal America.
If you’ve never heard The Music of Great Smoky Mountains, give yourself a treat, download the tracks and play them to provide your soundtrack as you drive across our beloved American landscapes. May we all have the “courage to dream” of an America that honors our diversity and our freedoms with peace and justice for all!