Story of Wisdom of the World    
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  The beginning of Wisdom of the World came about through a series of events that inspired award-winning composer Gary Malkin to create media to heal the spirit and strengthen the soul. Tragic life events changed his view of what he should do with his music and his life. His wife and newborn daughter almost died during childbirth. Only six months prior to that time, he had lost his father. It changed his life.

A few years later, he was approached by his dear friend, Michael Stillwater, a pioneer in healing music, who asked him to produce a project he was envisioning. "I am at the bedside of people who are dying," Stillwater told him. "I would love to bring music to them."

They spent a day together, and it became clear that songs, for these circumstances, did not seem to go in deep enough. So Malkin invited Stillwater to step up to the microphone and "speak from your heart to someone who might have just received a terminal diagnosis". Malkin went to the keyboard and started 'scoring' Stillwater's voice with a digital string orchestra, as if it were a film. After it was complete, Malkin and Stillwater felt like the moment was filled with Grace. Malkin was so moved, he felt goosebumps all over his body. And then he said, 'Has anyone ever asked the humanitarian leaders of our world, the true mentors of the world, to speak from this place? Not that typical radio/TV voice of self-promotion, but the intimate voice of authenticity and depth. And has anyone ever scored these voices as if it were a film?"

It was unprecedented territory, As a result of this experiment, Malkin and Stillwater embraced the opportunity to embark on a new project that they hoped would result in a healing and life-affirming experience for people facing loss of any kind, using authentic spoken word and music. This new contemplative listening resource, delivering authentic spoken messages in a completely new way, is a remarkable testament to the power of music itself. "The film scoring language, harmonically, is incredibly rich and diverse," Malkin said. "The broad range of emotional color that can be expressed with timbre, texture and harmony is vast. I had been doing it for 25 years, scoring the range of human emotion in media, and there I was, using the art of film scoring to someone speaking from the depths of their heart. Then and there, we decided to explore this new approach to delivering wisdom with great fascination and passion."

Stillwater knew many 'wisdom keepers' - people such as Ram Dass, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, Zalman Schacter-Shalomi - and other well-known people of great presence. Malkin and Stillwater started to record these interviews, inviting them to speak from their hearts. All the speakers who were invited to participate spoke extemporaneously, resulting in recordings which they then edited to prepare for the music scoring process. "The thing we insisted upon," he said, "was that the speakers could not write anything in advance of the re-cording. We simply asked them to come from a place of sincerity and intimacy. With the proper coaxing, each of the wisdom keepers dropped into an astonishing tenderness, a deeper place than they had been accustomed to speaking in public forums. Listening to these remarkable people speak from this place was an unforgettable experience, pure gold. When people drop into their humanity, no matter who they are, it makes us realize that we are all human beings who need tenderness and intimacy. These qualities are the essence of the healing process. The power of music is a big part of this healing media, but it's also the intimacy itself that is healing."

These recordings became the internationally acclaimed book and CD set, Graceful Passages: A Companion For Living and Dying, setting a new benchmark in healing audio. The astonishing alchemy that resulted from merging spoken authenticity with a resonant musical score formed the foundation of Wisdom of the World's vision for a new kind of media, creating an innovative way that people could experience the world's wisdom for life-enhancement, emotional intelligence (EQ) and personal awakening.

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