Colin Towns is one of Britain's most prolific TV and film composers. His list of credits is amazing, and include many prestigious and popular TV dramas such as Cadfael, Pie In The Sky, Between The Lines and Imogen's Face, as well as films such as Space Truckers (with Dennis Hopper), The Puppet Masters (starring Donald Sutherland) and Captives (starring Tim Roth)
Colin has been in the music industry for quite some time. He began his musical career around the age of 13 in London's East End, often found playing piano at weddings and birthdays. Throughout his teenage years and into his 20s, he played in numerous dance bands and jazz ensembles
In 1976 at the age of 27, he joined forces with ex-Deep Purple singer Ian Gillan. Despite various personnel changes, Colin and Ian remained together, and with Gillan (the band) became one of the rock successes of the late 70s and early 80s. Colin played keyboards with the band and co-wrote most of their material. The partnership lasted through 10 albums and ended in 1983 when Ian Gillan decided to become singer with the well-known Midlands combo, Black Sabbath. This puzzling decision meant the band were left high and dry
Fortunately by this time, Colin had already released a soundtrack for the Mia Farrow film Full Circle, and had taken the opportunity of studying orchestration while with Gillan. He recorded a demo, and on the strength of this, the film-makers were able to create additional interest in the film. Unusually, almost all reviews of the film referred to the music, and the score appears to have taken on cult status. Not one to rest on his laurels (and to keep the wolf from the door!) Colin's first post-Gillan recording was the soundtrack to the film Slayground in 1983. Since then, he has not looked back
Over the years Colin has dabbled in most genres of music, including country, R&B and rock. Recently he has returned to his passion (jazz) and has already released several jazz albums to date, all to high critical acclaim. His idea for an exciting and innovative jazz ensemble began in his mind many years before it came to fruition. In late 1990 The Mask Orchestra was born. A 19 piece big band bringing together some of the greatest and most important new and established players in jazz today, The Mask Orchestra are an exciting and ground-breaking group. Together they take all that is great in the jazz genre, turn it on its head and produce music which, unlike so much 'new' jazz, actually looks forward instead of back
His talents for composition and melody ensure he is always in demand, and as a consequence his music is frequently heard as the backdrop to numerous TV commercials, soundtracks for countless TV productions and cinematic releases, and as a songwriter for such diverse talents as Roger Daltry, Dusty Springfield and Cliff Bennett. This is just the tip of the iceberg, as you will soon discover........