|Birth name||Colin William Towns|
|Born||May 13, 1948|
|Years active||1970s to present|
|Associated acts||Mask Orchestra
Ian Gillan Band
Colin Towns is an English composer, born 13 May 1948 in London, specialising in soundtracks for film, television and commercials. Learning piano as a child, by the age of 13 he was earning money playing at weddings and birthdays in his neighbourhood of the East End of London. He went on to play in numerous dance bands, jazz ensembles and also became a session musician.
In 1976 he was recruited as keyboardist to replace Mickey Lee Soule in the Ian Gillan Band. Over time he developed an increasing interest in composing and Ian Gillan credits the Towns-penned 'Fighting Man' as pointing the direction in which Gillan should go. Gillan dissolved The Ian Gillan Band, with its jazz-rock leanings, and retained only Towns, putting together the rockier Gillan. Encouraged by Ian Gillan, Towns co-wrote many of the songs for the new band. Whilst with the band he used his free time to seek opportunities to compose music beyond the Heavy metal direction of Gillan including releasing a solo album, Making Faces, in 1982. He submitted a demo soundtrack for the Mia Farrow film Full Circle which received reviews praising the music.
In 1983 Ian Gillan dissolved the band, and Towns decided to pursue soundtrack composing full-time. In that year he won the commission to write the score for the film Slayground. From then on he was in constant demand, particularly in British Television, where his body of work is prolific, and includes Dalziel and Pascoe, Cadfael, Capital City, Pie in the Sky, Between the Lines, Doc Martin, and Imogen's Face. His film credits include The Puppet Masters (featuring Donald Sutherland), Space Truckers (featuring Dennis Hopper) and Captives (featuring Tim Roth).
Towns' principal musical passion is jazz and has released several albums in this genre and founding the Mask Orchestra.