“Colorado Zen”, unlike much string-based New Age music, is not derived from Eastern music tradition. Rather, Victor drew inspiration from his life, his experiences, and his surroundings. “Colorado Zen” evokes the grandeur and beauty of the locale from which it takes its name.
Inspired by the whispers of subtle streams to the cool shade and chilly peaks of the Rocky Mountains, “Colorado Zen” is a reflection on the nature of life, the ephemeral cycle of the seasons, and the raw, emotional foundation of ourselves as human beings.
Unlike many albums where the pieces are recorded and then performed widely live, the music on “Colorado Zen” was written as initial ideas and then refined by Victor through live performance at meditation classes multiple times per week. This process allowed Victor to capture the most distilled form of the ideas and emotions that constitute each piece, creating an end product that is both authentic and field-tested.
With “Colorado Zen”, Victor has successfully tapped into both that universal interconnected experience of being human, and his own personal expression of what it means to be Victor Towle. “Colorado Zen” leaves listeners with simultaneously an affirming answer and an unanswerable question.
Get to know the artist
Victor Towle is a seasoned musician deeply rooted in guitarist tradition whose vast knowledge and experience grants his sound true authenticity while still maintaining skilled dexterity in a variety of styles.
Victor was born in 1965 in Chicago Heights, IL, a city known for its musical tradition of blues, soulfulness, and Rock ‘n Roll. The appeal of these heavily guitar-led genres was not missed by a young Victor who would spend hours listening to the AM radio he was given by his grandfather. At age 10, he was gifted an acoustic guitar by his grandmother, and with only two weeks of lessons in him, he nervously performed the iconic Beatles hit, “Yesterday” for his family in the living room. This fledgling performance, while certainly rough around the edges, ignited a spark in Victor for learning, creating, and performing music, and set the stage for a lifelong passion.
As he grew older, Victor began exploring the music of guitarist legends, spanning a plethora of genres: from Jeff Beck to Pat Metheny, Jimi Hendrix to John McLaughlin, and Wes Montgomery to the Rolling Stones. In his Junior High, he was exposed to jazz through a school band, which he stayed with through most of high school, until he began working with a party band, known simply as “The Band.” Even after leaving the jazz bands, the hauntingly beautiful sounds of John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, and Miles Davis that he was introduced to stayed with him, and informed his musical tastes ever since. With “The Band,” Victor began learning and performing both original music and the hit music of the day, whether it was rock, pop, or blues. These early experiences of the joy of performing firmly established for Victor that regardless of his career path, music would accompany him.
After high school, Victor earned a Bachelor and Master’s degree in Psychology and Rehabilitation Counseling respectively. After his graduation, he moved to Denver, CO where he began his professional career working in and alongside the medical field in the position of clinical care, specifically for those who have suffered brain trauma. While in Denver, Victor decided that alongside his professional career working in the medical field in the position of Social Worker and Counselor, specifically for those who have suffered brain trauma, he would devote effort to breaking into the music scene. Deeply steeped in guitarist tradition, Victor released his debut album “One Day Soon,” featuring 14 original songs in the acoustic folk and folk-rock traditions. With this album as his point of departure, Victor began playing in the Denver music scene, and ultimately released two more albums as a leader, “Gathering Stones,” and “The Simple Truth” in the folk rock idiom, with varying degrees of electric influences. With this original material, Victor has toured throughout Colorado and regularly tours to his hometown of Chicago, performing successfully in Des Moines, Iowa and Omaha, Nebraska along the way. As a co-leader and sideman, Victor worked with “The Mind” and “AM Session” respectively, the former a psychedelic rock fusion, and the latter a down-to-earth blues band.
Through his work as a leader and collaborator, Victor has grown as an instrumental performer and soloist in a variety of styles. He traces this development, as well as its intersection with his professional career, as quintessential in leading him to where he is today musically. As a professional, in addition to his work as a Clinical Care Manager for rehabilitation, Victor has, over the past 20 years, become involved with yoga and meditation in a way that compliments his professional work, receiving certification as a Mindfulness Meditation Teacher. As a guitarist rooted in styles such as blues and folk, Victor has always taken influence – like the traditions he draws from – in his surroundings, both geographically and metaphorically in his life situations. This understanding of the interplay between life and music over time naturally led to a musical intersection with his involvement in rehabilitation and meditation. Victor began using his guitar music as an aide in meditative and rehabilitative practices, drawing on his eclectic musical background, and the immersive soundscapes of New Age music. This ultimately culminated in Victor’s newest album, “Colorado Zen.”
For more information and music samples, visit victortowle.com