English composer and ethnomusicologist David Fanshawe was born in Paignton on 19 April 1942. He studied composition with John Lambert at the Royal College of Music. He travelled abroad, including to Afghanistan, Iraq and Bahrain.
His most widely known work, African Sanctus, was the result of a three year journey up the Nile from the Mediterranean, visiting Egypt, Sudan, Uganda and Kenya, and making audio recordings of local musicians.
An even larger project, Pacific Odyssey, stemmed from ten years of travel across the Pacific Islands. His recordings, journals and photographs from this period form the heart of the Fanshawe Collection. The composition was left incompleted when Fanshawe died from a stroke on 5 July 2010, although one movement had been performed in 2007.
Besides being known for choral music, Fanshawe also wrote film scores and music for TV.