At the University of Melbourne Institute of Education, Ian majored in composition, jazz piano, drama and English literature, studying with composer Rainer Linz and poet Philip Mead. During his studies, he developed a special interest in creating music that blurs the boundaries between sound, words, meaning and motion. Since then he has written numerous scores for theatre, film and children. Ian's involvements with dance and dance theatre have included collaborating with Tasdance for Illuminations, the Argentinian company Nucleodanza at the 1992 Melbourne International Festival of the Arts and cross-cultural project Mother Tongue (both with Don Asker), Dance Works, Graffiti Dance Theatre and Guild Dance Theatre. In 1993 Ian was invited as a guest speaker in music and dance at the Greenmill Dance Project. Ian composed for Leigh Warren's 1993 work Fast Yarns.