Ian was born in Aberdeen, Scotland and attended Wick High School. He began playing the piano at age eight and studied initially with Emma Bruce in Wick. After leaving Wick High School he studied for two degrees in maths and physics at the University of Aberdeen. Ian then worked on two research contracts at the universities of Plymouth and Newcastle-upon -Tyne. Thereafter he worked for the ship safety department of QinetiQ at Rosyth, and then for Petroleum Experts in Edinburgh. Ian now works as an engineering analyst for the Coventry-based firm of OLEO International.