Ian Blake enjoys folk music, early music and electronica, and his own music often shows traces of all three: he has worked as a composer for theatre, film, chamber music, dance and public art projects, while his production and sound engineering skills have earned him a Gold Disc and an ARIA nomination. He has produced award–winning records for children, many for the ABC: his multi–instrumental abilities and arrangements have contributed to some classics, notably with Mike Jackson.
Originally from London, Ian made his Covent Garden debut as a boy soprano with the Bolshoi and the Royal Ballet, but hasn't had a gig there since: however, his subsequent career has been varied and far–ranging... He has worked mainly in the folk and world music scene: with June Tabor, The Mellstock Band and Pyewackett; in venues from Alaska to Zanzibar. Since moving to Australia, he has toured extensively with Eric Bogle and produced two of Eric's albums at his Canberra studio.
Ian works in Europe regularly, mostly with long-time collaborator Andrew Cronshaw: projects include several albums and a tour for the UK Contemporary Music Network with On the Shoulders of the Great Bear, a show based on Finnish traditional music. A new ensemble, SANS, featuring duduk master Tigran Aleksanyan and the voice of Sanna Kurki-Suonio, creates spacious and spontaneous music drawing on Finnish, Armenian and British traditions. In 2013 SANS made a first appearance in Australia at the National Folk Festival and is touring European venues in 2014.
In 2005 Ian received an ACT Creative Arts Fellowship, and was awarded the 2006 National Folk Fellowship, which led to an electroacoustic work based on material from the children's folklore collections at the National Library of Australia. He is a PhD candidate at the ANU, researching composition and sound art.
When at home in the ACT, Ian plays bass with the panceltic party band Cassidy's Ceili, and sings bass with The Pocket Score Company, Canberra's most compact male-voice consort - and MAMAS winners in 2012.