Ian Whalley as one of the percussionists in The Ever-Circling Light

Ian and I met in 1982 at the Christchurch Teachers College, he as a music student and I towards the end of my time as a music lecturer there. He had a maturity and personableness which made him appreciated and respected by staff and students alike. He was interested in what I was doing and made himself very helpful. At the same time he had ideas of his own which he was anxious to realise and he had the ability to interest and organise others to help him.

He took charge of the electronics in my Piece of 4 and the Texts for Composition. Inspired by my invention of “Dowel Boxes” he increased their size about ten times and (with the help of a student working bee) created a set of huge dowel boxes which were both musically and sculpturally impressive:

My small Dowel Boxes (left) and Ian’s man-sized ones (right) which were hung from scaffolding and bowed or beaten and equipped with contact microphones.

The next I next heard of him, after very few years as a teacher, he was a lecturer in the music department of Waikato University where he set up a tone studio and inspired a new generation of electroacoustic composers.

His department put out a series of CDs which included two works of mine: