‘Polaris’ by Fenn Idle and Ciaran Frame



For centuries Polaris (or the North Star) has been used by travellers to navigate the globe. Looking at the night sky it appears as a single, constant bright point of light that remains fixed in space while other stars move around it. What we fail to realise is Polaris is in fact a multiple star system – the North Star is actually three stars in close proximity.  This deception provided a source of inspiration while writing for six pianos.  The ensemble is heard as a unified body – a superinstrument capable of things that would be impossible on solo piano.


Yet, there remain traces of individuality, parts diverge from one another and over time the multiplicity of this musical system becomes more evident.  Looking through a telescope at Polaris, it shifts in and out of focus – is it one star or is it three?  We perceive a blurred image of unity, with glimpses of the individual components providing insight into the inner workings of the system.


By Fenn Idle and Ciaran Frame


Performed at Theme & Variations Piano Services in their ‘Take Six’ 30th Birthday Piano Extravaganza.


Piano One: Clemens Leske
Piano Two: Reomi Mito
Piano Three: Gabriella Pusner
Piano Four: John Luxton
Piano Five: James Huntingford
Piano Six: Andrew Rumsey


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