On January 26, we hope you'll join us for a special performance of Nanook at Reel Pizza, as scored and presented by the instrumental trio the Sumner McKane Group. The group combines film, oral histories, and live music to create live "docu-exhibits." In this performance, the 1922 silent documentary film Nanook of the North will be brought to life through the combination of film and a live score. Advance tickets will soon be available. Contact the Abbe Museum for more information: 207.288.3519 or johannah -at- abbemuseum.org
The January 26th show will feature a screening of the film, with a live performance of the musical soundtrack, composed by the Sumner McKane Group. The 80-minute film, Nanook of the North, follows an Inuit family, led by Nanook, through their travels and travails enduring an Arctic winter.
The new score, an expansive and expressive original piece of music composed by the Sumner McKane Group, was written meticulously in spring 2008 over a brief and harried 4-week period. The undertaking was part of the Local Score/Silent Film series, presented by One Longfellow Square in Portland. Unlike other performers in the series, the group opted to score the entire film, using no improvised musical elements at all. The group's bravery in this endeavor was rewarded by two successful shows with substantial local press coverage. Since then, the band has played successful shows of Nanook at Slates in Hallowell, Space Gallery in Portland, and the Boothbay Opera House, as well as releasing a 100-CD limited-edition studio recording of Nanook, available online for a very limited time.
The Sumner McKane Group, a modern instrumental music trio, is based in Maine, with guitarist Sumner McKane, bassist Josh Robbins, and drummer Todd the Rocket Richard residing in Wiscasset, Whitefield, and Westbrook respectively.
A national audience has already taken notice of this musical work. National Public Radio's Echoes program, an ambient music show airing on 150+ terrestrial radio stations, featured a live recording of select scenes from the score as part of a holiday special in December 2008. Host John Diliberto has said of the music, "McKane's landscapes are tinged in ambient atmospheres and pulled by an undertow of psychedelia that makes them some of the most unassumingly mind-bending music of the decade... Sumner manages to touch the nostalgic, wistful side of us, without being remotely quaint."