Eskimo Surprise



I finally was able to justify putting away my winter coats this week (Maine spring.)

Look what I found in a pocket! Sumner and I (along with the DCB) call these the “Get it Together Papers.” Essential to getting through the show. Might want to put these in a safe place, in case the Eskimo ever decides to return…

Nanook will return this year…

Sumner McKane Group’s live score for Nanook Of The North from Sumner McKane on Vimeo.


Hey. A pretty cool thing is shaping up for this winter.

The Sumner McKane Group (of which I am a member) will be reprising our live score/film event. We are once again presenting our live original score for the silent film “Nanook of the North,” which includes the group performing live, accompanying a screening of the film. It’s a truly unique and dynamic experience, where the music from the band and motion of the film combine and create a concert event like none other. It’s honestly one of my favorite pieces of music I’ve ever been involved with.

This was written and first performed in the spring of 2008. We’ve reprised it several times since then. We even got a chance to record the score, rearranged as a stand-alone CD/digital download, and it was generously received by NPR’s Echoes program, who came to Sumner’s place to do a Living Room concert.

And now, several years later, we will be performing it live once again in New England. Stay tuned here for updates on events as they are announced. If you are interested in booking/presenting the Sumner McKane Group performing our live score to  “Nanook of the North,” please email me here.

I’m excited. I hope you are, too.

Photos from Nanook of the North

smg dennis stein

Thanks to everyone who came out to support the Sumner McKane Group at our show on Nov 28th. Space was, as always, an excellent host venue, and the art installation on the walls, seen in these photos by Dennis Stein, added such a cool element to the night. Great photos, Dennis!

Please see the photos here:

Thanks to everyone for making it excellent.

Nationwide Audiences Get Preview of Sumner McKane Group’s “Nanook”


National Public Radio’s “Echoes” program continues its support of the Maine-based Sumner McKane Group by playing several selections from their newly-released score to the classic silent film “Nanook of the North.” Over the end of October and throughout November, Diliberto has played many tracks from “Nanook.”

The host of the show and an avowed fan of the group, John Diliberto has said “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.”

Mere weeks ago, “Echoes” released a list of “The Best 200 CDs From 20 Years of Echoes, As Chosen by Listeners” and three of Sumner McKane’s records were chosen for the Top 100.  View the full list here:

The national media attention is in support of the extremely limited-edition CD release of “Nanook,” available only through

Local NPR listing information for “Echoes” can be found here:

Sumner McKane Group Feature Story in Portland Press Herald GO!


The Group is honored to be a part of the One Longfellow Square “Local Score/Silent Film” series, matching Portland area bands with classic silent films. We’ve been working furiously over the past month to write and rehearse a score for “Nanook of the North,” widely recognized as the first documentary film.

Our efforts culminate next week, when we will perform the score along with a screening of the movie on April 30 and May 1.

To learn more about this project, please check out today’s GO! magazine, in the Portland Press Herald. Our show is this weeks’ cover story! Thanks to Ray Routhier and John Ewing for the thoughtfulness. If you like, you can see the story, along with a slideshow and musical accompaniment right here:

Sumner McKane Group Scores Legendary Silent Film


The Sumner McKane Group will be writing and performing a score of original music to the classic groundbreaking documentary silent film “Nanook of the North” as part of the One Longfellow Square “Local Score/Silent Film” series. The group, after spending the entire month of April composing, will perform the newly-written score for the first (and ostensibly, only) time on April 30th and May 1st at 8pm, during screenings of the film. Tickets for each night are $8 and info is available at One Longfellow Square.

Robert Flaherty’s classic film “Nanook of the North” documents one year in the life of Inuit hunter Nanook and his family as they struggle to survive in the harsh conditions of Canada’s Hudson Bay region. The film describes the trading, hunting, fishing and migrations of a group barely touched by industrial technology. “Nanook of the North” was widely shown and praised as the first full-length, anthropological documentary in cinematographic history. Enormously popular when released in 1922, Nanook of the North is a cinematic milestone that continues to enchant audiences. The film was made in 1922, and has a runtime of 78 minutes.