Peter Salett

Peter Salett is in the middle of a multi faceted career – having released seven records on his own labels; film scoring, contributing his own songs to movies as well as writing songs for characters to sing; and also appearing in many films. Highlights include co-writing the Dracula puppet musical “A Taste for Love” at the end of Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008), his unique song score for the official Cannes selection Down in the Valley (2005), and working with director/actor Paul Giamatti on the Ron Howard produced show Breakthrough (2015).

Salett grew up in Columbia, MD and attended the Columbia School for Theatrical Arts, an after school program where he first met Edward Norton. He went to Brown University and was very involved in the theater department, directing recent NYU transfer Michael Showalter in a show led to a friendship with Showalter’s NYU group The State. He would later go on to play at 4 State weddings. Salett began to play music downtown in New York city in the early 90’s and quickly established a presence with a passionate and loyal following that included many actors, writers and directors who would go on to great acclaim. At that time his regular crowd included Ethan Hawke, Sam Rockwell, Edward Norton, Billy Crudup, Thomas Lennon, Michael Ian Black, Liev Schreiber, and many others.

Peter’s first song in a studio film was “Heart of Mine” – the main theme and end title song in Edward Norton’s 2000 directorial debut Keeping the Faith (2000) starring Norton, Ben Stiller, and Jenna Elfman. The song was mixed by legendary producer T Bone Burnett and was one of two Salett songs on the Hollywood Records soundtrack that also included Tom Waits and Elliot Smith. Around the same time Peter appeared as Guitar Dude in David Wain’s cult classic film Wet Hot American Summer (2001) – which was the beginning of his collection of comedic cameo film performances. After having songs in many movies, and writing songs for movies, the natural progression was for Peter to start scoring films as well – his first notable score was the 2005 David Jacobson film Down in the Valley (2005), starring Edward Norton and Evan Rachel Wood. He then moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles and worked on a string of comedies, many produced by Judd Apatow, including working with Russell Brand and Jason Segel co-writing 3 songs for Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008), writing and singing a montage song “Broken and Bent” in the David Wain film Role Models (2008), a brief acting cameo in Superbad (2007), and appearing in the Apatow produced, Wain directed film Wanderlust (2012).

Salett moved back to Brooklyn in 2011 and has continued to work on a wide variety of projects including music for dance (Ripening at Lincoln Center), theater (Cherry Lane Theater show directed by Chris Eigeman), his own “long form” pieces – the first one being a meditative 37 minute work with ocean sounds, orchestral strings, and a song cycle titled “Suite for the Summer Rain”; as well as working in film (scoring the gritty Tomorrow You’re Gone (2012) with Michelle Monaghan, Steve Dorff and Willem Dafoe), TV (scoring Breakthrough (2015) and writing songs for the Netflix show Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp (2015). He also reprised his role as Guitar Dude for the popular show.

Related Posts