Peter Salett’s Multimedia Song Cycle at MASS MoCA

'Suite for Summer Rain' by Michael Arthur

‘Suite for Summer Rain’ by Michael Arthur

(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) – Film composer and singer-songwriter Peter Salett performs “Suite for the Summer Rain / Dance of the Yellow Leaf,” a wistful song cycle backed by a full band and string quartet and accompanied by artist Michael Arthur’s evocative, improvised ink illustrations that unfurl alongside the music in Club B10 at MASS MoCA on Saturday, October 8, at 8pm.

Peter Salett grew up a devoted thespian and songwriter, driven by his curiosity around the intersection of film and music. He decided to pursue music after completing college, taking off to Juneau, Alaska, to focus on songwriting. In the mid-1990s, Salett moved to New York City, where he concentrated on his folk music, ultimately landing performances at downtown clubs, where his social circle overlapped with writers, actors, and directors. His passion progressed into writing music for film — and occasionally scoring a cameo — for hits such as Down in the Valley, Role Models, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Wet Hot American Summer, and a number of other films.

In addition to writing music for cinema, Salett has released seven records on his own label, scored a handful of movies, composed music for plays, and directed numerous videos. Entertainment Weekly wrote about the nature of Salett’s genre-crossing work, stating, “It’s easy to understand why the accessible sounds of Peter Salett often serve as cinematic backdrops. His every yearning and pang feels like your own.” His most recent album/cinematic backdrop is “Suite for the Summer Rain,” a song cycle of delicate guitar riffs, soothing string arrangements, and sounds of nature.

Peter Salett (photo Seth Olenick)

Peter Salett (photo Seth Olenick)

Salett’s “Suite for the Summer Rain” performance at MASS MoCA — an immersive, meditative experience that features a full band and a string quartet — is accompanied by real-time animations from Brooklyn-based artist Michael Arthur. Drawn in ink without pencils or rough drafts, Arthur’s wistful “Dance of the Yellow Leaf” is performed live, serving as a sweet and poignant backdrop to Salett’s song cycle; a live reaction to Salett’s music. Audience members will recognize Arthur’s drawings from Vanity Fair, the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Huffington Post, NPR, and his memorable MASS MoCA performance with Balthrop, Alabama, in 2009.

Suite for the Summer Rain / Dance of the Yellow Leaf is in MASS MoCA’s Club B10 on Saturday, October 8, at 8pm. Dinner and snacks are available from Lickety Split before the show. A full bar serves Bright Ideas Brewing beers and Berkshire Mountain Distillery spirits. Tickets are $10 for students, $12 advance, $18 day of, and $24 preferred. Tickets for all events are available through the MASS MoCA box office located on Marshall Street in North Adams, open 11am to 5pm every day except Tuesdays. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during box office hours or purchased online at MASS MoCA.



MASS MoCA is one of the world’s liveliest (and largest) centers for making and enjoying today’s most important art, music, dance, theater, film, and video.

Gallery admission is $18 for adults, $16 for veterans and seniors, $12 for students, $8 for children 6 to 16, and free for children 5 and under. Members are admitted free year-round. The Hall Art Foundation’s Anselm Kiefer exhibition is open seasonally, spring – fall. For additional information, call 413.662.2111 x1 or visit MASS MoCA.

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