Cottage Grove composer's song featured in documentary filmTom Holt entered a contest to write a song for the documentary film “The Price of Sand” the same way he composes music. It just felt right.
By: Judy Spooner, South Washington County Bulletin
Tom Holt entered a contest to write a song for the documentary film “The Price of Sand” the same way he composes music. It just felt right.
He won the contest and the film, made by St. Paul filmmaker Jim Tittle, will be released sometime later this year.
The Cottage Grove composer had already written the song before finding out about the contest. His was the only entry that didn’t have lyrics, Holt said in a recent interview.
His song, “Fracking Fallout,” will be part of the film about mining natural gas trapped in sand, which is extracted under pressure with water and chemicals in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
“The goal of this documentary is to find the real price of frac sand,” he said, “not just in dollars, but in friendships, communities and the future of the region.”
Holt said he is honored and excited to have his music be part of the story. It’s his first break in getting into films and hopes it “open up a new door” for him.
His songs, written and produced in the home he shares with his wife, Sara, a paralegal, and his children, Tristan, 14, and Lindsay, 21, often comes after he hears the hint of a melody in his head and he moves on from there to develop the entire song.
“It’s no different than trying to write a book or poetry. I try to think out of the box,” he said, “and not do what people expect. It’s whatever sounds good to me.”
He said his music resembles that of U2, blink-182, The Offspring, Third Eye Blind and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Holt, who works in technology at 3M, is a self-taught musician. He’s never had a class in music theory but has learned by playing guitar and being around music as he was growing up.
Raised in Spring Valley, Minn., by his grandparents, he came from a very musical family. His brothers, father and grandfather were also musicians.
Holt’s grandfather gave him a ukulele when he was 4 years old. He got a guitar when he was 12 and “got serious” about playing it when he was 15 and played in the school band through high school.
He enjoys listening and playing all genres of music from big band to pop, jazz and country. Good music has to have a good story and a good beat, he said.
Holt currently plays in a band and dreams of spending all his time composing and playing. “Writing music is what I want,” he said.
To hear Holt’s music, go to reverbnation.com/forgettingfillmore and open various music selections including the documentary theme. The site can also be used to contact Holt.
For information about the film, go to thepriceofsand.com.