Dominic Voz – ‘For the Shoe I Left on Canfield Mountain’

Occupying the hinterlands between digital and analogue techniques, live instruments and sampling, the album is a meeting of inspiration from two distinct directions: forward jazz work, such as that of Pharaoh Sanders, Michael White, Alice Coltrane, Bill Evans which weaves into electronic productions heavily indebted to the work of artists like Nobukazu Takemura, Matmos, Jim O’Rourke, Ikue Mori, Mouse on Mars, Holly Herndon, and Oval.

The 9 tracks contained on the LP share the communal element of collaboration. Sharon Olds, one of the great living American poets, gave her blessing to utilize one of her poems titled ‘The Unborn’, from her collection “Satan Says”, read by Dominic’s friend Javiera Cisneros in “Love Song For Sharon Olds”. Jonathan Sielaff of the duo Golden Retriever plays bass clarinet on ‘For Popy Das’ and appears elsewhere on the record. Ben Tyler and Emily Warden – fellow Portland musicians – play drums and saxophone respectively. While the song ‘For Bunny and All the Cats’ is a true homage to Matmos’ ‘For Felix (And All the Rats)’.

The album’s theme attempts to connect diaristic storytelling and homage to a kind of deep cosmic gesture. The title track “For the Shoe I Left on Canfield Mountain” has almost a spiritual feeling for the producer as he was inspired by Anthony Braxton’s “For Alto” to make an entire album of dedications, a rather sacred tradition in classical and jazz works.

“I used the dedication as a process and foundation to build music that felt sacred to me. I figured that if this sort of cosmic spiritualism was there for me as a musician, then it might be audible for listeners
too… I’m a sucker for vehemence, passion, surrender, transcendence. Something like holy music. These ideas colored the backdrop of the album, which is intended to be, all woo-woo and indulgence aside, a simple collection of mangled love songs.” Dominic Voz

Canfield Mountain itself looms over Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, where Dominic grew up and literally lost a shoe there, post-holed into the deep snow while hiking with a friend one early spring. The name of the album (and its cover) came into fruition after seeing the installation of boot heels made by artist Emily Anderson in a Portland restaurant. She’d collected hundreds of boots on a beach filled with rubbish in California. The meaning is that the cosmic importance of things is a flat plane – a shoe that one could lose holds as much capacity for reverence as a mountain or a human being.