Wednesday, December 29, 2010

mr. nowhere

mr. nowhere

(right/ctrl-click + "save link/target as" to download)

Friday, December 24, 2010

O Holy Night (+HYaMLC)

and, from two years ago, before this blog existed: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Merry Christmas!

(right/cmd-click + "Save Link/Target As" to download)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Storkesy (with Kyle Cotler)


(click to listen; right-click + "Save ... As" to download) // Guitar, bass, most chords: Kyle Cotler // cover source.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sam's First Night

David Kanaga - First Night from Sam Alden on Vimeo.

Sam Alden's video for my song "First Night", from Flower Walk EP. Also, be sure to check out these remarkable making-of photos (and download the original taaaalll image, too) over at his blog!

Monday, November 22, 2010


The Crystal World & AHAB

My friend Sam Alden did this beautiful drawing to my song, The Crystal World. If you want to use it as alternate album art, which I recommend, download and drag it in! (via Gingerland, his blog)

He also recently ordered a trilogy of $5 loops to accompany his own "AHAB" trilogy of drawings (view them at a much better resolution here)... the set is kind of like a very short (~1:30) EP :).

The loops:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Flower Walk EP

Sort of singer-songwriter-ish, but using Petrushka samples instead of a guitar. The cover image is taken from Hieronymus Bosch's The Garden of Earthly Delights.

I set up a Bandcamp page that will handle EP downloads from now on. This should be nice, because you can use it to stream the individual songs, too. 

1. Moon Race
2. First Night
3. Halloween
4. Flower Walk
5. Pole Rite

Sunday, October 24, 2010


(right-click (ctrl-click on Mac) + "Save Target/Link As" to download)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Leprosie/The Crystal World

(click song title to stream; right click (ctrl click on Mac) + "Save Target/Link As" to download)

I made these, as well as "Zaria Moon Jam/Surf Square" and "The Portable Dragon" using a rapid work process inspired largely by memories of my own creative process in 8th grade. "The Crystal World" is one of my favorite pieces I have made--I hope you like it, and all the others, too :)

Also, if you're interested, I've been updating the $5 Loop page with the loops that you all have bought; there should be some new stuff to hear over there... All the prompts so far have been great!

The Portable Dragon

1. Leave Home
2. Gold
3. Bones
4. Lair
5. Moat
6. Plan, Silver
7. Sleep
8. More Bones
9. Admire Gold, Return Home

(12:57 total time)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

garden dress

A folk song. Samples "The Heat Wins" by advrb.

(click song title to stream; right click (ctrl click on Mac) + "Save Target/Link As" to download)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Zaria Moon Jam/Surf Square

(click song title to stream; right click (ctrl click on Mac) + "Save Target/Link As" to download)

Monday, September 13, 2010

summer pastels 2

"summer pastels 1" was my Take Care cover, though I actually made this one first and forgot about it...

The Crab Nebula

1. Mingus' Canon
2. Carnival

Track 1 samples Blitzen Trapper's "War Is Placebo" and Charles Mingus' "Self-Portrait in Three Colors." Track 2 samples Battles' "Prismism," The Beach Boys' "God Only Knows" and Dusty Springfield's "The Windmills of Your Mind."

The cover is a cut-up of this.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Take Care (Beach House Cover)

I made this cover of Beach House's song "Take Care":

It has a partner now: summerpastels2.mp3

Also, be sure to listen to the original if you haven't heard it--it's wonderful!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Selected Improvisations: July 16 2010 (with Jonas Pologe)

Jonas is playing flute in the left channel; I'm playing bass in the right.

1. 1
2. 2
3. 3

Download "Selected Improvisations: July 16, 2010"

Jonas and I have been making music together for a long time (he and Josh Bothun were the friends that introduced me to music software (Fruity Loops), about 10 years ago!). He can be heard playing flute in some other things I've done, for instance "Music for Games", which can be downloaded here (and which I sample here).

Monday, July 5, 2010

2P Rects (interactive music: dancing, shooting)

2P Rects // (primitive forms) from David Kanaga on Vimeo.

This is a video of me playing a piece of software for 2 hands (1 or 2 players) that I wrote a couple months ago. It's exploring ideas that are similar to those in ada, the "album" of interactive music pieces I made with Josh Bothun (and available for free download at that link).

You can play a stripped-down version online here (unfortunately no sound unless you download SuperCollider, and set a few things up yourself--Let me know if you're interested in doing that, and I'll get you on track :)).

Saturday, June 26, 2010

$5 for a Loop


Finished loops are catalogued at the bottom of this post

How it works: you give me $5 to create a loop (short piece that can repeat indefinitely) for you, in whatever way you'd like me to do it

For instance, you could ask me to make a loop that "samples 5 different songs," or "is at 220 beats per minute," or "uses a (twelve) tone-row," or "covers part of 'Be My Baby,'" or "sounds like winter," or "works as a B section for the last loop you made for me"--really, anything you can imagine (look/listen below for examples). I'll do my best to follow your rules, but if something seems unreasonable to me, given the $5 price--say, "make a loop with 200 unique vocal tracks"-- I'll ask you for a new prompt, or refund your money (otherwise, even if you don't like your loop, no refunds :P).

I'll still own the rights to the loops I make for you, but will put them online for free under the same Creative Commons license (by-nc-sa) I use for all of my material, which allows you to reuse it pretty freely. The default name will be "Your Name x" (where x is the number of loops that you've bought), but you can change the name in your commission guidelines, if you'd like.

To buy a loop, simply go to the top of this post, fill in your guidelines and click "buy now" (uses PayPal). If the guidelines box doesn't give you enough room, you can send a longer email with all your wants to: dkanagamusic [at] gmail [dot] com.

To listen to a loop as a loop, rather than as a short clip online, right-click (ctrl-click on Mac) on the loop link and  select "Save Target/Link As to download. Then open it up in iTunes, and make sure the looping button down in the bottom left corner looks like this (means "loop just this one song"); that should work!


$5 Loops

Iris Alden 1 (guidelines: sample "I Can't Help Myself" both The Four Tops and The Gems versions)
Devi the Doberman (Perry Patterson, guidelines: title)
Misbehaving Machines (Perry Patterson, guidelines: title)
THE WALL-E WALTZ (Perry Patterson, guidlines: title)
The Ericksons' Middle of the Night Remix with Mason Jennings (Ross Kanaga, guidelines: sample the title song + The Light (Part 2) by Mason Jennings)
Bryan Sonderman 1 (guidelines: "contains meaningful original lyrics")
Marc Evans 1 (guidelines: sample these recordings; first pair of piano chords should be prominent)
Cooper Otte 1 (guidelines: use provided recordings (on CD) as samples; do not repeat a sample without altering it in some way (no loops))
Josh Bothun 1 (guidelines: "warm, milky waves of bright orange creamsicle")
Jonas Pologe 1 (guidelines: "puzzle canon")
Peter Richards 1 (guidelines: "40 seconds of rock 'n' roll in my [Peter's] style")
Kyle Cotler 1 (guidelines: "Create a loop that would occur at a recording session where Phil Spector, at his craziest, is producing a song written by Neil Sedaka and J.C. Bach. BUT J.C. Bach is bringing his woes to the session which were brought on by his realization that his Father superior composer and he will never achieve his level of success or fame.")
AHAB III (Sam Alden, guidelines: "create a loop to accompany each frame of my AHAB trilogy." see the trilogy here!: AHAB@Gingerland)
Iris Alden 2 (guidelines: "a theme and variations based on that melody from Philip Glass' La Belle et La BĂȘte opera")
The Dream 1
The Dream 2
The Dream 3
The Dream 4 (Harry Fulop, guidelines: "create a loop for each of these four vignettes"; read them here!)
Nanyonjo Mukungu 1 (guidelines: "disco synth")
Morgan Ellis 1 (guidelines: "sample 1 or more of yr earlier work, fracturecompound-style"; (samples "chant," "the witch party," and "first movement"))
Sam Alden 4
Sam Alden 5 (both prompts: "the exploration of something about 8th grade or middle school")
Jerom 1 (guidelines: "a silly battle theme between a ladybug and a little spider")
Richard Alden 1 (guidelines: "6 loops based on the Bach cello suites")
Richard Alden 2
Richard Alden 3
Richard Alden 4
Richard Alden 5
Richard Alden 6
Bryan Sonderman 2 (guidelines: "snap music w/deep bass and slow tempo")
narF 1 (guidelines: "something about love")
narF 2 (guidelines "something with a wintery vibe")
George Buckenham 1 (guidelines: "something for me to use as a ringtone")
Josh Schonstal 1 (guidelines: "Just Intonation/Mixolydian Dub: 'The King of Psychedelia'")
David Hayward 1 (guidelines: "something relaxing and gentle but with a repeating chime")
Richard Edwards 1 (guidelines: "old-timey saloon piano music")
Martin Simpson 1 (guidelines: "abandoned amusement park, piano, subtle saxophone, empty")
Przemek Muller 1 (guidelines: "Exploring an abandoned place. Unnerving. Non-futuristic! Think Thief: The Dark Project (, but a little bit more melodic. Still, it should be so weird that nobody will be able to remember (or even notice) the melody in the first listen")
Richard Perrin 1 (guidelines: "something ominous")

Proteus teaser video

I've been working on dynamic/procedural-ish music for this game; you can follow it's development here.

More info to come! :)

Friday, June 25, 2010

lazy ginsburg

Both tracks sample Allen Ginsberg's recording of William Blake's "Nurse's Song," available here.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

"Snakes" EP

All tracks sample Max Neuhaus' performance of Morton Feldman's "The King of Denmark."

1. The Head
2. Little Gall
3. Snakes!
4. Snake Dub
5. Rintrah Roars
6. Space Bends

Friday, May 28, 2010

Dialogue w/Bryan Sonderman

My friend Bryan Sonderman asked me some questions about Josh Bothun and my game, ada (download page). I responded to them, and he posted the dialogue on his blog, here.

His blog also features some really cool loose collage music that he's started making recently--check it out :)

Suite for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet and Piano

Written Fall 2007, performed Fall 2008

This is the one piece that I had performed during my time in Whitman's composition program.

I'm trying to find the score to put it online: the interactions in the second movement are my first explorations of some of the ideas that I ended up developing further in Activities.

Performers: Michele Aichele, flute; Heidi Brigham, oboe; Amber Nosek, clarinet; Katie Moyer, piano.

(The "(warm-up)" track isn't composed by me in any way (it's by the above players), but it was part of the concert recording, and I thought it was a highlight of the performance, so I didn't want to cut it.)

1. (warm-up)
2. I. q =70
3. II.
4. III. h = 70
5. IV. q = 140

Download "Suite for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet and Piano"

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

attila the hun

Image is from the Chronicon Pictum, showing the meeting of Attila and Pope Leo I.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Sam Alden - "1/Bend" art/video

My friend Sam Alden made two drawings/paintings/a video for my song "1/Bend," off of Dutch/Africa.

The above image is a screenshot from one of the two drawings/paintings, both of which can be seen in their entirety here

This is the video, made by panning around the images:

Thanks Sam :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Contains long-ish samples of Alhaji Yaya Zakori's "Fushien Kububua," and short samples of others...

1. 1/Bend
2. Kounou Game Reserve
3. Zaria
4. ////
5. Kabinda Game Reserve
6. 2/Bend
7. Gombe

Download Dutch/Africa

Monday, May 10, 2010

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Live 5/6/2010

I played a short (!) set on Thursday night at Boner Mountain. The artwork is an image of the room I played in.

Live 5/6/2010

> wild birdsynth
> the way i feed
> cooper's bit bits
> lazers do / mahler 3
> 198 12"
> 4.23.10.intro / subotnik

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

For those of you in Walla Walla, I'll be conducting my piece "Activities for Orchestra" this upcoming Saturday at the Divertimento Chamber Orchestra concert.

I'll put up a recording and a pdf of the score after that.

Monday, May 3, 2010

cooper's bit fade

The sax and drums loop was made by my friend Cooper Otte from samples of "Improvisation Structure for Saxophones and Drums," which he played drums on. This + samples of "Solitude" by Duke Ellington, etc.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

ornette trio (imagined interactions)

A few samples layered 3x. An imagined trio. Source: "The Man Who Live in the White House," by Ornette Coleman


orange cut

Linear rearrangement of Beethoven's Symphony No. 6, 2nd movement


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Live 4/23/2010

Yesterday I performed live at an event put on by Whitman's radio station, KWCW. I forgot to record my set at the time, but performed it again today in my room (it's mostly the same--a bit shorter, perhaps...) to post here:

Live 4/23/2010

> intro
> wombflash jungle
> hanenbow
> 1-1.1 / waterfall
> oil
> dutch africa bit
> fela / walrus
> sonny bono / 1-1.2
> pulcitune

Thanks to Alex Cassidy for the artwork, which was drawn while listening to the performance :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Fun House

1. ***wild synth***
2. ***toy store***

Download Fun House

Fall 2008/2009

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Spring Gulch

Spring Gulch from David Kanaga on Vimeo.

Filmed February 22, 2010 in Walla Walla, WA, and in North-Eastern Oregon, at the South Fork of the Walla Walla river.

Music: Friedrich Nietzsche's "Da Geht Ein Bach"

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Response: The Knife - Tomorrow, In A Year

A while back, I listened to The Knife's new album "Tomorrow, In A Year." I thought there were a lot of things in it that worked really well, and also a lot of things that didn't.

I made this short edit/remix/dub as a response to my listening, and incidentally, it functions as a kind of non-verbal criticism by selection, a four minute tour of what I would consider some of the album's finer moments:

Download The Knife - Tomorrow, In A Year (David Kanaga Edit)

The album was released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License , which is the same license that I use.


A little over a week ago, I posted this, but didn't know about the CC license--so I wrote "sampled content: copyright 2010 The Knife," confident that my collage-response should be protected by fair use. Then, on the morning of 2/27, I received a DMCA takedown notification from Blogger (someone else having complained to them), and the post was removed from my page.

Blogger, if you see this: the sampled material was released under a Creative Commons license--I can use it!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Playing Electroplankton

These are layered (and non-layered) recordings of me playing Electroplankton, an interactive/generative music game for the Nintendo DS by Toshio Iwai. The track titles list the levels being played; "-n" after a given level name means the recording was pitch-shifted down n semitones.

1. Sun-20/Tracy-8/Menu
2. Volvoice/(Rec-Rec)
3. Menu/Snow-8
4. Hanenbow

Download Playing Electroplankton

Don't know where copyright belongs here; the game is both composition and instrument.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Scenes from Arcturus

Inspired by David Lindsay's amazing novel A Voyage to Arcturus.

1. Lusion Plain 1
2. Lusion Plain 2
3. Wombflash Forest 1
4. Wombflash Forest 2

Download Scenes from Arcturus

Art by Iris Alden.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Nymph

"A nymph in Greek mythology is a female spirit typically associated with a particular location [...] They live in mountains and groves, by springs and rivers, also in trees and in valleys and cool grottoes. They are frequently associated with the superior divinities: the huntress Artemis; the prophetic Apollo; the reveler and god of wine, Dionysus [...]" (source)

1. Waterfall
2. Pool

Download The Nymph

The cover samples Henry Meynell Rheam's "Sleeping Beauty." The music samples: "Candide", "Pas D'Action: Adagio", and "Valse: Allegro" from Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty Suite; also "Gentle Sea On Flat Beach.wav", served by the freesound project, and produced by