Haralabos [Harry] Stafylakis

Composer | Professor | Producer | Guitarist

Source Code

for big band (2019 / 2021)
4 saxes / 3 trumpets / 4 trombones / violin / e. gtr. / e. bass / pno / drum set
11 minutes
Commissioned by the Hard Rubber Orchestra with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

Premiered by the Hard Rubber Orchestra at Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theater in Vancouver, Canada, on May 25, 2019.

Studio recording created in 2021. Audio mixed & mastered by Adam Pietrykowski. Video editing by Eliot Doyle.

Performed by Hard Rubber Orchestra & Harry Stafylakis:
• Tom Keenlyside – soprano, alto, tenor, baritone saxophones
• Mike Herriott – trumpets
• Jim Hopson – trombones, bass trombone
• Mark Ferris – violin
• Harry Stafylakis – guitars & piano
• André Lachance – bass
• Eliot Doyle – drums

Score and parts available for rental (PDF or hard copy). Send an inquiry through the Contact page.

Program note

source code
noun: Computer program written in a high-level language which is converted into object code or machine code by a compiler. Source code is the only stage where a programmer can read and modify a computer program.

In musical terms, then, the written score represents the source; the performers act as the compiler, converting it into the sound (‘object code’) that reaches our ears.

Poetically, this piece is perhaps one of my most explicit attempts at writing contemporary progressive metal music for a non-metal ensemble. The musical language of metal is, in a real sense, the source code behind my artistic persona, and here is presented in relatively pure form – a sure sign that I’m long past caring about academia’s allergy to music with tunes and grooves.

Also, besides being brutally heavy, Source Code is brutally difficult to play. I was hoping to make the players sweat. Don’t worry, they can handle it.

My deep thanks to John Korsrud and the Hard Rubber Orchestra for commissioning this piece and taking on the challenge of playing really un-jazzy music.