The mortal human condition is something that has tormented us. Transcending is a quest, an engine that has made us create beautiful things. We want to leave a trace of our time on this planet to escape death. I remember a scene in the movie "Scent of a Woman" where the main character says that you die the day they pronounce your name for the last time. I think that when we make art, it is a way to escape death and connect with the whole, with eternity.

This month we chose a unique composer. Will Strassberger is not only a great composer, but he is a priest-to-be. I am not a religious person. I grew up in a family that did not practice any religion. That's why I find it so interesting to meet people who give their lives to that cause and purpose because they have had such a different life from mine and meeting them is like entering another universe from which I always learn a lot.

Ready to meet April's composer of the month?

Will Strassberger

Will Strassberger is a seminarian to be a roman catholic priest of the diocese of St. Augustine in North Florida. His story with music started at a young age. In middle school, he began to study organ and piano, instruments that he still plays in the seminary.

He grew up in a home where the soundscape was very diverse. His mom was into disco and classical rock, his dad liked country music and his older sisters were always listening to pop. He did not feel identified in these genres 😕.

"I was swimming in a genre sea. I was kind of struggling to find my place in all this"

Through the Star Wars and Pirates of the Caribbean movies, Will discovered what makes his heart skip a beat. These soundtracks opened William's eyes to the world of symphonies, opera and ballet. As a result, his deep love for music began to soar ❤️.

Years later, he studied Mechanical Engineer at the University of North Florida. By then, he reaffirmed his love for music and the catholic church. Following his heart and purpose, he joined the catholic student union, where he discovered the beauty in music in church with the requiems and liturgical motets.

It's fun to think of all the twists and turns life takes. No matter what path you take, it will always lead you where your heart belongs, and in Will's case, that's music and church.

"My vocation has done nothing but influence my composition"

The catholic church has a great musical legacy, which has captivated and influenced William.

"When I compose for the church I feel like I am entering into the vast tradition that the catholic church... St. Augustine says that he who sings prays twice and that philosophy really inspires me to put my best foot forward when it comes to expressing myself in music"

Music and church, you might think, are two different paths, but they are not. This is where Will's heart dwells, from where he offers to the world compositions full of love and devotion.

His creative process

William's process can be broken down into 2 methods:

  1. When the music comes first

After the creation of the instrumentation comes the creation of the lyrics. The lyrics can be a poem or an excerpt from Scripture. The challenge here, according to William, is to create the words. The music sounds free, but the lyrics have to fit into an already defined structure, which can be difficult.

2. When the lyrics come first

For these songs, Will first writes down the words "and the music dances around the poem".  

His style

Will describes his style using two words: melancholy and moody. But don't get him wrong:

"I am not particularly depressing but it is fun to draw from that German symphonic tradition and just dig into the minor chords"

What makes his music stand out is the chord progressions he uses.  

"My signature move is that delicious harmonic minor that you can find in pretty much all my pieces"

Favorite memory of Flat

Will joined our community 6 years ago, which means it has been with us since the beginning of Tutteo, our company.

"My favorite memory of Flat is not necessarily a particular memory but I have nothing but the kindness of words for the people who run it"

With nothing more to say, thank you, William, for your music and for inspiring us!

See you next time!