In this post we continue our series of interviews with the singers who bring such grace to the October Project recording The Book of Rounds: 21 Songs of Grace, released on Sounds True. This week we profile Spencer Klavan, whose deep, lush bass voice is featured on the round “Earth.”
Spencer Klavan sings bass on The Book of Rounds and is featured on “Earth,” track 4 of this Sounds True recording from October Project. A man of many coasts, Spencer is originally from New York but spent a sizeable time in his childhood in both Santa Barbara, California and London, England. The latter location marks Spencer’s current home, where he is getting his masters degree in Classical Languages and Literature. At Oxford, Spencer has continued singing with the Chapel Choir of Jesus College and later hopes to pursue his doctorate with a thesis on ancient Greek music theory. “There will be a lot of studying of and thinking about music,” he says. “Music has never left me.”
However, Spencer’s way of viewing music has changed over the years. In high school, his main way of accessing music was through musicals – but it wasn’t until Spencer sang with Yale’s coed a cappella singing group Redhot & Blue that he began to think seriously about music. “I definitely have to confess that I came to Yale thinking I was going to join an a cappella group because it seemed obvious – a cool thing for musical people to do with a lot of social aspects to it,” Spencer says. But once in the group, Spencer started to realize how much he truly loved a cappella music, so much so that he went on to sing with the Yale Whiffenpoofs. Spencer will readily admit that he doesn’t know a great deal about music theory, but he loves the conversational aspect of a cappella. “I have a real appreciation of the interlocking mechanisms of choral music in general but a cappella music specifically. It’s so dependent on musical intricacies – throwing melodies back and forth and bouncing these melodies off of other voice parts.”
Outside of academics and a cappella, Spencer has a particular affinity for running. “I’m a really social person, I live with other people,” Spencer says, but to him, running offers a unique difference – open air, a clear head, solitude, and time to think for oneself. Interestingly enough, Spencer’s favorite song on The Book of Rounds, “Know” speaks to just this feeling: “Sky above you, earth below / You will leave more than you can know / So no matter where you go you will know.” It is this song’s lyrics to which he feels most connected.
Ultimately, however, to Spencer the most meaningful part of the Book of Rounds lies in the nature of the rounds themselves. “Many of the songs have very simple phrasal structures that convey a great deal,” says Spencer. “It leaves a lot unspoken.”
The song “Earth” can be heard here: https://youtu.be/38V9C8HjzsA
The Book of Rounds: 21 Songs of Grace is available at I-Tunes and Amazon. Your 5-star rating and review mean everything to us. Please leave great reviews. It makes a big difference. It helps us a lot.
By Lucy Tomasso
Lucy Tomasso is a prospective Theater Studies major at Yale and an avid a cappella singer. A member of Yale’s Redhot and Blue, she is honored be a descendant of the Redhot lineage. Lucy hopes to pursue a career in the entertainment industry, particularly writing for either the stage or screen.