In this post we continue our series of interviews with the singers featured on the October Project Sounds True recording, The Book of Rounds: 21 Songs of Grace. This week we profile Spencer Bokat-Lindell, whose gorgeous baritone opens Chapter Three on the recording’s only duet, “Eden,” track 15.
Spencer Bokat-Lindell is a baritone on the Book of Rounds who is featured on the song “Eden,” a duet that opens Chapter Three, with soprano Jessy Tomsko.
Like many other participants in the Book of Rounds, Spencer sang at Yale, first with the coed a cappella group Redhot and Blue, and then as a member of the esteemed senior men’s group on campus, the Whiffenpoofs. It was through one of Redhot and Blue’s performances that Spencer first became involved with the Book of Rounds. Following the group’s annual concert, Marina Belica & Julie Flanders of October Project, both Yale alums, approached Spencer about the project, an opportunity Spencer willingly agreed to. “Ultimately what I love about all the music on the album is that the songs have a great sense of movement and they end in a different place from where they start, which is a pretty difficult thing to achieve when you’re singing a round” he says. To Spencer, the project would not be what it is today without what he considers the “briliance” of Julie’s lyrics, Emil Adler’s melodies, and Keiji Ishiguri’s arrangements.
Although Redhot and Blue is rooted in jazz, Spencer says his musical background and taste is quite varied. He began singing through musical theater in middle school and high school, later studying musical theater, classical singing, and eventually pop with his voice teacher, Keaton Douglas. Halfway through high school, Spencer joined a student a cappella group in his home town of Montclair, New Jersey – an experience he considers very formative, catalyzing his appreciation for a multiplicity of musical genres.
As for the Book of Rounds, Spencer cites “Ready” as his favorite piece to hear performed, especially how it “starts off as a quiet lilt and builds to a grand sweep at the end.” To Spencer, these recurring contrasts on the Book of Rounds make the album particularly compelling. “The melodies are simple,” he says, “but really engaging and beautiful.”
The song “Eden” can be heard here:
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 that includes October Project’s Marina Belica. Looking forward, Lucy hopes to pursue a career in the entertainment industry, particularly writing for either the stage or screen.