The composer is also a writer and journalist. He has contributed to The Wall Street Journal and The Gramophone as a reviewer  and has written for many international newspapers, magazines and news agencies, including Dow Jones Newswires, The Associated Press, The Independent, The Financial Times and The Observer. His music is published by Edition Tre Fontane  in Münster, Germany.
He studied economics at Aston University in Birmingham and pursued a career in journalism, while composing and performing free form improvised music (see free improvisation). He lived in Johannesburg, South Africa between 1996 and 2003, working as a foreign correspondent for major US and British newspapers, after which he moved back to England. He now lives in Brighton. Since then he has been a member of the New Music Brighton  and London Forum  collectives of composers in the UK. His compositions have been featured at the Brighton Festival, Soundwaves Festival , Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Goldsmiths College Pure Gold Festival , Royal College of Music in London, London COMA Summer School, Bille en Tête Festival (Musique En Roue Libre) in Arras, France  and at the All Ears Contemporary Music Festival  in London, as well as at the Grahamstown Festival in South Africa and performed elsewhere in France, Italy, Sweden, Austria , Mexico and the US.
He is largely self-taught, although he took private lessons in composition and music theory with South African composer Martin Watt at the University of the Witwatersrand and composition workshops with British composer Michael Finnissy. His music uses improvisation, graphic notation, electronics (see electronic art music) and emphasises surface textures, but is also influenced by southern African and Asian world music.
He is associated with the Gallery III  group of artists, musicians and multi-media artists in Johannesburg, South Africa, which included artist and musician James de Villiers and Beat poet Sinclair Beiles. Spicer is among a new generation of composers in post-apartheid (see apartheid) South Africa. Other examples are Bongani Ndodana-Breen, Dimitri Voudouris, Jürgen Bräuninger, Cobi van Tonder, Hannes Taljaard, Michael Blake (see Michael Blake - Composer)Robert Fokkens and Spicer's teacher Martin Watt.
In Anglo Boer War (1999) he explored cluster note (see tone clusters) and microtonal techniques. The piece is a strident anti-war composition written for the hundredth anniversary of the Anglo Boer War (see Second Boer War) and was a collaboration with the artist James de Villiers.
His 63 Moons (2003) composition was heavily influenced by Javanese gamelan music, Shona mbira music (see Shona music) and contemporary minimalist (see minimalist music) composers.
Click Language (2004) continued Spicer's African themes and uses sampled words from southern African click languages such as Xhosa (see Xhosa language), Zulu (see Zulu language) and Khoisan languages as a sound patina for four percussionists, comprising vibraphone, marimba, waterphone and other hand-held instruments. Baobab (2003) employs polyrhythms inspired by southern African drumming and features the vibraphone and marimba. There is a version of Baobab for harpsichord (2006), written for Polish harpsichordist Kasia Tomczak-Feltrin. and an extended version for harpsichordist Jane Chapman. He is presently writing an opera for video based on Arno Schmidt's novel The Egghead Republic (Die Gelehrtenrepublik).
Recent works have explored live electronics and acoustic instrument blends, including MIDI instruments. Since the beginning of 2006, he has worked closely with French woodwind and electronic music soloist and professor of woodwind at the London Royal College of Music, Julien Feltrin.  Spicer has also worked with London-based percussion ensemble Brake Drum Assembly.  He formed the ensemble Caos Harmonia  to perform his music in 1997 and has also performed with London-based new music group – The Kluster Ensemble.
Austrian video artist Peter Gold  produced a short film for three movements of Anglo Boer War for the 2006 All Ears Contemporary Music Festival in London. Antarctica (1995–1996) is an early work for electronics written for an unreleased video of Antarctic (see Antarctica) landscapes.
Spicer collaborated with performance artist Paolo Giudici in the installation Thesis at the Hockney Gallery at the Royal College of Art in London in 2006. Painter/multimedia artist James de Villiers worked with Spicer in The Architecture of Air, which toured the US, Mexico and South Africa in 2001–2003 with Transformations, an exhibition of South African art. Inside, Outside (2001) is an electronic piece for a James de Villiers' installation of the same title shown at Carfax  in Johannesburg.Antarctica (1995–96) – for electronics, video
Virtually Ambient Shostakovich (1997) – for voices, sampler and keyboards
Anglo Boer War (1999) – for voices, strings and electronic manipulation
String Quartet Four (2000) – for string quartet
Sequenzas (2000) – for piano
Auto da Fe (2002) – for orchestra
In Memoriam Valdemar Rodriquez (2002) – for orchestra
63 Moons (2003) – variations for world music instruments, percussion and synthesizers
Bigga Digga (2004) – for voices
Shakespeare Whispers (2004) – for voices
Baobab (2004) – for percussion quartet
Click Language (2005) – for percussion quartet and electronics
pHyTHoN (2005) – for French horn & piano
Four Pieces (2005) – for brass quintet
Bird (2006) – for vibraphone and electronics
Euclid Alone (2006) – for Paetzold Great Bass, tenor recorders & electronics, French horn and percussion quartet
The Anthropic Principle (2006) – for midi wind controller and laptop
Polonnaruwa (2006) – for laptop electronics
Baobab (2004) – revised for harpsichord (2006)
Haut Voltage (2006) – improvisation for midi wind controller, clarinet and laptop electronics
Tiktaalik (2006) – for any instrument
The Giraffe Sleeper (2007) – for chamber orchestra, piano and laptop electronics
Cold, Cold (2007) – for laptop electronics and manipulated voice, words by Chris Edwards
For Dimitri Voudouris (2007) – for laptop electronics, electronically manipulated alto saxophone and French horn
The Antikythera Mechanism (2008) – for natural horn & electronics
Nazca (2008) – for chamber orchestra & laptop electronics
Hydrogen (2008) – for flute & laptop electronics
A Scent of Knife Blossom (2009) – for solo cello
For James de Villiers (2009) – for laptop electronics
Archaeopteryx (2010) – for low recorder quartet and electronics
The Book of Graphic Scores (2010) – for any instrument
Kailasanatha (2012) – for laptops, violin, alto sax and electric guitar electronics (collaboration with Paul Sharma)
Goodbye (2012) – for piano & electronics
Messestadt West (2014) - for electric guitar and digital looper
Crow (2014) - for laptop electronics
SS 14a (2014) - for laptop electronics