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Seven Souls, or 164 Years

An interdisciplinary piece for string quartet and spoken word by Anthony Tidd


Seven Souls, or 164 Years will be an exciting new work for String Quartet composed by Anthony Tidd, featuring Philadelphia performance poet extraordinaire Ursula Rucker and violin virtuoso Kristin Lee.

This work will be presented as a string quartet with spoken word.


Studio audio recording (CD, Mp3, Vinyl)

Book (Poetry and Scores)


This piece will give voice to the now voiceless, those who had their lives cut short, as a result of white supremacy inspired violence.


The entire piece will be presented like a literary work (book), with a forward, chapters, and a conclusion. The forward and conclusion will be the only chapters where the spoken word is set to music.

All other chapters will begin with a short 20-30 second a cappella poem (excerpts from the forward) followed by a movement of the string quartet. The whole idea will be to explore the interplay between word, silence, and melody, so that the spoken word portions represent silence + word (the absence of melody). The strings quartet sections will represent the story realized through music.

Each of the nine chapters (movements) will be about 4 to 5 minutes long (including the spoken intro).

Each chapter (movement) will be inspired by the short poem, and will have its own character.

Proposed titles:

  1. Foreword
  2. Chapter One – I was a man, too – Eric Garner, 43
  3. Chapter Two – Speak Freely – Heather Hyer, 32
  4. Chapter Three – Your Mothers, Sisters and Daughters – Sandra Bland, 28
  5. Chapter Four – My Grandma’s Yard – Stephon Clarke, 22
  6. Chapter Five – If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon – Trayvon Martin 17
  7. Chapter Six – A Land without Child’s play – Tamir Rice, 12
  8. Chapter Seven – The Wrong House – Aiyana Jones, 7
  9. Epilogue

In terms of composition I hope to create a sound, which stays true to melodic, harmonic and rhythmic language drawn from my many years of working within jazz, hip-hop, etc, but which expresses this sound within a format suitable for string quartet.

Project Media

A Judas Type
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Features: Anthony Tidd

A Judas type is one of 10 compositions from my album, The Child of Troubled Times, which was recorded by my band Quite Sane.

This composition utilizes a creative process which I developed called phonetic vowel correlation, which I use to derive melodies and rhythms directly from rapped verses. This particular piece is based on the rap from a previous song on the same album, called The Mack.

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Features: Anthony Tidd

This piece, L.O.V.E is from an album which I produced for Ursula Rucker called Ma’at Mamma. Ursula Rucker wrote and performed the poem, and composed the music and played most of the instruments.

Start and End Dates



Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Project Created By

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
A Philly transplant, and the child of Trinidadian parents, Anthony Tidd was born and raised in London, England. Over the next eighteen years Anthony attended the Newham Academy of Music (U.K), Guild Hall (U.K), Thurrock College of Music (U.K), and Goldsmiths University (U.K), but (in his opinion) his true music education took place during his 24 year (and counting)…

In Collaboration With

First violinist


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