With constant rhythmatic voices always playing tricks on my subconscious, not to leave out the cell of what is to be called my room and board for another fourteen months. I sit idle, sometimes, and ask myself questions like: what will I do with myself tomorrow? Is all this really behind me? What did I take and keep with me so far and will continue to do when the time comes for me to go? I’ve participated in multiple programs and classes. But, for me, as one who is very musically inclined, I concur to myself “the 12-Bar Blues Project” was the one thing that sticks to my soul the most.

“The 12-Bar Blues Project” is one that lets the incarcerated inmates, who are really into music of any kind (unlike the name of it, anyways) a chance to show, give and release how they feel emotionally at the present time, or in the past through playing music, whether it’s writing songs, playing guitar or bss in one, or singing one as well. It’s also a blast to hear and learn other people’s styles of playing or ideas. The songs don’t have to be emotional at all, either, but can be comical for a good laugh or right-out-there too.

What did the program mean to me? Well…

The program meant to me, not only an opportunity to see where I stood next to really good musicians, but also, if my music was liked by not just me. Plus the fact that I got to experience the real act of recording a real CD was astonishing, to be part of something positive, some learning and therapeautic on top of FREE was and still is, to me, one of my life’s personally proud moments. For once I was sober and clean, playing my own as well as contributing to other’s music. I can honestly say that didn’t only make me happy, and lose focus on my surroundings, but also my family’s approval and respect. And not just theirs, but the staff at MCC too, noticed the changes I’ve made since I first started my bid. And the full come-around I’ve done.

For me to finally be able to say I wrote a song without being drunk or high, or for that matter to remember what I wrote and how I played it was a huge thing for me. I was homeless for three years on and off, with my family always trying to help me out but I took everything for granted and never saw the whole picture, prior to my incarceration. Since then (2008) I’ve come to understand the true meaning of trust and respect. Also that even the smallest thing out of the ordinary every day, every week, every month redundancy is a gift and not to be taken for granted. This program and the people in it and involved behind the inside of it have my most utmost respect and thanks for allowing me to participate in it and for their guidance and corrective criticism and suggestions.

Thank you all.

Special thanks to Grendal and Rage and to #1 (Lyssarian), also to my imperfections that help make me who I am as I yet continue or to change myself for a better person I know I can be.

– Matt Moscillo, AKA “Irish”
MDOC# 82613

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