Listen to The Music Tells The Story by Sonni Quick on #SoundCloud
This is my new album, a long time in the making. I have posted the music in posts since I started this blog, but now you can kick back and listen to it in it’s entirety. This is not the music for for Jamie’s book, Inside The Forbidden Outside, also a long time in the making. That music has special meaning for certain chapters. When everything is done I mean for that music to be listened to while you read so you can feel the emotions of what he has been through all these years in prison.
Someone who hasn’t been through juvenile detention or prison, or doesn’t know someone who has been inside, can’t understand, not really. I never knew; how could I, if all I had to go on were TV shows or movies that never really told the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God? We assume we know, but we don’t. All of my writings, including the blog posts here are what I have learned over the years.
If you know an inmate who writes poetry or is an artist or has a story you’d like to tell you can email me at: email@example.com
Jamie Life in Prison at Facebook . . .Blog posts and news about injustice in the world
Piano Improv Music of Sonni Quick . . . New facebook page of the past and present
ReverbNation . . . Website of Indie music not on traditional radio stations. Sonni’s featured page.
SkunkRadioLive . . . Indie radio station out of London playing music composed for the book being written for Jamie. If you can, help support by sharing the music and leaving a comment or following. Thank you to those who have.
The puzzle pieces of my life are coming together. I find life to be amazing. I don’t think I fully appreciated my life before now. Life slaps us right and left and often knocks us down. It’s up to us to pick ourselves up or complain about how difficult it is and give up. Especially when we’re older. We think it’s too late to begin again and settle for watching other people’s lives on TV. (I threw mine away 25 years ago)
It has taken a lot of work, time and patience. Earlier in my music career there was no “online”. If you weren’t signed, you couldn’t get your music out to the public except through live gigs. I became sick with an undiagnosed disease called Hep C. Eventually It put me down. I developed liver cancer, end stage liver disease, severe osteoporosis which caused bones to break and a few other illnesses.
I came very close to dying. I got a liver transplant and had a few body parts removed in the nick of time. After 2 years bedridden and an even longer climb to as much normalcy as possible I began writing the blog My Name is Jamie for a prison inmate who is also the father of one grandson. I beganto write music again and put it on blog posts. I then began writing a book, “Inside the Forbidden Outside” ( In second draft ) I knew if I wanted to help him when he gets out it would be through this book and music – promoted as a soundtrack to read by. I also started the newsletter ITFO NEWS also can’t survive on a disability check for the rest of my life. Working a regular job would be difficult because of pain from what osteoporis did to my vertibrea.
Music was always my love. For many years I played piano bars, worked in bands and taught piano. Now no one can afford to pay me for lessons in the small Pa town I live in that was close to the transplant hospital. So I made the decision to resurrect my music career and play again. I’ve been recording and working hard to create an online presence. My music is now on several websites
Piano Improv Music of Sonni Quick – artist facebook page
Online stats will make or break a musician today. Becoming a “fan”, leaving comments and sharing will make a big difference on my finding a booking agent. Other people listen to music they see others have liked. Next week I have a photo shoot lined up. I’m not the young woman in the picture anymore. I’m 63. I no longer sing. Too many years of 5 nighters in smokey bars took care of that. But I also no longer do cover material. My ability to create piano improv pictures in your mind surpasses my piano playing of It comes from a deep emotional place. It is who I became instead of playing someone else’s creation.
Today I classify my music as “Stories Without Words” which is the title of an album I am coming out with shortly. When the book is ready, another album will be released with the same cover and promoted together. If I do a good job and if it is promoted right, when Jamie gets out of prison I will have a business put together that will also include lecturing on the negative issues of prison that need to be changed. What he has been through opened my eyes to something I had never given a thought to. He can use his story to help others.
Those who have read my blogs have seen the progress. On many early posts you will many piano pieces – and poetry. ln Over 3 years this went from being just a dream and a desire to help a man who deserves a second chance. We’ve been writing since 2006, helping each other through tough times. As a black man he was put through some awful things no person should have gone through. It is why mass incarceration and the destruction of black lives is so much in the media. It needs to change. We can’t just look the other way and wait for someone else to fix it.
I want my life to count for something. I want to help make this country – and the world – a better place. I don’t want to go out with a whimper. So I push myself – past my doubt and fears. I push myself beyond my physical limitations. I wake up excited every day and start spinning my seven plates in the air to keep them moving forward. I don’t ask myself if I can do it – I just do it.
My music is haunting, peaceful with beautiful melodies. At the end of a stressful day, put on head phones, close your eyes and let it be the soundtrack of your dreams, too. Never give up. Do what makes you happy. Do something different. We all have had dreams of something we wanted to do but perhaps life pulled us in a different direction. We don’t have to settle for that. No matter how old you are or how young you are, life is for living and no one else can live it for you.
Jamie Life in Prison Facebook page with parts focusing on injustice everywhere and blog posts
SHARP TURNS TO THE LEFT
How many sharp turns can you make
until you run into yourself again?
When I look back on my crazy life
is there any part I could not defend?
Always running, chasing, grabbing
hold of this and that
Living here and living there
in a different habitat.
Procrastinating, changing direction
Sometimes I’d change upon reflection
So many dreams inside my head
But my children never went unfed
I was their mother and I was father
To mention him is not worth the bother
I tried so hard. I worked so hard.
I never thought of failure
I never once thought, not one time
I wouldn’t find an answer.
I did everything intensely
with my addictive personality
I had no idea what I was doing
in a constant state of always moving
I dearly miss my children
now that they are grown
far away, too far away
with children of their own
All I have are memories
and pictures of our lives
Never knowing at the time
just how fast time flies
What would I do different
if I had the chance
A different turn to the left
a change of circumstance?
I wouldn’t waste a moment
tears flow at that thought.
Where would I be? Where would they?
A different crisis fought?
By that time, by their birth
it was too late for me
Cut into stone, carved in deep
I couldn’t run from destiny
or the virus called Hepatitis C
Why is hindsight always perfect
and seen so very clear
The older I get each breath I take
is so extremely dear
The more I see it clearly
my life was far from boring
Years don’t run together
flying, crashing, soaring.
Never staying quite the same
I can say exactly where I was
and each year I can name.
Every step of every goal
I reached for every dream.
Every sharp turn to the left
no fear of those unseen.
Friends made, friends lost
never seen again.
A phonecall here, a letter there
but never knowing when
One big reget was loss of love
from people bound by blood
They never knew what made me tick
and kicked me ‘neath the rug
I was easier to avoid
than reaching out with love.
“It’s not my fault! I did nothing wrong
by ignoring you were sick
I didn’t even ask you how you were
I don’t know you sister, Sonni Quick.”
You crossed your arms and pursed your lips.
“I’ll never apologize.
I will never admit I might be wrong,”
because I judged you by my life.
You couldn’t, wouldn’t understand.
It’s easier not to care
What if you need me in your life
and can’t find me anywhere?
Oh well, I’m tired of trying
you can’t make people want
to be around you when it’s easier
to be so nonchalant
But I still have sharp left turns
and my plate is full of dreams
Inside my heart my passion burns
with endless strength it seems
It doesn’t matter that my life
burns on the other side
I have less than more, life to live
but I’ll be damned if I let it slide.
One thing I taught my kids
I hope that they teach theirs
There are consequences for everything
for hopes, for dreams, for dares.
I finally made the sharp turn
that brought me face to face
with myself inside a mirror
seeing lines I can’t erase
There is wisdom in those eyes
I know weren’t there before
I have no regrets
my sharp left turns gave me so much more
than if I had stood very still
afraid of something new
I grabbed life and held on tight
to dreams I will still pursue.
So you don’t have to like me
or approve of me today
Those of you who made that choice
it doesn’t matter anyway.
At least I tried, held out my hand
you slapped it to the side
You believed the lies, because someone else
lives with too much pride
I love myself, I love my life
I love the lessons learned
I never have to wonder what . . .
would have happened – if I tried.
If you’d like to leave a comment about the music, on the bottom section of the wave form you can click anywhere on that section and it will take you to the comment section and then it will appear here. As with all social media, clicks, shares, hearts etc help a lot because it shows people in the future that it has been listened to. Stats are everything when it comes to music, blogs and other things people are trying to send out into the universe, especially because the of the book I will be publishing hopefully at the end of the year. You can read more about that at my other blog My Name is Jamie
I did an internet radio show on the David Shape Show about the US prison system, Jamie Cummings and how he deals with epilepsy in a system that doesn’t care about medical care for the inmates. When you go to the show it is quite long, a little over two hours. If you move the bar ahead one hour and twenty minutes it should be shortly before the interview starts.
We also talked about the youth in juvenile detention and how children are treated in schools using cops for discipline instead of detention, and putting handcuffs on them and seating them in the rear seat of a patrol car.
We talked about the book I’m writing about Jamie’s life, “Inside The Forbidden Outside”. You can find chapters on the blog. It’s more than half done and the editing process has begun.
We also discussed the piano music I’m writing for the book which will be included inside the back cover. At the end of the show one of my more recent pieces will be played.
This is the first of hopefully more media I will be doing over time to advertise the book that I hope will lead to being able to lecture on the prison industry. When Jamie is finally released he will be able to join me. He wants to work with the youth using his life as an example, in hopes of being able to turn their lives around before they, too, end up in the system. One in three black males end up in prison. Contrary to racist belief it is not because crime is in their genes. It is because of government pushing the War of Drugs on to black men’s shoulders making you believe through the media that they are dangerous.
Kids don’t understand the ramification of their choices until it’s too late. When someone has been incarcerated for a long time, and Jamie has been locked up for 14 years counting time in juvenile detention. Unfortunately, the four years in juvy was not because he committed a crime. It was because he defended his mother from a cop who illegally entered their home. He injured his mother and she was taken to the hospital by ambulance. He hit the cop with a broom. It cost him the rest of his high school years and four years of his life.
This story needs to be shared. Unfortunately, it happens far to often to too many black youth. I am asking for you to please share this on your own social media. The success of the book will be determined by how well this info gets pushed through sites on the web. It bring so much encouragement to Jamie as he sit in his cell 23 hours a day, working his way again, up through the levels. He has received letters from some of you. Knowing someone cares enough to write matters more than you know.
Thank you for tuning in to the show. Let me know what you think.
…….This is an edited first chapter, but not the final edit. I have enough written to begin working with a content editor. All of the chapters so far can be found at: My Name is Jamie Also as the chapters progress the links for them is at the end. Please add your name and email for for the yet to be published first news letter I’m attempting to get off the ground. Your support would be wonderfully appreciated. That info is at the bottom of the post. All of you who have read what I’m writing and have given me your feedback along with editing suggestions has been great. If you have ever attempted to write a book you know how challenging it is.
My life is pure agony.
I really screwed things up for myself. I was sent to prison in 2006. This is not where I want to be, although I didn’t have any concrete plans for my life. I was happy that I wasn’t in juvenile detention anymore but I didn’t have a chance to make any plans and was living day to day. I didn’t know how to make plans. I was just a kid when they locked me up. In a way I was still a kid when they let me out when I was twenty one. When I met Morgan my only thought was to spend my life with her. For the first time I could remember, I was happy.
The day I was in was as far ahead as I thought. Nobody ever taught me anything about planning for a future. Black kids…
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MY TOMATO PLANTS
Should I wear a sweater or is just a blouse okay?
Should I take a coat or will the sun warm up today?
I look at all my flowers knowing they might freeze
It might snow tomorrow, this Spring is such a tease
Last year’s herbs are growing in my garden, and that is very strange
Three weeks ago, three feet of snow, did the seasons rearrange?
One day is hot, the next is cold, I found a bee in my garage
Did the bag of colored Christmas balls look like a tasty flower corsage?
This winter wasn’t very cold, that’s quite okay by me
I much prefer the tropic sun with dripping humidity.
I hate the cold, I hate the pain with dry and flaky skin
I love when winter is over and the songs of birds begin
I cut a tomato from the grocery store. I was shocked at what I found
The seeds inside had begun to sprout without being in the ground!
I put them in a nice big pot on a sunny window sill
Hoping they would make it through the days of freezing chill
I have thirty two tomato plants, each three inches high so far
Watching all these plants grow in the winter, so bizarre
It’s been strange not knowing what to do, or what to wear each day
I’ll wait to plant my tomatoes outside until Spring is here to stay
by Sonni Quick. 2016
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