A lot of what I have to say about this is hearsay. According to a semi-reliable source, the theme song to Oz was recorded only on instruments that could be fashioned in prison, which may explain why the horns sound so shitty. Also, according to this same source, it is Tom Fontana’s arm that is being actually tattooed in the credits here. Who knows?
What I do know is that this theme song always struck me as arhythmic and inharmonic, and felt like it was six hundred years long, even though this video’s time stamp suggests otherwise. i think this is actually pretty in line for the show, which was a little bit arhythmic itself. Story lines were picked up and dropped pretty casually, and the show varied pretty wildly between the stylized and the realistic. Often it really worked, but it could also be disorienting, much like this song. I do not know who wrote it, sorry. You guys know? Maybe my semi-reliable source will.