Home Court Soundtrack
Our team of artists and neighbors began the Home Court project by interviewing over 50 community players, coaches, parents, and young people. All winter and spring, we shared stories in living room conversations, story circles and courtside interviews. Musicians Ill Doots and composer Michael Reiley McDermott then chose sounds and voices that reflected key themes —play, loss, guardianship, and the courts’ future — and wrote original music to accompany them. Together, they created the Home Court Soundtrack.
The soundtrack carries us through time, swirling together proud memories of the past, clear-eyed meditations on the challenges of the present and youthful declarations to the future. The soundtrack ends with a song written by emcees from the neighborhood in collaboration with Ill Doots, declaring “This is for the next generation.”
Liner Notes: The Rules of the Court
Listen: “Coach Tyrone — Everybody Plays” (Past Playlist)
Coaches past and present met to share their stories of the Hartranft Basketball Courts. They discussed the lessons they taught — and learned — on the courts. These became the “Entry Agreements” for the exhibit, and they’re now displayed on a big banner at the renovated basketball courts. One key lesson, according to Coach Tyrone, is that everyone gets their time on the court. Every player matters.
Liner Notes: Earlene Tindley, who can “fly with the best of them”
Listen: “Keep A Roof Over My Head” (Past Playlist) and “She Can Play” (Present Playlist)
“Quietly devastating” is how one newspaper referred to Earlene Tindley in 1973. She’s featured in the interview “Trying to Keep a Roof Over My Head” and can be heard in the song “She Can Play.” Earlene was one of the city’s best women basketball players in the early 1970s. Check out the Timeline to see news clippings from her mom’s scrapbook.
Liner Notes: The Making of “NAMES”
Listen: “NAMES (He Ain’t As Bad As You Think He Is)”
Every time the artists stopped by a neighbor’s house to record stories of the playground, their notebooks filled up with more names of players, friends, cousins and coaches. Scott Ziegler of Ill Doots decided to reflect this feeling of a playground crowded with personalities, memories and interconnections. “This piece came out of chopping up the interview we did with Roosevelt and just hearing the inherent musicality in the way he spoke. At one point he listed names of some players and I got the idea to do a collage of names we heard throughout his, and all of the interviews and have them cascade on top of each other to create an overwhelming effect.” — Scott Ziegler, Ill Doots
Liner Notes: Who’s That What’s He Reaching On?
Listen: “Who’s That What’s He Reaching On?”
For this piece, Scott edited audio from an on-court interview with two young coaches who struggled with helping their players feel safe on the courts after the death of a young man there several years ago. “This piece was centered around the theme of safety on the courts. The ‘go hard regardless’ sample felt defiant in the face of feeling unsafe in the courts, and just brought it back to the game of basketball in a way that I really gravitated to.” — Scott Ziegler, Ill Doots
Liner Notes: What would the court say …
Listen: “Good Shot Kid”
“This piece was built around some of the younger voices from the court. The ‘good shot, kid’ sample was in response to the question ‘what would the courts say to you if they could speak.’ I found it interesting in the context of younger voices talking about what they needed from older generations.” — Scott Ziegler
Liner Notes: This is for the next generation
Listen: “Come Up to 9th St. Feat Young Tay, Mike Raw and Phantom”
At the Courts grand opening, young fans of local emcees Young Tay and Mike Raw loved this track, an original written in collaboration with Ill Doots. “The guys met with Ill Doots several times to craft the words and hook for the track. The opening sample says “Come up to 9th street, play ball.” This track itself was built out of basketball sounds recorded at the courts. Many of my pieces were musically built around the voices. However, this piece was built around the ambience of the court itself, using the natural rhythms of the players on the court. In the second half I experimented with taking the same samples but altering them to resemble more traditional drum sounds and rhythms.” — Scott Ziegler, Ill Doots