You can listen to All Ball here.
Described as an ‘aural exercise’, the listeners are certainly put through their paces as ‘All Ball’ opens with an almost eerie forty seconds of echoey voices and loud blaring noise. We then are submerged into a trash-talking session between basketball players before arriving at fast-paced interview snippets from the basketball coaches and players across London talking about their love of the sport and its communities.
The first direct words the listener hears are ‘Family … we’re like family, friends’. We hear up to ten different diverse speakers that remain unnamed in the project, and their voices are interspersed with the background sounds of basketball games. This serves to unify the separate intangible and voices and aurally demonstrates how much basketball is a constant presence in their lives.
Both the coaches and the players describe the impact that the sport has had in their local circles. We are told that the teams include ‘Kids that are in care, that don’t live with their parents, that are well off’ and that the goal is for them to ‘bounce and shoot a ball and forget about everything else’. One player says that she can ‘walk into this dark room, train for forty minutes and play a game’ and ‘everything just feels lighter’.
The seven minute episode also makes time to focus on the lack of institutional care for social programmes such as All Ball. One speaker talks about how basketball groups are ‘very important social projects’ that show ‘the importance of community, which is lacking [in London]’. Another speaker remarks how ‘It’s crazy to think that the council can’t fix a basketball hoop or court but 5-minutes down the road they’re putting up high rises everyday’. With no help from the local authorities, these communities are built from the ground up by individuals who take pride in the results.
Even if you have no interest in basketball itself, the passion that these people have for the sport and the community it provides is made undeniable through Bond’s earnest audio project.
You can find All Ball London’s Instagram page here.
New Creatives is supported by Arts Council England and BBC Arts. Check out Voice’s New Creatives coverage in the New Creatives Voicebox.