The COMPLAINTS CHOIR is an initiative of the artists Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen. Through cheap and effective means, such as flyers, a weblog, advertisements the artists invite people from different backgrounds to participate in the choir and sing their complaints, by which the artists shift a great part of their creative space to thirds who decide themselves how to fill in this space and what they see as important. The content of the song varies from harsh and serious complaints to silly and funny ones. All over the world Complaints Choirs have demonstrated that complaining is an important element in our society, and that complaining unites people.
The Rotterdam version was produced by SENSATIONAL MIX in collaboration with Kosmopolis Rotterdam and the CBK Rotterdam.
Klachtenkoor Rotterdam (Complaints Choir Rotterdam) did not consist of just one choir. No, in Rotterdam we definitely needed two ‘divisions’: one rehearsed in the centre of the city, which is in the North (Klachtenkoor Noord) and one in the South (Klachtenkoor Zuid). Why? Simply because we, Rotterdammers, either identify ourselves by living on the North side (city centre) of the river Maas or on the South side. So South complaints about North: ‘arrogant money spenders: they do not know how to work’ and North complaints about South: ‘ignorant peasants: they do not have any sense of culture’. That’s where complaining ín Rotterdam abóut Rotterdam starts and then it never stops…we complain twice as much and proved it by creating two songs, with two composers.
We may complain but actually cannot live without each other, so the two divisions performed together on five busy locations in public space, going from South to North, on the 3rd of March 2010. This date was chosen specifically because there were local elections in the Netherlands: the tour ended appropriately with a performance on the steps of the city hall. The 6th of March Klachtenkoor Rotterdam was invited to perform at the prestigious New Luxor Theatre and during Rotterdam Museum Night (a night with cultural activities). The last time for the Choir to perform was at Lantaren/Venster (theatre, jazz & film venue), on the 16th of April, on the occasion of the presentation of the ‘Concert Tour Video Clip’. After admiring themselves on a real film screen, members of the Choir could proudly take their well-deserved DVD home.
The project brought people with a large variety of backgrounds together, who, as every member stated, would normally never get to know each other. For most of them it was the first time they actually created an artistic work ourselves. All the media attention was also new to most of the choir members: not only the choirs were three times on regional television and local and national radio, but also appeared full-page in the main national newspapers. Most of the members did not have any experience with singing in a choir or performing on stage. The few of the members who did, members of a local amateur choir, put the song they helped to compose on the repertoire of their choir.
Newsitem on TV Rijnmond (in Dutch)
Newsitem on TV Rijnmond about rehearsel of South Choir (in Dutch)