quinta-feira, dezembro 06, 2007

Complaints Choir Project

It all got started during a winter day walk of Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen in Helsinki. Perhaps it was due to the coldness of the day that they ended up discussing the possibility of transforming the huge energy people put into complaining into something else. Perhaps not directly into heat – but into something powerful anyway.

In the Finnish vocabulary there is an expression "Valituskuoro". It means "Complaints Choir" and it is used to describe situations where a lot of people are complaining simultaneously. Kalleinen and Kochta-Kalleinen thought: "Wouldn´t it be fantastic to take this expression literally and organise a real Complaints Choir!"

As complaining is a universal phenomenon the project could be organised in any city around the world. Kalleinen and Kochta-Kalleinen offered the concept to different events where they were invited as artists – but it was only after Springhill Institute in Birmingham got excited about the idea that the First Complaints Choir became a reality.

Birmingham (to some known as the "arsehole of England") was a perfect place to start the project. The participants – found through flyers and small posters – understood the concept instinctively. Local musician Mike Hurley turned the complaints into a easy to learn song. Within two weeks time the song was rehearsed to perfection by the committed participants – despite the fact that only few were able to sing. A hit was born – with a chorus you can't get out of your mind: "I want my money back..."

After the Complaints Choir of Birmingham became a surprise success Kalleinen and Kochta-Kalleinen have been invited to initiate complaints choirs all around the globe. In numerous letters people describe how exactly in Hong Kong, Philadelphia, Gothenburg, or Buenos Aires people complain perhaps more than anywhere else in the world.

Kalleinen and Kochta-Kalleinen do continue the project. Beside Birmingham they initiated the Complaints Choir of Helsinki,the Complaints Choir of St. Petersburg and the Complaints Choir of Hamburg-Wilhelmsburg. But their limited capacity to fulfil the aparent big need for complaints choirs worldwide have led them to open this web site and encourage people to form their own complaints choir.

Meanwhile several Complaints Choirs have been initiated by other people around the world. It started with the Poikkilaakso Complaints Choir formed at a school near Helsinki by Matti Salo and Elisa Hilli, the Bodø Complaints Choir organized by Kari Koksvik and Mikael Rönnberg and the Pittsburgh Complaints Choir initiated by Jenn and Ray Strobel. The CBC radio station "As It Happens" also organized their own interpreatation of a Canadian Complaints Choir. Even Alaska has now it's own Complaints Choir aka Skunk Cabbage Complaints Choral, which is intened to become an annual cultural highlight in Juneau. The Budapest Complaint Choir aka Panaszkorus became a great success – Hungarians actually claim to be the "World Champions of Complaining". The did their best to prove this claim. You can check out all at the CHOIR section of this site. Our thanks goes to all those enthusiastic people that have made complaining such a rewarding activity.

links para o site do projecto e para o post do renas e veados, que me deu a conhecer esta original iniciativa.

coro de birmingham

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