Helsinki Complaints Choir

Though some people prefer the Birmingham choir to Helsinki’s, there’s certainly something to be said about complaining in song, and something more when it’s in a language I can’t begin to understand. One blogger remarked of the video:

To think of what might of been. What if I’d moved in with a bunch of angst ridden Finns,instead of pseudo-happy baptists, and been forced to sing their rants along with them. Who knows where that would have taken me?

Kiasma reports:

Complaining brings people together. There is always something to complain about, no matter how well things are. Therefore, it is opportune to set them to song and benevolently mock our propensity for constantly complaining. Saying out loud what is bothering you is a relief. Complaining is a lifeline. The important thing is that someone is listening.

Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen’s work Complaint Choir gives you a chance to complain about everything. Many commonplace things are a source of irritation: the computer is too slow, busses do not run on time, everything is too expensive and the salary is too small. Complaints are gathered from the opening of ARS 06 onwards in various ways. Anyone can register for the choir to perform a song compiled and composed on the basis of the complaints, a singing voice is not a prerequisite. Choir performances in Kiasma and elsewhere in town are taped and the video is added to the ARS exhibition. The premiere of the choral piece composed from the complaints is in Kiasma on 25 March.

Complaints Choir was performed earlier in Birmingham. There the complaints were mundane and varied, serious and amusing. Through song, we can perhaps understand how much we complain every day. It also becomes equally evident from the finished work that, at first, singing in Birmingham was guarded but towards the end it turned out to be rousing and manifestly great fun, even if the subject was complaining.