The video of the Complaints Choir of Chicago is finally online. It is even subtitled to avoid any complaints about how difficult it is to make out the words. Check it out on YouTube or on www.complaintschoir.org/choirs.html
This blog is now closed and kept for archival purposes. For updates on the Complaints Choir of Chicago check the main Complaints Choir web-site www.complaintschoir.org
Here is a video from one of the live performances of the Chicago Complaints Choir at the MCA. This footage is not edited. The official video will be released soon. Stay tuned and check out the complaints choir website for an update.
The original draft for the lyrics that the choir came up with can be downloaded here.
Choir song was composed by Jeremy Jacobson who also conducted the choir. Choir members are: Lauren Abbott, Lauri Apple, Alec Allyn, Angela Allyn, Tess Allyn, Susan Babyk, David Banasiak, Doro Boehme, Cynthia Breckenridge, Lisa Buda, Sarah Burden, Christopher Cole, Sarah Croft, Isaac Csandl, Kristin DeCook, Nick Disabato, Richard Fox, Viktoria Gullo, Mia Horberg, Seana Huizenga, Lisa Jackson Mauceri, John Jines, Julie Johnson, Lizzie Johnson, Angela Just, Tellervo Kalleinen, Tero Kalleinen, Zephaniah Kibosh, Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen, Amy Levin, Andrew Lyman, Margaret Lyons, Mary Mackay, Frank Mauceri, John Backus Mayes, Kari McLean, Anne Olson, Andrew Otto, Laurie J. Rich, Gabriela Rivas, Justin Sheehan, Verlena Simms, Summer Sparacin, Megan Sullivan, Libby Taggart, Kaylee Tock, Elif Tuzer, David Walke, Lisa Warshauer, Erin Watson, Sarah Weis, Marie Wohaldo. Check back for full credits. Thanks to everybody that made this possible.
The footage was shot by Andrew J Dryer and his crew. Be aware that this is raw footage. The edited version of the Chicago complaints choir video will be published soon.
The Complaints Choir project is featured on CBS Sunday Morning, November 25. Correspondent Bill Geist covered the story and even contributed a complaint that is now a part of the Chicago Complaints Choir song.
The Complaint Choir of Chicago received widespread press coverage. When Associated Press covered the event the story was picked up by papers and media outlets around the globe, such as New York Times, CNN International, Boston Globe, The West Australian, The South African Star and many others. Particularly I liked the news coverage on the Washington Post on their page C13. They run two news items. TODAYS NEWS: (1) Surgery in Space and (2) Griping in Harmony. It might have been just a coincidence, but if the complaints choir movement spreads at the current pace it won’t take long before we have the First International Space Station Complaints Choir. Reading now and then about the ISS I am sure they guys out there have lots to complain, just think of the astronaut diapers. If someone reads this blog entry who knows somebody in charge at the ISS, please let them know about this idea. Thanks.
Here some of the more earthly coverage:
Associated Press Story “Complaints in four-part harmony”
By Michael Tarm â€“ Nov 4, 2007
This story went out on the wire and was used by many other papers.
Chicago Public Radio “Complaints Choir Gripes About Chicago”
Produced by Althea Legaspi on Friday, November 02, 2007
A re-run aired on NPR.
Chicago Tribune “Complaint choirs list their gripes, then sing that dismay away”
By Colleen Mastony, Tribune staff reporter, November 2, 2007
This article was one of the best researched articles on the Complaint Choir. Colleen came to 3 rehearsals, spoke with everybody, checked all web-resources. We were impressed by her commitment to get things right. This attitude has become very rare today. Yes, that is a complaint.
Daily Herald “Peeved? Provoked? Check out the Complaints Choir”
Daily Northwestern “Bones to pick – Complaints Choir makes U.S. debut”
by Senka Hadzimuratovic October 10, 2007
Sun-Times Story “Complaining choir singing the blues”
International phenomenon puts Chicagoans’ gripes to song on Saturday
By Andrew Herrmann, Staff Reporter, November 1, 2007
Time Out Chicago “The gripe stuff”
The Complaints Choir has local citizens bitching and moaning with gusto.
By Martina Sheehan, Issue 140 : November 1, 2007 – November 7, 2007
The choir will perform on November 3 at the Museum of Contemporary Art at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. (check if seats are available) and at the Empty Bottle Club at 8 pm. On November 4 the Choir will perform on various locations in Chicago without prior notice. So watch out for a bunch of complainers on that day! For those that miss the choir on Saturday we can reveal that one of the surprise locations on Sunday 4th will be the Cloud Gate aka The Bean in the Millennium Park. Expected performance time is 4.15pm. See you.
The Columbia Chronicle has a longer article on the upcoming Complaints Choir of Chicago. Arts and Entertainment editor Jessica Galliart managed to also get a statement about the Complaints Choir from Reverend Will Bowen, the founder of the complaints free world movement.
â€œItâ€™s focusing on what you donâ€™t want rather than what you do want,â€ Bowen said. â€œWhen you sing, youâ€™re amplifying the vibrational level of [complaints]. I would rather see a choir painting a vision of the great things yet to come instead of talking about whatâ€™s wrong now, because that keeps us mired in the problem as opposed to talking about the solution.â€
We just can say, that with even the slightest understanding of the human psyche, it becomes obvious that a problem can only be solved, if you deal with it actively. Thats excatly what the Complaints Choir is doing. Self censorship and supression of existing concerns (that are for example expressed as complaints) – something that Bowenwants us to do – leads to a very unhealthy state of mind.
The Chicago Complaint Choir met today for the second time. In the time between the 1st and second rehersal the lyrics were finalized and composer Jeremy Jacobsen aka the Lonesome Organist tried the almost impossible task to set the music to the 200+ complaints (that made it into the song). He had only 3 days time to do this.
In the rehearsal the choir went through the first verses and it sounded already good. The song is challenging with 4 voices, but it seems that the Chicago people have re not only talented complainers but gifted singers as well.
This is the last opportunity to join the Complaints Choir of Chicago. Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone to 773.706.0450. The next rehearsal will be on Monday, October 22nd from 5.30pm until ca. 8.00pm. The location is MCA Theatre, 220 East Chicago Avenue. (Please use the Staff Entrance).
On Tuesday, October 16th the first rehearsal of the Complaints Choir of Chicago took place. Nobody knew how many people will show up. In the end 35 brave complainers came to the rehearsal. After a short warm-up conducted by composer Jeremy, a spontaneous complaints session took place. A lot of good complaints were aired that did not came up in the first round of gathering the complaints. But one thing became obvious: Chicagoans rather complain about the traffic (ca. 50 complaints) than about relationships (1 complaint). What does this say about Chicago? While some complained “I was born a Cubs fan and I am still one!” others were nerved, when Cubs fans cram the Red Line which is already overcrowded.
After the 20 minute complaints session the choir split up in small “expert” teams to make editorial choices for the final song. Each team was responsible for one of the categories: Traffic, Other People, Chicagoland, Family/Friends/Partners, Service, Products, Work&Education, World Issues. The teams discussed all the submitted complaints and choose the most important ones.
Their selection will form the base for the Complaints Choir song that will be now composed by Jeremy Jacobson in record time until the next rehearsal. See you there.