Preliminary Press Release

Does your neighbour give folk dance classes above your bedroom? Does your boss have nicer shoes? Is your wife snoring? Why is the CTA always late? – If you like to complain, come and join the Complaints Choir of Chicago!

Artists Tellervo Kalleinen (FIN) and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen (DE) are inviting all citizens of Chicago to complain about anything they want and to sing their complaints out loud with fellow complainers. The complaints-song will be created together with all participants and the Chicago based musician Jeremy Jacobsen during a workshop consisting of 5 rehearsals between October 16 and November 2, 2007. The Grand Premier of the Complaints Choir of Chicago will be on November 3 at the MCA, as part of Humanities Festival. The project is produced by Smog Veil Records and MCA and kindly supported by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

The first Complaints Choir was organized in Birmingham in 2005. After sweeping successes in Europe the complaints choir movement has now finally reached the heart of America (by detour of Canada and Alaska). It comes just in time to save the country from the unscrupulous mission of Rev. Will Bowen of Christ Church Unity to create a COMPLAINTS FREE WORLD. To complain is a basic human right. Even in Paradise people complained. Why pretend that things are okay when they are not. Complainers of Chicago, we count on you to stop the “tyranny of the positive attitude in America!” (Barbara S. Held “Stop Smiling and Start Kvetching”).

The complaints collected can vary from small daily irritations to big global issues. Anything that annoys people living in Chicago is useful material. In Birmingham participants complained about unfriendly bus drivers, people meandering slowly in front of you when you are in hurry, and about “a malfunctioning android in power” (Tony Blair). In Helsinki the most common complaints were about mobile phones: “My friend is more interested in his phone than in me!” In St. Petersburg there were hardly any complaints about Putin’s regime but all the more about (the lack of) romantic relationships. Other cities got challenged and Budapest was the latest candidate for the complaints capital of the world.

All the complaints choirs of the world can be seen at

The Complaints Choir of Chicago will perform on November 3 at 1pm at the MCA, 3pm at the MCA and 9pm in a Chicago Club (still to be announced).
Note: Additional surprise performances in the city November 4!

Everybody is welcome to join the choir. The exact rehearsal schedule will be announced at and No singing skills required. Food served at each rehearsal. Each participant will receive a video documentation about the choir performance.

Those wanting to participate should send their complaints by email to or post it to Smog Veil Records, 1658 N Milwaukee Ave 284, Chicago, IL 60647.

One Response to “Preliminary Press Release”

  1. Judy Bell Says:

    How can I find out about your future schedule (today is Nov. 25th)?
    Do you have a mailing list? If so, please put me on it.

    Thank you,
    Judy Bell