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 one of us stated, would normally never get to know each other. For most of us it was the first time we actually created an artistic work ourselves. All the media attention was also new to most of us: not only we were three times on regional television and local and national radio, but we also appeared full-page in the main national newspapers. Most of us did not have any experience with singing in a choir or performing on stage. The few of us who did, members of a local amateur choir, put the song they helped to compose on the repertoire of their choir.

‘Keer op keer,’(‘Time after Time’) is composed and performed by Ana Mihajlovic, in collaboration with Klachtenkoor Rotterdam Noord: Anneke Theijn, Annelies van Weezel, Anke Janssen, Bets van der Velden, Carla Huijzers, Diana van Engelen, Ellen van Keulen, Jet Dol, Jan Nass, Janna Kool, Jannie de Vos, Margot de Ruiter, Monique Buitendijk, Judith van Opstal-Blom, Joke van Elburg-Visser, Marjoke Vogel, Pauline Quak, Pieta Bouman, Ria Bouman, Silvia van Beest, Thea de Vos.

‘Rotterdams klagen’(Complaining Rotterdam Style) is composed and performed by Julia Reinhold, in collaboration with Klachtenkoor Rotterdam Zuid, bestaande uit: Andre Smits, Annie van Schaijk, Bo Trlin, ClaudiaBorges, Felicie van Vree, Frans van Meggelen, Gertie van Maarschalkerwaard, Henk Ponte, Hester Scheurwater, Ineke da Cruz, Leo van Schaijk, Lars Krekt, Marije Mooren, Michel van Adrichem, Tineke Hartman

Video, sound and editing: duyser.net - hybrid-media (www.duyser.net)
Subtitling: Liesbeth Harmsen and SENSATIONAL MIX
Still Images by Daniel Baggerman (B/W)
Klachtenkoor Rotterdam was initiated and organised by SENSATIONAL MIX, in collaboration with Centrum Beeldende Kunst Rotterdam and Kosmopolis Rotterdam. SENSATIONAL MIX are Roland Groenenboom & Nathalie Houtermans (www.sensationalmix.nl)