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Another Kind of Choir (video)

Happy holidays! (Got a problem with that?)

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While there’s never a shortage of complaints during the holidays, they sound much better in four-part harmony. Cue the complaint choir, a Finnish creation that encourages people all over the world to belt out the bad news.

Open to anyone looking to have a good bellyache with like-minded moaners, the choirs canvas the streets for complaints, form them into verse, and set them to music they then perform in public places.

Helsinki artists Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen founded the project in 2005, after pondering the Finnish word valituskuro, which refers to people complaining in packs.

Their idea took off. Complaint choirs have since formed in St. Petersburg, Copenhagen, Warsaw, Florence, Jerusalem, Singapore, Birmingham and other cities. Active U.S. choirs include groups in Chicago and Juneau, Alaska; a group is also reportedly forming in (of course) New York City.

Philadelphia produced a choir in November 2008. Shelley Spector, an artist and former gallery owner, and Evan Solot, chair of the composition department at the music school of Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, launched the chapter together.

Here we feature some of the 60-member choir singing in public places around Philadelphia (the group also sang at the First Person Arts Festival).

So today, forget about your beefs, and enjoy a fine whine.