THE COMPLAINTS CHOIR OF TOKYO
The response to the open call for Tokyo Complainers was so overwhelming that the organizers (Mori Art Museum) reached their maximum capacity of 120 participants very quickly. For Oliver and Tellervo this was a slight disappointed since they had hoped to top the record of Cologne Complaints Choir aka Kölner Beschwerdechor with its 150 members. But of cause, size doesn't matter.
On Friday October 23 the members of the Tokio Complaints Choir met for the first time. After a few technical difficulties with the audio/video equipment (The battery of the laptop showing samples of earlier choirs went flat just in the moment when the audio started to work) the choir made some warm-up exercises directed by Musician Shunsuke Okuchi to get into the right mood for the following complaints workshop.
Choir members then had 7 minutes to still write down their most burning complaints on post-it notes and distribute them to boards with pre-defined categories such as WORK, OTHER PEOPLE, POLITICS etc. The topic of WORK related complaints was the most popular by a large margin. Finally participants organized themselves into small expert team, each team dealing with one of the defined topics. The team PUBLIC AFFAIRS had most members, while the FUTURE team was smallest. The expert team LOVE AFFAIRS initially had only female members, but two brave men join the team in the end to bring in additional expertise. Now the task of the teams was to read through all complaints submitted in their category, to discuss them and make a selection of 10-12 best complaints. The room was heating up from the energy released. In fact the room temperature rose to tropical levels, since the air conditioning stopped working (we had forgot to make an application for air conditioning during over-time work!)
In the end each team introduced their members (a peculiar thing: after somebody told their name, everybody gave applause, so we had 90 times applause for 90 names by 90 people) and presented the complaints they had selected. The evening ended with a spontaneous birthday song for 3 choir members and some food and drinks.
Rehearsals were conducted with great passion and discipline and humor both by Sunshuke and Tomoko.
The Tokyo Complaints Choir had its premiere at the Arena in Roppongi Hills. It was a remarkable day, it was Friday the 13th, Obama was visiting Japan, and it was bloody cold and rainy. In fact the weather was very suitable for the premiere of the Complaints Choir. In all other cities that we (Tellervo and Oliver) were involved in the Complaints Choir the weather was always perfect on the day of our outdoor performances. Since in many songs we had complaints about lousy weather, we lost kind of credibility when the sun was shining bright during performance. In Tokyo this issue was now solved.
The Choir did a great job with the performance. There had not been enough time to rehearse the whole song before the premiere, so some parts were a bit improvised. But that makes the Choir so sympathetic, because you can sense that there are real people on stage, not some molded TV personalities that never do any mistakes.
The performance was followed by a number of TV stations and Newspapers. So, in the end Complaints Choir made it into the news despite Obama mania in Japan. The evening ended in a "eat&drink as much as you can" style restaurant with many speeches and laughter.
The song was composed by Okuchi Shunsuke and the choir was instructed and conducted by
Lyrics and Performance by the Participants: Adachi Keiko, Amano Mutsumi, Chang Kyunghwa, Dodo Yusuke, Eguchi Sayuri, Endo Miyako, Fujimoto Yukari, Fujikawa Haruka, Fujisaki Mioko, Furukawa Yoko, Harigaya Naoko, Hashimoto Kayoko, Hatanaka Hatsune, Hattori Junko, Hirata Akihiro, Horita Miki, Ihoda Mikiko, Ikawa Hiroyuki, Inoue Takahiro, Inoue Yuta, Ishii Mikiko, Itano Atsushi, Iwamoto Masafumi, Tellervo Kalleinen, Kamei Hiroko, Kanai Hiroshi, Kanda Toshiro, Kasai Sawako, Kataoka Mami, Katayama Mariko, Kato Reiko, Kawahata Kiyoko, Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen, Kinoshita Kotaro, Kotetsu Masako, Kunugi Mio, Liu Juan, Matsuda Yoshie, Minoura Yukio, Miyazaki Ayumi, Mizuno Kazuko, Najima Aisha, Naka Makiho, Nakagawa Eri, Nakagawa Hitomi, Nakagawa Kumi, Nakahama Yoko, Nakazaw Kumiko, Nihei Kentaro, Nishino Sayaka, Nishi Sakiko, Nishizawa Rikie, Noguchi Akemi, Ohashi Fumiko, Ohori Tomoko, Okamoto Mitsuhiro, Okamoto Sanae, Omori Sonomi, Ono Kaori, Onodera Yukako, Ouchi Satoru, Oyamada Yoko, Sequoia Rasuk, Sakurai Azusa, Sakurai Tomomi, Sato Emi, Sato Fusao, Sato Maki, Serizawa Taeko, Shimizu Sachiko, Shinagawa Tomoko, Shinohara Rika, Shinohara Shusei, Shirahama Eriko , Shiraki Eise, Sofue Aki, Sun Xuemei, Sugihara Noriko, Sumikawa Mizuki, Suyama Hitomi, Takahashi Mina, Takahashi Momoko, Takai Atsuko, Takanaga Toshiyuki, Takatsukasa Kadue, Takebayashi Asako, Taki Nahomi, Tamayama Ami, Tamura Eri, Tanaka Saori, Taniguchi Miyoko, Terai Yuko, Toyoda Saori, Tsukada Kaori, Uchida Shinichi, Usui Junichi, Watanabe Fumiko, Watanabe Moichi, Wu Yuna, Yagi Hiori, Yamada Yasuko, Yamamoto Katsumi, Yonekura Kimiko, Yoshimura Emi, Yuuki Kumi.
Instrumental Performed by Okuchi Shunsuke (Accordion), Toho Hikaru (Contrabass) and Kobayashi Takefumi (Percussion)
Sound Recorded by Nonaka Masayuki
Filmed by Sugita Kyoshi, Matsumoto Takehiro and Iioka Yukiko
Photographed by Mikuriya Shinichiro
Organized by Mori Art Museum, Tokyo
Supported by FRAME Finnish Fund for Art Exchange
This work was commissioned by the Mori Art Museum for MAM Project 010, 2009.