Life is full of complaints, but a new project at the Ulrich Museum is taking your everyday gripes and turning them into music.
The project asks people to send in their complaints and then a local choir puts the words into song. Choirs all over the world have sung the everyday grumblings of cities as far as Singapore and St. Petersburg Russia.
Now the project is being replicated in Kansas where Wichita State University’s Choral Department will take people’s local frustrations and compose them into a choir chorale. Emily Stamey, the Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Ulrich Museum, says the project shows how much people have in common.
“Complaints are so universal,” says Stamey. “There are certain things that we all complain about and it seems ironic but there’s something comforting in that we are so much more similar than we think we think ourselves to be.”
Dr. Tom Wine, the director of choral activities at WSU will compose the piece and says the trick is writing music for lyrics that don’t easily fit together.
“ I love the writing process, the puzzle of taking things that really don’t go together and figuring it out and turning them, do a little Tetris, and say of this is really interesting.” says Wine.
A documentary about the international complaint choir project and will be shown in Wichita in February, where the local complaint choir will make its debut.
Stamey says the project allows people to vent while taking a lighthearted look at themselves.
“What they realize is that we all complain anyhow and why not make something positive out of all that complaining,” says Stamey.