New Wilderness Foundation




Complaints Choir of New York

Download the lyrics here.

Listen to Alan Licht, the song's composer, sing the song here.

Read about us in the Village Voice.

We will have more reghwarsals and performances, and you are invited. Contact us at

New Yorkers with complaints from noisy neighbors and inaudible subway announcements to workaholic spouses and overcrowded elementary schools are able to air their grievances as members of the first “NYC Complaints Choir.”

The choir, which is organized by The New Wilderness Foundation in collaboration with the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center and FRAME (Finnish Fund for Art Exchange), supported by the New York-based Finnish Cultural Institute, features members of the public who join as a choir under the leadership of professional composer and musicians to put on performance in public venues.

Complaints Choirs have performed in more than a dozen cities around the world. The first one in the United States was in Chicago in November 2007 where more than 50 choir members griped about their city and annoyances in their own lives.

Other Complaints Choirs have performed in Helsinki, Budapest, St. Petersburg, Jerusalem, Singapore and Birmingham, England, among other locales.

On Sunday June 8 at the Mehanata Bulgarian Bar, New Yorkers gathered together to write the complaints that would later become the New York Complaints Choir song. The organizers of the Complaints Choir, Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen, in town from Helsinki, explained the project, screened videos of previous choirs, and began creating lyrics for the NYC choir in an interactive workshop activity.

Composer and conductor of the project in New York is Alan Licht., an American guitarist and composer, whose work combines elements of pop, free jazz and minimalism. Videos of Complaints Choirs in six countries are being shown as part of “Arctic Hysteria: new Art from Finland” exhibition at P.S. 1 from June 1 through September 15. (
To register for the initial meeting of the

Contact the New York Complaints Choir at

Complaints Choirs of the world may be seen on



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The New Wilderness Foundation, Inc.

a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, was founded in 1974 by poet Jerome Rothenberg and sound artist, sound poet Charlie Morrow as an arts organization with the mission of New/Old Explorations of Sound and Oral Poetry. NWF provided the structure to publish, produce, present, promote and administer.

NWF incubated startups around new concepts which would be continued by dedicated organizations. NWF grew out of ethnopoetics and performance arts: a blend of experimental and traditional arts espousing a "new wilderness", a source of perpetual renewal and new ideas. The conceptually designed art events mixed new and old technologies. NWF used electronic media to broadcast, record and promote the cross disciplinary mix of arts and artists.

From 1974 - 1989 there was a resonance between on the New Wilderness artists and NWF multidisciplinary activities. Morrow as producer and conceptualist created framing artwork that would parallel Rothenberg's seminal poetics anthologies in their stimulation of the creation of site and medium specific works in all media by New Wilderness artists participating in the events, publications, broadcasts and productions. Morrow provided organizing, media studio production and distribution to bring many NWF projects to a wide local, national and international public.