Daniel Rorke sits in the rear of his Kombi campervan from where his musical instruments were stolen at Natural Arch in the Numi
Daniel Rorke sits in the rear of his Kombi campervan from where his musical instruments were stolen at Natural Arch in the Numi

Musician?s dreams in tatters after car raid

By ZOE SATHERLEY

DANIEL RORKE feels as if he has lost his whole life.

Every piece of music the 30year-old Byron Bay musician has written over the past five years has been stolen.

The music was to go towards his honours project ? an original CD ? next year at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music where he studies jazz.

Worse still, the thieves who broke into his car also stole every musical instrument he owns ?- a tenor and a soprano saxophone, and a bass clarinet ? and speakers, as well as a laptop computer, digital video camera and CD player, collectively worth $25,000.

Without his instruments Mr Rorke can't work to pay the rent. His dreams to further his studies and musical career are in tatters.

"I am totally devastated by what has happened. I feel numb," the heartbroken Mr Rorke said yesterday.

The theft happened at Natural Arch, a popular tourist destination north-west of Murwillumbah.

Daniel and a friend said they were followed into a secluded car park by two people in a dark blue late 1980s-early 1990s covered ute.

He had not unpacked his instruments or laptop from his 1972 white VW Kombi van because he had just arrived back in the region from Sydney, where he stays during school semesters.

"Everything was hidden and covered, and we were only gone from the car for about 15 minutes," he said.

"But when we got back from our walk to the waterfall we saw the car's side window had been smashed. I just couldn't speak, I was so upset."

Daniel left Richmond River High School in Year 11 to further his musical studies at the Sydney Conservatorium before spending several years touring Europe and America.

"Throughout those years of touring I have been collecting and recording material for my honours project," Daniel said.

"All of my charts, my musical arrangements, improvisations and recordings were on my laptop and they are all gone. They even stole my back-up hard drive. I came back to Australia to do my honours and now I don't know what I am going to do. I can usually play gigs to feed myself and pay my study fees, but even that ability has gone. I'm feeling pretty awful right now."



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