Terrible news: Over the weekend, Italian Village recording studio Oranjudio was ransacked to the tune of $20,000 in stolen equipment. Even more maddening than the loss of so much gear is the disappearance of Oranjudio's hard drive, which contained unfinished recording projects by a number of musicians. A Craigslist post details all the stolen loot along with serial numbers, so keep an eye out, and contact Oranjudio with any leads.
UPDATE: I just spoke with Oranjudio producer Joey Gurwin, who offered more details about what went down.
"We lost a whole lot of gear, which sucks, but that stuff is all replaceable," Gurwin said. "The stuff that we're real concerned about is all the bands' work, all our hard drives. You obviously can't ensure for that type of stuff. That's really our priority is getting enough word out there that at least the hard drives are returned, no questions asked."
Gurwin said several factors suggest the thief was highly familiar with Oranjudio. One was the way the thief broke in, by cutting a hole in the front door so as not to trip the alarm system. Another was the specificity of what they stole, which suggests someone familiar with recording technology.
"The items that were taken definitely shows that it wasn't just a smash-and-grab type of robbery because there was a lot of valuable stuff that was left untouched, a lot of guitars and guitar amps. A lot of stuff they walked right past to get the real high end outboard studio gear." For instance, "They went to the mic closet and they took all the expensive mics, leaving the more pedestrian mics. They knew the studio, they knew studio gear and they knew what components were needed to operate other components."
The staff has some theories about who might be responsible for the crime, but "we're trying to not go public with any suspects' names at this point because we're really just holding out hope that maybe they choose to do the right thing and return at the very least the data, which is useless to them," Gurwin said.
In the meantime, there are a lot of brokenhearted musicians out there. The hard drives included unfinished projects by at least a dozen bands, plus archives of albums by MojoFlo, Old Hundred, Evan Oberla Project and many more. The loss of one project was particularly heartrending for Gurwin, an "older gentleman" who's been working on an album as a labor of love for the past two years.
"He just in the past couple months has had to have a bunch of surgeries on his fretting hand of his guitar, and he's not sure if he's ever going to be able to play guitar again," Gurwin said. "So calling him and telling him his recordings were lost was almost more than I could bear."