Biography

Christopher Torr develops as songwriter

“When I met Chris, he could play guitar, but had never tried his hand at song writing,” says Laurika. In 1984, however, he wrote a song in English about the bank robber André Stander, who had obtained almost legendary status in South Africa. The song was never recorded or performed. Chris’s comment on the song was that he was not trying to turn Stander into somebody that he was not, but that it was rather an attempt to comment on our reaction to the comings and goings of the bank robber. He was a type of outlaw that many people did not wish to be caught, as he provided a type of entertainment.

When somebody gave Laurika a cassette recording of the music of the German singer Udo Jürgens, she didn’t listen to it at first. “We all thought that we should concentrate on original music, and not translations, Laurika remarks.” Chris secretly began listening to the German songs, and without knowing what the German meant, wrote Afrikaans words for one of the songs which eventually materialised into one of her greatest hits - Op Blouberg se strand.
“He transcribed it onto tape, and placed the words in front of me and said I must just sit and listen. It was so beautiful. I was touched when I realised that my English-speaking husband could write words that sounded like spoken Afrikaans. It was the late eighties and I also knew how difficult it was to obtain good songs, Laurika says.” After that Chris was responsible for many of her greatest hits.

Laurika as a songwriter?

Laurika shakes her head if asked if she herself has ever tried her hand at song writing. “No,” she says, “but I have put quite a few poems to music and recorded them, such as Nalekokers and Niks hang so rooi soos wingerdblaar by Hexrivier by Boerneef, Ballade vir ‘n koningsdogter by ID du Plessis and Windliedjie and Toemaar die donker man by Ingrid Jonker.”