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Frequently Asked Questions

 
 

What are the qualifications of Professors Bering & Nawrot?

...Professor Bering holds doctorates in Quantum Physics (MIT), Neuroscience (Princeton), Psychoacoustics (Oxford) and Music Composition (University of Michigan). When not in Vancouver working on the Tomcha & Vlasch project with his colleague, he divides his time between his estates in Paris and Copenhagen, where he chairs the European Council on Psychoacoustic Paranormal Phenomena.
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His numerous articles on the topic of human perception of sub-auditory stimuli appear in various academic periodicals as well as the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (JASA).

 

...Despite a childhood illness that destroyed over 70% of his cerebral cortex, Professor Nawrot has, nevertheless earned doctorates in Subsurface Tectonics (Scripps Institution of Oceanography), Anthromusicology (Harvard), Music Theory (Eastman) and Modern Dance (CalArts).
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His research on the music of Tomcha & Vlasch with Professor Bering has kept him in their Vancouver studio for the past several years. Prior to this, he had completed a New Zealand government contract to map anomalies of tectonic plate movement in the South Pacific, where he pioneered a new generation of non-binary data encoding.
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This five year project was undertaken with the cooperation of the Jacques Cousteau Foundation. He is also an avid deep-sea angler who holds the world's records for marlin, tarpon and grouper.
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Why do Tomcha & Vlasch often look different in the various photographs?

...Several problems that occurred in the construction of early lenses, including: barrel distortion, coma, astigmatic separation, anamorphic and spherical distortions, etc., were not addressed until the 1930's when Ernst Leitz II standardized the diffraction coefficients for multiple lens groups. Hence the optical anomalies in the early photos of Tomcha & Vlasch.
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I understand "contemporization" but why is the extracted data from the post-Schenkerian analysis of the musical fragments flown to Berlin rather than transmitted digitally?

...The data is of such an unprecedented density that it must be encoded in a non-binary fashion. At this time, no known electronic transmission is capable of handling the trinary bitflow. Therefore, it must be painstakingly entered by hand on site.
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I read in Le Monde that if the thermal regulators at the facility in Berlin were to fail, a possible release of raw trinary flux would contaminate the surrounding countryside and perhaps impact downwind communities with potentially life threatening toxins. True?

We assure you that safeguards are in place and all known precautions are being taken.
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I would like to visit the graves of Tomcha & Vlasch, where would I find them?

...Unfortunately, these sites are not available to the public. Of Vlasch's remains, all that is left is his skull which is cryogenically preserved at the Vatican where he is currently under consideration for sainthood. His other remains were looted as souvenirs.

...Tomcha's remains were illegally transported from Poland in the black market and are believed to be in a private collection in Tokyo.
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Why is Vlasch being considered for sainthood by the Vatican?

...In France, there were nine documented cases of Vlasch curing soldiers of trench foot, as well as spontaneous elimination of body lice as he walked among the troops. While in Belgium, a division of infantrymen witnessed thousands of rats jumping from trenches and drowning themselves in a nearby swamp as Vlasch played Bach on his double bass.
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What did the politicians and military commanders think of Tomcha & Vlasch?

...As the war progressed, Tomcha & Vlasch became increasingly strident in their position that the ruling class as well as politicians, clergy and military commanders were advancing their financial and social positions at the expense of the common foot soldiers, who they felt were being used as cannon fodder.
...They openly advocated sabotage of military hardware and attempted to convince soldiers on both sides to mutiny against their superiors.
...For this reason, propaganda posters such as this were produced by leaders in several countries. In this case, the "?" is meant to imply "where are they?" They being Tomcha & Vlasch who were wanted dead or alive, but mostly dead.
...Those in the trenches had great admiration for their singing gypsies, and never turned them in.
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As a medical student, I read that Vlasch once considered experimental surgery. Could you explain his reasons?

... A German physician-inventor had convinced Vlasch to have his right arm replaced with this mechanical appendage, claiming that his bass playing would be improved by several orders of magnitude. Vlasch's perfectly good arm was spared when the doctor was arrested the night before the operation for malpractice. Specifically, for sewing dog noses onto volunteers to help them “sniff out the enemy”.
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While in Toronto, I attended a lecture whose subject was the influence of Tomcha & Vlasch upon contemporary poetry and lyrics. The speaker claimed that the poem, "In Flanders Fields" by the Canadian author: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae was inspired by a previous poem by them. Could you reprint the original poem?

...Our research has not been able to substantiate this. Whether or not McCrae was influenced by one of their poems or lyrics remains a mystery. Nevertheless, "In Flanders Fields" is reprinted below.

IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

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I read that there was a Tomcha & Vlasch Memorial Park somewhere in Belgium. Could you give the location?

...The memorial was located in Antwerp, but was destroyed during World War II. The only photograph we have on file is the one shown here.
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As a modern dancer and long time supporter of your Project, I would very much like to see a photo of Professor Nawrot from his graduate recital at CalArts.

...The photo here is from his final concert prior to earning his Doctorate in Modern Dance and Related Arts.
...As you can see, his choreography was based on the tortured movements of soldiers caught in the crucible that was World War One.
...Ironically, Prof. Nawrot would spend the next few decades immersed in trying to understand that conflict and how it informed the music of Tomcha & Vlasch.
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I read in Wikipedia that Tomcha & Vlasch designed battlefield protection for soldiers, since they believed these items weren't being provided by those in command. Do you have photographs of any of these devices?

...We have two examples in our archives. One is the "Trench Turtle" which was never mass produced as it would have cut into war profits. The other was the "One Man Ambulance" which allowed just enough room for one wounded soldier to attempt to wheel himself to safety. This vehicle had limited application, and very few were produced.
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How did Tomcha & Vlasch manage to survive the sinking of the Lusitania?

...The details are difficult to verify. From the records we know that they saved over sixty infants in the ship’s nursery before quietly raiding the pharmacy for morphine and swimming to safety. They politely refused the luxury of a proffered lifeboat.
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Did Tomcha & Vlasch often get lost in their travels during the war?

...As Vlasch once quipped “since we are gypsies, we are never lost!” They did, however, carry quite sophisticated maps given to them by soldiers on both sides.
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Were Tomcha & Vlasch ever arrested for sabotage of military equipment?

...There is no record of their being apprehended. Mastery of the thespian arts allowed them to mingle with workers undetected, as shown in this photograph, where they casually disarmed mines destined to be deployed in the English Channel, filling them instead with bubble bath.
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I recently bought a vintage poster at Sotheby's which I believe Tomcha may have posed for. Is this possible?

...Indeed, Tomcha & Vlasch were often sought out by graphic artists of the day to pose for propaganda posters, as they were masters of expressing emotion. However, as the war progressed beyond anyone's expectations, they ceased this activity as they felt it promoted the prolongation of the conflict, and even glorified it to impressionable youth who were the target of relentless recruitment.
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Composers of electronic music credit Tomcha & Vlasch with being the first to experiment with that medium. Has the exact location of their studio ever been found?

...Due to the discovery of their primitive synthesizer in 1919 under the rubble of a hotel, we now have proof that the location was in Darmstadt, Germany; oddly enough, a city still known for experimental electronic music.
...However, Thaddeus Cahill's 'telharmonium' (1906) predates their experiments.

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Do Professors Bering & Nawrot compose original songs in addition to "contemporizing" the works of Tomcha & Vlasch?

...At this time, Bering & Nawrot feel their attention should be given exclusively to the preservation and dissemination of the vast repertoire of Tomcha & Vlasch, so that these unknown masterpieces are not allowed to slip through the cracks of history.
...However, they do keep open the possibility of composing original songs that may reflect the influences of their research.
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Professor Bering, Project Manager
Professor Bering, Project Manager

 


Professor Nawrot, Systems Analyst

 

 

 

 

 

 


Artist rendition of trinary data encryption

 

 

 


...Vlasch's skull is preserved at the Vatican

 

 

 


Propaganda poster

 

 

 


Experimental arm

 

 

 


Memorial park destroyed in World War II

 

 


Prof. Nawrot in concert

 

 

Trench Turtle
Trench Turtle

One Man Ambulance
One Man Ambulance

 


Numerous lines indicate their routes during 1916

 


Sabotaging mines

 


Tomcha operates early synthesizer while Vlasch listens off camera

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