....In 1918, near the end of World War One, a British regiment discovered the remains of two unidentified musicians in the ruins of a Catholic church in Krakow. Also found were the shattered remnants of several musical instruments, including a hurdy-gurdy, harmonium, tenor guitar, viola, 3-string bass and fragments of North African percussion, all of which now reside in the Smithsonian Institute.

....It would eventually be determined that the bodies were those of Tomcha & Vlasch: the great Polish gypsy performers and songwriters known and beloved throughout Europe.

....Musicologists generally agree that the duo met while attending a Polka festival in Warsaw in 1906. Being highly inebriated, they spontaneously and independently began pelting the leading act with pierogi. Their mutual disdain for the sterile and commercialized Polish idiom served as their initial common bond.

....Many of their greatest works were written while entertaining soldiers of the Great War. Jumping from trench to trench and racing (often intoxicated) across No Man's Land while dodging machine gun fire and the occasional biplane (Tomcha claimed to have taken a bullet from the famous German air ace: Baron Manfred von Richthofen), they plied their trade to both sides of the conflict, offering songs and vaudeville pantomime in exchange for biscuits, tins of tobacco and schnapps.

....At one time believed to be lost, their handwritten notations and lyrics were discovered in 1949 under the floorboards of a French brothel where they had apparently been bartered for certain favors. These documents are now safely in the archives of Professors Bering & Nawrot where they are undergoing a thorough codifying, cataloging, analysis and scientific re-interpretation before becoming available to the public.

....The controversial technique of scientific re-interpretation, or "contemporization" which has been applied to the extensive oeuvre of Tomcha & Vlasch has its many critics, and in fact, some musicologists deplore this modernization as unnatural. However, Professors Bering & Nawrot firmly believe the technique is not only valid, but is thoroughly in keeping with the historical tradition of Tomcha & Vlasch, given their penchant for composing in the idiom of their intended audience.

Professors Bering & Nawrot

British troops claimed that the statue of Jesus wept





.Tomcha & Vlasch relax in trench near the Somme





French brothel frequented by Tomcha & Vlasch





Home - Their Story - The Project - Photo Archive
The Many Lovers of Tomcha - The Tragic Mistresses of Vlasch - Historical Documents
The Lyrics - Music Downloads - Project Supporters - FAQ - Contact

Data compiled by Prof. Glenn Bering

copyright 2010 all rights reserved

webwork by kinvis.com