Slovak cellist Jozef Luptak was a musician for Laity Lodge’s recent Seeing Seamlessly retreat. On a crisp, early-spring morning Jozef shared stories of his artistic journey in Slovakia amidst his society’s own fraught journey into political freedom. His final story recounted the 2018 murders of journalist Ján Kuciak and fiancée, Martina Kušnírová.

I feel like I couldn’t say nothing to this. I had to do something because this is not right.

Jozef played the piece below which blends poignant cello melodies and disquieting sound effects layered with an electronic looper. “Black Swan” was composed by Martin Burlas at Jozef’s request to honor the memory of Ján and Martina.

Vaclav Havel said truth and love will overcome lying and hatred … many people in our country stopped believing what Vaclav Havel said because they didn’t see hope in the changes. It went so far that two people had to die: one because he was telling truth, and the other one because she loved him. So, they died for truth and love. And it’s tragic.

Listen to the Recording