Jyoshna La Trobe
|Jyoshna La Trobe|
|Literary works||Longing, Reddish Blossom, Red Earth Fusion...|
|Location in Sarkarverse|
Jyoshna was born Joanne La Trobe to a musical family in England on 1956 August 11. Her parents were Leslie Essex La Trobe and Toni La Trobe (aka Isobel Burton). The family migrated to Australia then to New Zealand in 1963, which became their home. Jyoshna began composing at an early age and was performing with her band "The Livewires", at Greenmeadows Intermediate School, Manurewa. Her second band was Turiiya which included Daryn Long (aka Diipali Linwood) and Kim Wesney who performed, composed and recorded together between 1983 and 1990. Since then Jyoshna has gone on as a solo artist and recorded many albums. Jyoshna explores new ways to express music and spirituality from both a Western and Eastern prospective, fusing sounds of traditional Indian music with Western sensibility, Taonga Puoro and singer/songwriter styles.
Jyoshna’s music has taken her to many countries of the world and at each place she has collaborated with local musicians: in India with the Mahato Kiirtan group and the Rarhi Cho dance musicians; in London with the RAWA group; in Vermont USA with local musicians Tina Tourin and friends and in Brazil with Matrika (Cecilia Valentim, Sergio Leone, and Ramon Soza and friends). Her music has featured on Brazilian TV, NRK Norwegian and NZ TV. As an original composer, Jyoshna has authored many albums of both her own, as well as ethnographic material, including Red Earth Song (1996), Magnificence (2001) and Unity Hours I and II (2010). Most recently Jyoshna's has composed music for the New Zealand feature film Stars in Her Eyes (2016, Dir. by Athina Tsoulis) and completed a new album called Dharma Cakra, Samskrta songs for Meditation. Jyoshna is presently working as an itinerant lecturer, music teacher and composer at Bethells Beach in Auckland. Her other passion is ethnomusicology and in 2010 Dr. Jyoshna La Trobe completed her PhD in Music at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London on "Marai Kirtan and the Performance of Ecstasy in the Purulia District of West Bengal, India". Jyoshna’s research focuses on the ‘praise music of West Bengal (Rarh), India, as well as Maori and indigenous people’s music. She also has her own collection of audio visual material housed at the World Music Archives, British Library (C1211).
As a musician and ethnomusicologist of eastern devotional singing, kiirtana plays a major role in Dr La Trobe's musical and academic career. Many of Dr La Trobe's music compositions are pada kirtan or 'devotional songs' and nama kirtan or 'chanting the name of the divine'. Her research into the background of kirtan led her to Rarh, India, the homeland of the Giita Govinda by Jayadeva (11th century) where she spent 2005-2010 documenting the traditional kirtan performances. Her own kirtan compositions are a blend of western singer/songwriter genres and Rarh devotional music.
Dr Jyoshna La Trobe's pioneering research work on the music culture of Rarh (1996-2010) is documented in her Masters Thesis Red Earth: the Music Culture of Rarh (University of Auckland) and her PhD Red Earth Song: marai kirtan and the performance of Ecstasy at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London. Over 120 hours of audio visual material is deposited in the British Library World music Sound Archives in her catalogue called the La Trobe Rarhi Music Collection. Music genres of Rarh covered in the PhD include: jhumur 'folk songs', Baul 'mystic songs', nacini nach 'dancing girls dance' and the Cho 'masked martial dance of the ancient warrior' as well as a musical analysis and transcriptions of marai kirtan 'praise music' performance. Video footage also includes Prabhat Samgiita ('songs of the new dawn'), composed by P. R. Sarkar. 
- 2014 Dharma Cakra, HPMGL Studio, Auckland, NZ
- 2012 Live in Brazil*
- 2010 Unity Hours II, Sky Studios, London
- 2007 Red Earth Fusion, Innersong, USA
- 2006 Unity Hours I, London
- 2004 Reddish Blossom, songs inspired by Prabhat Samgiit, Bengali love songs, Innersong, USA
- 2001 Era Dynamic,* MoreFm Studios, Auckland, NZ
- 2001 Magnificence, Outback Studio, Auckland.
- 1999 Dancing Divinity, Acoustic Wave, Auckland, NZ.
- 1997 Longing,* Q Studio, More Fm Studios Auckland, and Q Studios, Australia
- 1996 Sounds of Silence,* More Fm Studio, Auckland, NZ.
- 1993 Touched by the Sea,* Innersong, USA.
- 1993 Beloved, Innersong, USA.
- 1991 Reign of Love, Acoustic Wave Records, Auckland, NZ.
- 2002 Lotus Beat, with EastranzWest, Visitors Records, NZ.
- 1989 Waiting - the Album with Turiiya, Jayrem Records, Wellington, NZ
- 1987 Daughters of the Flame, Harlequin Studios, Auckland, NZ 8
- 1986 with From Scratch - Pacific 3,2,1,Zero Part 1 and 2 Live, with Philip Dadson, Don McGlashan
* Kiirtana recordings
- 1997 Red Earth - The Music Culture of Rarh, India. Unpublished MA, University of Auckland
- 2000 Probe Magazine, Issue 2. Ancient patterns and Contemporary Expressions, Manukau Institute of Technology, Art SchoolPress, Auckland. Pg 16-21
- 2010 Gurukul Network Issue 31, The Supra-aesthetic Science of Kiirtan, pg. 16-20
- 2010 Red earth song - Marāī Kīrtan of Rāṛh: Devotional singing and the performance of ecstasy in the Purulia District of Bengal, India PhD thesis
References and reviews
- "Credits: Stars in Her Eyes" NZ On Screen retrieved July 14, 2017
- La Trobe-Burton, Jyosna (1997) Red Earth: the Music Culture of Rarh (MA thesis) University of Auckland retrieved 15 February 2014
- "Completed PhD Thesis 2009-2010" SOAS, University of London retrieved 24 January 2014
- Guides to World and Traditional Music: Asian ethnographic audio and video collections, REF: C1211 British Library Sound Archive Collection p. 10 retrieved Jan 2014
Additional references and reviews
- Uniao TV Channel, Presentation/live and studio concert of her music with over a million viewers, Brasília, Brazil, August 12, 2011.
- NRK1 Television, Perspectiv, Norwegian TV Documentary on her music in London, April and November, 2010.
- Robert Allen, “Unity Hours Review”, The Rock Society, June/July, 2008.
- NRK TV Norwegian TV Documentary, Perspectiv, Nov, 2006.
- Graham Reid, “Magnificence by Joshna”, New Zealand Herald, 10/03/2001
- Nick Bollinger “Joshna, Magnificence”, NZ Listener, Feb 10th, 2001, p. 35
- Jennifer Shennan “Leaping Lizards”, Listener, April 21, 2001 p. 55