Jyoshna fell in love with music at the age of two, when she heard Moonlight Sonata performed on the boat that was taing her and family from England to Australia. From then on, music has been Jyoshna’s passion.
Composing from an early age, Jyoshna writes and records songs ‘as a diary of my life’. Her early years were spent writing and performing her own songs, ‘falling in love with love’, spending time with her spiritual teacher in India, recording her music (Occen (1880), Alaka (1882) and travelling. Jyoshna returned to NZ and joined the women’s experimental music group ‘Turiiya’ (with Daryn Long and Kim Wesney) who wrote and recorded three albums in the late 80’s including ‘Salutations’, ‘Waiting’, and ‘Daughters of the Flame’.The album ‘Waiting’ (Jayrem) including Thread of Gold’ receiving four star reviews (Graham Reid). Jyoshna then branched off on her own and recorded the albums ‘Reign of Love’ (1990), Collage of Love, Touched by the Sea (1994), until she decided to go back to university and study ethnomusicology.
So her other passion is ethnomusicology, as it is a way of creating bridges between cultures, building cultural understanding and appreciation. 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, 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). Her ethnographic albums include ‘Red Earth Song’ (music of Rarh, India), ‘Chhau Dance music’ (of the ancient warrior) and Rarhi Kiirtan with Jagaran Mahato (khol drum master).
Jyoshna’s music has taken her to many countries of the world. In each place Jyoshna collaborates with local musicians, in India (Mahato Kiirtan group and the Rarhi Chhau dance musicians); in London (the international RAWA group); in Vermont USA with local musicians including Christina Tourin (harpist); in Brazil with Matrika (Cecilia Valentim, Sergio Leone, and Ramon Soza and friends) and in New Zealand (‘Culture Clash’ at Tapac) and RAWA Aotearoa. Her music has featured on TVNZ, Brazilian TV, and NRK Norwegian TV.
An original composer, Jyoshna has authored many original albums including ‘Magnificence’ (2001), ‘Unity Hours I and II’ and her new album about to released on June 2nd, 2019, the third of the sequel, Unity Hours III. Recently Jyoshna composed music for the New Zealand feature film ‘Stars in Her Eyes’,(Dir. by AthinaTsoulis), completed an album of Sanskrit songs for Meditation called ‘DharmaCakra’, and two for charity, Avarta Kirtan live and Kirtan for Kenya. Jyoshna is presently residing in Ireland and New Zealand working on new music projects both original material, and as artist in residence at Sunrise Farm, Education Trust. She is also updating her collection of audio visual material on Rarh Music Culture at the British Library World Music Archives.
I invite you to browse through Jyoshna’s music and experience some poignant personal moments covering a life time of love and spiritual journeying with all its soaring bliss, gentle plateaus and deep valleys of transformation, as it adventures into the heart of Rarh, India and to the further corners of the globe.