Elio Rota, musical alchemist and creative nucleus of Kaeandra, began his career in music as a bit of a child prodigy. Of Italian descent, he comes from a family with strong cultural and musical roots whose lineage includes internationally renowned composer Nino Rota.
At a very young age, Elio demonstrated a surprising aptitude for drums and percussion. Consequently, at age five his parents enrolled him in music lessons and with their guidance and encouragement he began to play the accordion. He excelled so much that after a mere two weeks into his lessons he became the youngest member of his father’s professional group. That same year Elio also started to play the keyboards which would later become his primary instrument for composing and performing.
At the age of twelve Elio became interested in songwriting in the Pop/Rock genre and co-wrote Looks like Love, for which he was offered a recording/artist development deal. Looking to augment and expand his ability to write and perform Elio learned to play guitar and bass, and re-introduced drums into his musical roster. Through his teenage years he continued performing and recording in the Pop/Rock vein touring throughout Canada and the United States with numerous bands. Although the various groups and projects he was involved with generated much interest and a number of lucrative recording offers he found himself disillusioned with the commercial demands and superficiality of the music industry. As is the case with many musicians and artists, Elio felt his creative essence and inspiration deeply affected and to prevent emotional and artistic burnout, at age twenty, he turned toward a new musical direction.
After a brief hiatus to reflect on his musical goals , Elio began to study composition and electro-acoustic music at Vancouver Community College and Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada, under the tutelage of Rob McKenzie, David Duke, new music composer Peter Hannan, and David MacIntyre.
In the years since, Elio has been very active composing for dance and theatre productions, short films, television documentaries, and a television pilot The Black Prayer by Derek Milton. In addition, he has done recording/production and session work for many musicians, singer-songwriters and groups. He performed live with numerous bands in various musical styles including African, World beat, Jazz, Ambient and New Age. He continues to perform with Jerry Des Voignes and the Mantravani Orchestra in an ongoing, highly successful, year-round concert series that has featured many guest musicians such as international New Age recording artist Patrick Bernard. They have also collaborated in a number of concert events including opening for Snatam Kaur.
All through his twenties and thirties, Elio explored countless forms of music both contemporary and ancient and today, is a versatile singer and prolific multi-instrumentalist professionally playing more than thirty instruments ranging from: the Persian sehtar and various classical and gypsy guitars, to piano and state-of-the-art electronics, to a host of exotic percussive instruments from Africa to the Middle East.
During this time, troubled by what he saw in the world, he underwent a profound personal transformation that began a journey toward the more healing and spiritual side of music. To this end, he has released two beautiful albums: Underwater Tales of Hope, 1997 and Analemma Dream, (under the project name Kaeandra) 2007, that reflect his deep commitment to inspire creativity, joy and healing within his listeners.
Kaeandra – Analemma Dream, 2007
Analemma Dream is the latest cd release by diverse multi-instrumentalist, composer, singer- songwriter, Elio Rota under the project name Kaeandra. A labour of love, two years in the making, this extraordinary album is a collection of ten meticulously crafted songs that flow seamlessly one into the other, each track setting the stage and mood for the next, each an integral chapter of the slowly evolving story, that plays out like a journey. As the journey unfolds you are ultimately taken through the “hidden” portal of the analemma to the promise of the “dream”.
Analemma Dream is a concept album with metaphysical and spiritual themes, which are subtle in nature, eschewing any dogma, and are entirely open to interpretation. These themes, grounded in an electronic, ambient, and world music style soundscape, flow in harmony with the music like the structured concept albums of the 70’s.
This is a beautiful album without any of the superficial trappings that plague much of current day music. It is emotional and soothing even as it continues to take the listener on unexpected twists and turns that never break the flowing continuity of the music, on individual tracks or on the album as a whole. Multi-layered, multi-instrumental, Analemma Dream continues to reveal exquisite detail upon repeated listening; each finely crafted song painting a rich vivid picture that simultaneously stimulates the imagination while striking a resonant chord deep within the listener’s soul. It continuously captivates and inspires and absolutely never becomes predictable. It is entirely original music and yet able to embrace you with a healing familiarity.
In summary, Annalemma Dream features ten complex multi-instrumental tracks of atmospheric, ambient, electronic, world music, with ethnic and orchestral elements, five of which feature beautiful, hauntingly sensual male and female vocals, including Tibetan voice and Moorish style singing. Intricately embellished with a lush and exotic blend of eastern and western instrumentation throughout – exquisite! (Total Running Time: 75:19)