For over ten years, Kristilyn Robertson has been telling stories. They are stories of life, love, loss, hope, peace, people, and friends. They are stories that creep into your veins and warm your blood and touch your soul. They are stories that you can relate to.
While struggling through the social cliques of high school, Kristilyn found the piano and started to play. After accelerating quickly through her repertoire, earning high marks for each level, Kristilyn joined the International Music Academy at Alberta College. She studied with an array of professors, and learned about various subjects. She continued on to university, learning even more about music, continuing her high achievement, having set high standards for herself.
But it wasn’t enough. Kristilyn found solace in the practice rooms of the university and wrote. While she loved her classical roots, playing Brahms waltzes and Chopin etudes, it was her own original material she wanted to work on. The songs eventually evolved into something Kristilyn wanted to share with the world, and in her third year of university, the opportunity came to do so.
‘The Uncut Version,’ Kristilyn’s debut CD, was recorded as a project for her music capstone, the biggest project she had ever done for music thus far. Musicians were gathered from the university, and from around Edmonton, by both Kristilyn and local studio man, Tim Senger. Kristilyn spent hours writing and arranging scores for violins, violas, flutes, trumpets, trombones, accordions, and some of the other instruments featured on the album. Together the duo, Kristilyn and Tim, spent hours and months recording and experimenting, with the final result being released in April of 2003.
Up until this point, Kristilyn had been playing her music around campus for various coffee houses and events. She then gathered up the talent and threw a CD release party on April 7, 2003 with her newly created band. The next night they played at the Backroom Vodka Bar, and then everything slowed to a stop.
With only a handful of notable performances to show for in the next few years (Salute to Volunteers, Futures Fest Finals, Independent Music EXPO), Kristilyn spent a lot of time trying to write. Having been a prolific writer when she first started with the piano, it had slowed down and writer’s block set in. Not only that, but Kristilyn had spent so much time on the music that she never learned how to promote herself outside of university.
So, in 2006, Kristilyn bit the bullet and bought a keyboard, something she felt was definitely holding her back from performing. She started to go to coffee houses and open stages to play and received positive feedback from local musicians and music lovers. The floodgates to writing finally opened again and Kristilyn felt inspired to write – and not to write any kind of music, but to write music with meaning
These days, equipped with only her piano and voice, Kristilyn Robertson has performed for audiences at various venues in and around Edmonton, such as the Blue Chair Cafe, Muddy Waters Cafe, the Citadel Shoctor Theatre, the Sidetrack Cafe, Hughes’ House, Red’s, the Druid, Velvet Olive, Hulbert’s, and the Backroom Vodka Bar. She has shared the stage with musicians such as Carrie Hryniw, Alexia Melnychuk, Dave Martin, Rhea March, Amity Mitchell, and Tom Mead, and has also participated in CBC Radio One’s Edmonton AM challenge, ‘EdPod.’ She has opened for Ellen McIlwaine, Cassius Khan, and Mary Kastle, and has performed at the 2007 Supercities WALK for Multiple Sclerosis in Edmonton, the 2007 Night of Artists Arts and Music Festival in Edmonton, and the 2007 Alberta Seniors’ Games in Fort Saskatchewan. In January 2008, she performed at Phil Alain’s (founder of Night of Artists) Concert For Peace – The Beginning. In May of 2008, she will perform again at the Supercities WALK for Multiple Sclerosis in Edmonton, thanks to rave reviews from the previous years’ performance, and at the Supercities WALK for MS in St. Albert.
Since 2007, Kristilyn released an EP entitled Six Songs, which featured four brand new, previously unreleased tracks, and two tracks from The Uncut Version (rerecorded). She also released her second full-length album titled The Bee Tree. The album features original music with topics of love, war, peace, and hope, and was recorded in Kristilyn’s home studio over the course of the year. Seeds, Shells, and Stones was released in 2009 and is a collection of live songs, demos, and previously unreleased recordings. The CD was a limited release and is currently only available as a digital download.
In 2010, Kristilyn released her next full-length album titled Wild Birds - a collection of songs about birds, weather, and life in the prairies. Personal and moving, Wild Birds has something for everyone.
While not performing too often around the city, Kristilyn is still keeping busy. She is currently working on a Christmas album to be released in 2012, as well as a collection of Pre-Cut CDs – songs that were written before The Uncut Version, and a couple albums of silly songs.