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Closes 25th July!
me before i started watching food network :
i made you a peanut butter and jelly sandwich
me now :
what i've made for you today is a rustic-style raspberry reduction, garnished with a smooth roasted peanut spread, spread across a thick slice of white bread with another slice of bread holding the flavors in place. really, what i'm doing this for is my dad...he was always a chef, he's the reason i started cooking, and i know (sniff) i know if he was alive he'd want to see me win Chopped so i could continue working for the local urban garden café for sad children
Each Gem in Steven Universe possesses a certain musical motif that plays during certain parts of the show. When Gems fuse, their musical motifs merge into a completely different genre of music. We’re going to look at each one in detail today. Since we’ve only seen detailed dances from the Crystal Gems, only there dance motifs will be looked at. When “Cry for Help” reveals Sardonyx in her entirety, I will update this post with her musical motif.
NOTE: When selecting a track to listen to, please right-click and select “Open Link in New Tab” so you don’t lose your spot in the post!
Garnet’s Motif: Hip-Hop (Waka Waka) Bass
Garnet’s musical and dance themes are very much centered around hip-hop movement (specifically the Waka Waka style of dancing). Waka Waka is characterized by very thick and bouncy bass tones and robotic movement of the limbs with fluid motions in between dance poses.
Take a listen to some of Garnet’s tracks. Here’s “Future Vision” from the official Steven Universe OST. Note that very present bass and “funky flow” of the tracks.
Pearl’s Motif: Classical and Swing Piano
Although Pearl has been shown playing the violin, her main musical motif is a piano played both classically and in the swing style. Both styles are played at a slow tempo in the show (around 90 to 110 BPM, depending on the song), giving Pearl an elegant, classy musical feel. Her dance theme, fittingly enough, is classical ballet as evidenced by her propensity to strike graceful poses both during fusion dances and combat.
Give one of Pearl’s most important themes, “Pearl’s Room”, a listen. Take note of the transition from classic piano to swing piano at the 0:11 mark. During this scene, Pearl is performing swan-like ballet poses in the privacy of her room, matching the grace and form of the piano.
Amethyst’s Motif: On-The-Floor Drum Beats (On-Time and Off-Time)
Amethyst’s motif consists primarily of drum beats that can either follow a time signature or occur erratically and randomly depending on the song. Amethyst’s reckless party-girl attitude is reflected both in her energetic drum motif and her simplistic club-like dancing style. Amethyst’s musical motif also utilizes strike and sting samples erratically (think 90s era music or, more recently, Splatoon)
Here’s one of the more fun musical themes, “Gimme Gimme”, heard when Amethyst is chasing Steven down to eat his Together Breakfast. The use of loud drum beats and sting samples can clearly be heard as she tries to get her hands on those panned cakes.
Steven’s Motif: Chiptune
Steven shares his motif with Connie, in that they’re both based on the chiptune style of music (although Connie’s mixes in acoustic sounds here and there). Chiptune intentionally sounds cute and innocent, fitting Steven perfectly. His dance motif has not really been seen yet, although his Stevonnie fusion dance with Connie seems to indicate that he inherits his mother’s (Rose Quartz’s) dance motif of 2-person waltz.
Here’s a Steven-based track, “Watermelon Steven”, complete with chiptune chirps.
Rose Quartz’s Motif: Bells and Piano
Rose’s motif consists primarily of arpeggios of bells and pianos, and other hi-pitch instruments. In the Rainbow Quartz fusion dance with Pearl, we can see that Rose takes the leading role in the dance and moves and sways in waltz patterns (which her son Steven inherited). She also takes the leading role in her and Greg’s subsequent dance on the beach, even spinning him around in a classic waltz twirl.
One of Rose’s quintessential themes, “Rose’s Room” demonstrates both her arpeggio theme and the bell/piano combination her motif is known for.
Peridot’s Motif: Drum ‘n’ Bass/Trance Plucks
Peridot’s motif is stereotypical DnB (a hi-tempo style) with spacey trance plucks speckled throughout. Her personality fits with this motif, it’s just as spacey and awkward as she is, but much like the real Peridot, there’s something very menacing and dangerous sounding about her motifs. Listen to Peridot’s theme, “Peridot”, and love the green space Dorito. Peridot’s trance plucks mirror Pearl’s piano in form and function.
Lapis Lazuli’s Motif: Sidechained Pads/Hall Piano
Lapis’s motif relies heavily on sidechained static (the “unts unts” you hear in club dance music), and hall piano arpeggios. Her themes can easily lean towards melancholy (as in “I Am Lapis Lazuli”), or extremely dangerous sounding (as in “Mirror Match”) depending on tempo. Lapis Lazuli, much like her motif, is a very dynamic character, perhaps showing the most personality development on any character in the show, and her versatile theme reflects that. Her theme also carries extremely fast drum beats, a motif she shares with Amethyst.
Jasper’s Motif: Distorted Bass
Jasper’s main component in her motif is the presence of distorted bass. Heard most clearly in “Return to the Beach/Jasper”, the gross-sounding bass is definitely a parallel to it’s owner. Jasper’s distorted bass shares similarities in composition to Garnet’s Waka bass.
Opal’s Motif: High-Energy Piano Anthem (a la Masami Ueda)
Opal’s motif is interesting in that it brings to diametric opposites (breakbeat drums from Amethyst and classical piano from Pearl), and forces them to conform to each other’s theme. Amethyst’s beats become structured and formulaic while Pearl’s piano becomes energetic and erratic. This style of music was coined by Masami Ueda (the composer for the Bayonetta games), and the influence in Opal’s theme really shows. Take a listen to Opal’s theme, “Opal”.
Sugilite’s Motif: Dissonant Hardstyle
The mix of Garnet’s bass and Amethyst’s drums do not make a very inviting combination. Sugilite’s motif is very menacing, as Garnet’s bass has become distorted and dissonant, while Amethyst’s driving beat makes it even more unsettling. Sugilite’s theme, “Synchronize”, transitions from a less evil-sounding combo of Garnet/Amethyst to the more traditional Sugilite theme halfway through.
Alexandrite’s Motif: New York Swing/Genre Fusion
Alexandrite’s theme is very hard to pin down and is a very confusing (but cohesive) mix of Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl’s themes. The musical chord stings originate from Garnet while her classy piano lead line and tribal-esque drums come from Pearl and Amethyst, respectively. Take a listen to Alexandrite’s theme, “Alexandrite”, and be as confused as me.
Malachite’s Motif: Minimalist Scare Stings
Malachite, being a horror movie character in and of herself, shares her motif with scary movies like Jaws and Signs. Heard in her theme, “Malachite”, Lapis’s drums and piano have been corrupted into dissonant stings separated by longs pauses, while Jasper’s bass has amped up the creep factor as an underlying harmonic entity.
The Cluster: Dissonant NuWave
Not only does the Cluster struggle to maintain shape, but it also struggles to maintain a musical motif. This dissonant mixture of many Gem’s motifs creates a very unsettling track, perfect for this abomination. Take a listen to it’s theme, “Gem Shards”.
i seriously love how the music actually fits and compares to the character itself