Songs from the Planet Earth

Interviews

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Interview with Vance Duche

Q: What did you make for the album?

i did a cover of “what’s the use of feeling (blue)?” with a more haunting, sorrowful tone to it.

Q: Why did you decide to make a cover of “What’s the Use of Feeling (Blue)?”

this song instantly became my favorite the second i heard it. just listening to patti lupone sing this makes my heart ache! yellow diamond is an interesting, complex character, so i figured i’d play with her sorrow for pink’s death through this song.

Q: What’s your favourite thing about your song?

fun fact about the beginning of this cover: when blue (or i guess myself lol) says, “why can’t you just let me grieve?”, that was actually me crying. things just sort of lined up for it to happen, so i quickly grabbed my microphone and said the line! it became a little detail that i was proud of.

Social media links

Tumblr: @crabschip


Interview with Feidlimid

Heyo! I did the track art for “WE ON THE MOON” and “I’m Perfect.

image

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself and your art! 

I’ve studied studio art as a minor in college, but am mostly self-trained. I mostly work with pencil, charcoal, and ink in traditional mediums, or draw digitally.

Q: Describe the process of working on your illustrations!

Steven Universe’s landscapes have such a unique, light feel to them - I started there for WE ON THE MOON, hoping to emulate that with the space landscape. Then came about twenty sketches of just the moon base’s shape, plotting the perspective and angle I wanted. Taking pretty much the single, front-on shot we get in the series of the moon base and imagining it in 3D space at an extreme angle was the most difficult part. I used a LOT of math, sketches, guidelines, basic shapes, and perspective tools to gradually build up the geometry of the base. Sometimes I had to remind myself that eyeballing the details, such as the door facade, was more efficient and sometimes more intuitive-looking than trying to reason out the math behind the perspective. I built out the geodesic dome with several transparent layers to render both the front and back. First came base colors, then curved outlines for the panels, and finally highlights.

Q: What’s your favourite thing about your illustration and the character you drew?

I think I like how the simplicity of White Diamond can be so imposing. That character design is brilliant. On one hand, you could see a beautiful and comforting figure, but something about the starkness and the angle and the perfection itself is off-putting. And there’s something about the “static” in the background when she’s portrayed in the show (and in my piece) where it really hammers home that there is no “emptiness” around her, as though that negative space is really “white” noise

Q: So, what are your favourite moments in the show?

In general, I love Connie being the butt-kicking, sword-swinging heroine she is. She’s smart, determined, and fierce, and I’ve seen a lot of myself in her. So those moments where she trains with Pearl and finds her own unique way of partnering with Steven delight me.

Social media links

Tumblr: @confusedthaumaturge


Interview with Helena Ruth

Q: What did you make for the album?

I made the extended version of Lapis Lazuli with psithurist! I wrote the extended melody and lyrics (plus I sang it).

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself and your music!

Hi! I live in Seattle, Washington and I make indie folk/rock music inspired by games, webcomics, anime, and cartoons. Particularly gay stuff. I used to run Chibi Chibi Con in Olympia and I wrote the song Fallen Back about Undertale, if that means anything to anyone! I’ve made music under this name for years, but am about to switch to releasing music under the name The Kingfisher.

Q: Describe the process of working on your songs.

Psithurist and I worked on this song for over a year! She did the amazing bass and guitar parts of the track. The hardest part was mixing it (when you already have everything recorded and just have to adjust the levels and panning/put effects/etc on the tracks). I spent several months on that. I don’t. Want. To think about it anymore. It kills me.

Q: Who’s your favourite Steven Universe character?

My favorite character is Pearl! I’m predictable and I appreciate responsibility, what can I say?

Q: Why did you decide to make a track about Lapis?

I desperately wanted to sing this song, but I thought it was “too short to sing” (whatever that means), plus Lapis was seriously pulling my heartstrings, so I took matters into my own hands.

Q: What’s your favourite thing about the track you made?

It’s done!

Social media links

Website: helenaruth.com

Twitter: twitter.com/helenaruthmusic


Interview with Levc

Hi im Levc! i make a track for this cool album!

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself and your music! 

Im a composer, mostly for videogames but im allways experimenting. im also a writer in progress. other think, im not an native english speaker so, sorry if my english hurts to read.

Q: Describe the process of working on Pink?

I wanted to make a song for a topic that nobody would chose, so i just go with that. Also it was funny to me to do a videogame-ish song for this project, so i did pretty much what i always do, but triying to do it in a style similar to the official soundtrack.

Q: Your favourite thing about the track?

i think the harmony is really cool. also the instrumentation, idk i like to combine chiptune with some orchesta here and there.

Q: What were your favourite moments in the show?

It’s valid to say that most peridot moments? if so that.

Q: What’s your favourite song from the TV series?

I think one of the easy songs to pick is “stronger than you”. i dont know, its the song that comes to me when i hear steven universe, mostly because it was the way i get to know the show.

Social media links

Twitter:  twitter.com/levc_egm


Interview with Veritas Unae

I’m VeritasUnae, 26 years old, and a musician and PhD student from Australia. I’ve been a big fan of Steven Universe since the show first began and it’s been a real joy to work on this album with these other fantastic musicians. My usual musical style is jazz and orchestral tracks, but I decided to go with a more easy going piano piece for this album.

Q: What did you make for the album?

I composed the song “Home.

Q: Describe the process of working on your track.

Like most things I write, it started with playing around with chords on the piano. The melody came pretty soon after that, and I knew I wanted it to have that feeling of safety, and of a story coming to a close. The end of the song subtly quotes the theme song of the show as a sort of bookend.

Q: Why did you decide to make a track about the end of the show?

The idea of Home was to capture that feeling of lying on the beach with your friends, looking up at the stars, and feeling free. Free of responsibilities and the pressures of the world, if only for a while. The soft ocean noises help to paint the picture, and the chords rise and fall in interesting ways to capture those moments we feel in life, and the triumphs of a job well done.

Q: What’s your favourite Steven Universe song?

It’s really hard to decide since there are so many good ones. I think Here Comes A Thought is such an evocative message that it’s impossible to go past it, but I love Stronger Than You and Giant Woman a lot too. For just backing music, I love Amalgam, Obsidian and the music that plays in Serious Steven when he’s going through all the traps.

Q: What’s your favourite thing about the track you made?

There are some really interesting chord changes I enjoyed experimenting with, and to be honest, I liked the simplicity of working on it, since I’m a pretty busy guy!

Social media links

Bandcamp: veritasunae.bandcamp.com

Twitter: twitter.com/veritasunae


Interview with tunesofjasmine

Q: What did you make for the album?

I made the track “Made of Love”.

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself and your music!

I’m in my final year of university, where I study Journalism and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. I grew up learning Carnatic music (a classical music style from southern India), and listening to anything I could get my hands on. I began to study Western classical music when I moved to New England in 2009. This is also when I started singing in choirs, playing the piano and, later, teaching myself the ukulele. One thing led to another, and I started experimenting with songwriting and arrangement. I’m excited to keep learning and growing.

Q: Briefly describe the process of working on your track!

More than anything, this was a learning process for me! It was the first time I dipped my toes into producing something at this level; other stuff I’ve done has always just been recorded on my phone and then layered in Audacity. Having to figure out the ropes, so to speak, of music production, helped me grow - and I was excited to learn how to actually make some of the sounds that I loved hearing in music. I always had so many ideas but never knew how to actually make them happen. With this project, I got a taste of that. I learned more about both the tools needed for the task, as well as what my musical tendencies are. It was also super exciting to see everyone else’s work. The amount of talent! I was grateful to get feedback from the other contributors, because it made me think about things I never would have thought about otherwise. They inspired me so much, and made me feel comfortable enough to try things that were new for me. Besides, having a fresh set of ears is always helpful!(edited)

Q: Why did you decide to make a track about Garnet, Ruby, and Sapphire?

Garnet is my favourite character on the show! She holds a lot of significance to me, as well as many other people. Plus, Ruby and Sapphire are just so precious.

Q: What’s your favourite thing about the track you made?

I loved playing with the synth sounds and figuring out where each component fit into the larger work (sort of like putting together a puzzle!). My favorite section is the second-to-last one, the little cover of “Waterfall Training Montage”.

Social media links

Tumblr: @tunesofjasmine


Interview with Circlejourney

Q: What did you make for the album?

Hi I’m Circlejourney, the mod of this project! I made Oceanic Flight, a song about Lapis with vocals by Lillie Blue Lennox, and I composed What Once Was, about Pink Diamond and the past, with production by Grace Medley. I also illustrated four tracks.

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself and your music!

I’m a hobbyist musician with a penchant for combining orchestral music with synths and instruments that should not be there. I enjoy spinning out nice tunes and harmonies and messing around with instruments until they sound right. I’m not a very methodical composer; I just make whatever sounds good to my ears and best evokes the feelings I’m trying for. And apparently, it works!

Q: Briefly describe the process of working on your track/illustration!

With Oceanic Flight, the whole song concept started with that big building chord right at the start. Then I wrote the lyric line, “free me, free me, free me!” I felt that the punchy melody really captured Lapis’ desperation and fear of being forgotten, but it was just as easily flipped into a determined declaration (“take me, make me, break me!”). The rest of the song was structured around building up towards those lines.

I really only composed on What Once Was. It was an experiment with instrument sounds, but I found it hard to continue. So I put the unfinished track in the server, and I don’t remember how it happened but Grace stepped in and offered to finish it, and I thought her style would fit my vision for it perfectly. She overhauled the instruments, produced it to realise the sound I was going for, and bam, we had some album-worthy material!

Q: What’s your favourite Steven Universe song?

Oh, this is tough, but I’m gonna say Peace and Love (On Planet Earth)! It captures a peaceful but critical moment between life-threatening conflicts. It casually juxtaposes life and death, peace and war, without making a big deal about the drama of it all. It’s just Peridot learning about Earth with Steven, and coming to a gradual realisation that it’s worth protecting. For a song that marks such a transformative moment, it’s very subdued, and I love it for that.

Q: What’s your favourite thing about the track you made?

Oceanic Flight is a big storytelling track and it goes a lot of different places, compositionally and instrumentally. I’m glad it manages to sound coherent even so.

Social media links

Website: circlejourney.net

Twitter: twitter.com/circlejourney

Tumblr: @circlejourneyart


Interview with Jordan Chin

Q: What did you make for the album?

I wrote an original song, inspired both musically and lyrically by Steven Universe. It’s called Growing Up, and it’s about Steven’s coming of age over the course of the show. 

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself and your music.

I come from a musical family and have been drawn to musical instruments for as long as I can remember. After picking up piano, guitar, drums, and voice (at varying levels of success) I focused my creative energies on songwriting and composition. I’ve been working as a composer and sound designer for video games and film since then. 

Q: Briefly describe the process of working on your track!

Usually I’ll start either behind a piano or a guitar and hash out the basic chord progressions I want to use. Nothing complicated, just block chords that inspire me enough to write a melody. I like to move onto drums next to get a sense of how those chords are then “felt.” Everything that follows that is a lovely process of trial and error with different instruments and harmonic lines.  

Q: What’s your favourite (official) Steven Universe song?

It’s Over, Isn’t It. 

Q: What were your favourite moments in the show?

Every Lion episode and every Pearl revelation (especially A Single Pale Rose). I loved the slowly unfolding backstory, and the tragic history that the Crystal Gems tried to hide from Steven. Every time Lion had an episode, we learned more about that same backstory from Rose’s perspective. Those were always the most powerful moments for me. 

Q: Why did you decide to make a track about [coming of age]?

I think many people enjoy Steven Universe because they identify with the immense growth that his character goes through. He’s just a kid, but he deals with some heavy topics regarding love, purpose, and sacrifice. I wanted the lyrical narrative of my track to capture this moment in time right before he “grew up” (and grew a neck), and some of the doubts that he wrestled with along the way. It’s a process many of us deal with (or are dealing with), and in this way, Steven is almost a role model. 

Q: What’s your favorite thing about the track you made?

I think maybe the way it navigates through different musical styles. I’ve never had an easy time editing my choices in instrumentation, but I realized that part of what I love about the original soundtrack is its diversity. There are jazz, chiptune, showtune, and trip-hop influences scattered throughout, and I thought it would be a challenge to do them all (and in under 3 minutes). In this particular case, it felt good not to have to start with any preconceptions about what genre the track needed to be. 

Social media links

Website: jordanchinmusic.com
Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/jordanchin
YouTube: youtube.com/jordanchinmusic
Facebook: facebook.com/jordanchinmusic
Twitter: twitter.com/jordanchinmusic