[I. Shinji, 1997 Evangelion Symphony by the New Japan Philharmonic]

Hi guys! Welcome to episode seven of Tenny’s Tunes. I am your host, Tenny.

For the past couple episodes, we took a look at some of the greatest pieces composed during the Romantic period in the 19th century, from Rachmaninoff’s prelude to Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade. In analyzing and learning to perform what many people like to broadly call “classical pieces,” there is a certain level of freedom for you to create your unique interpretations, but in the end, you are to pretty much obligated to follow the notations for changes in loudness or texture of the sound set forth by the composers.

For me personally, I started off learning classical pieces on the piano by memorizing the music scores, so music theory didn’t occur to me as something really important until the time I took some of the music level assessments that required me to learn theory. Still, it was solely for the purpose of passing the tests, and I didn’t see the need to apply theory anywhere else.

That is, until my junior year of high school. You know how YouTubers these days like to use background tracks in their videos? Some of the most common choices, like pop music in America, trap beats and anime music, appeared in so many of these videos I had come across that I decided it would be a good opportunity to practice my theory skills by analyzing the fundamental chord progressions that form the skeletal structures for these catchy tunes.

I think this week is a good time to share with y’all a past example of one such practice. The music you are hearing in the background is a 1997 rendition by the New Japan Philharmonic of “I. Shinji,” a piece composed by Shiro Sagisu, the legendary Japanese musician who created background tracks for countless movies and animes alike. The music summarizes the internal conflicts of Shinji, a young boy who undergoes depression and existential crisis in a ‘90s Japanese cartoon show called Neon Genesis Evangelion.

As you may have noticed, this symphonic rendition features a piano concerto, where the piano serves as the forefront instrument guiding the orchestra through each segment. There were no official music scores of the pieces performed that were released, so I attempted at recreating the piano concerto by listening to the performance over and over. I believe there is still room for greater improvement, but for now, please enjoy my rendition of “I. Shinji.”

I am Tenny Tsang, and this is NBN Audio. Thank you so much for listening, and I will see you next time on Tenny’s Tunes.

[Piano Adaptation - I. Shinji 1997 Philharmonic Version]