Gregory Tan’s Legacy proves a sensitive instrumental work. He terms the album “epic,” and in the substantive sense of the term, the record really is, but that’s not the only source from which it derives its power.
The seven tracks contain soaring work reminiscent of a film score, and in its own way, Legacy does lay down at least the sense of a narrative. That story, though, divorced from lyrics and explicit explanation as it is, proves somewhat open ended, and it’s somewhat excitingly left to the listener to fill in the blanks. Tan does though provide at least some of the general colors of the directions the story takes — he doesn’t go so far off into experimentation so as to leave the listener hanging.
The music stands very efficiently on its own. There’s hardly a demand for a story to allow the listener to “make sense” of the work — the “story” simply serves as an added benefit.
He combines delicate, personable music with well placed reaches to the metaphorical heavens, letting the listener take somewhat of a journey into the great unknown. That sense is heightened thanks to the base practicalities Tan works with — his music sounds like a cascade of the most driving stringed instrument work down to smoothly flowing piano. Legacy almost sounds like the production of an orchestra, although it never loses that personal touch and maintains a space for the listener to make themselves at home. The precise methods Tan uses to craft his songs can be left to your imagination.
The two components to the work — the slower, more meditative segments and the jumping, soaring parts — blend together smoothly and allow for that real and meaningful connection to be made.
The fact that he’s crafted songs that, even with absolutely no lyrics, feel poised to really attach themselves to the listener and “mean something” — even if that’s a fleeting feeling of growth and movement that only lasts for the duration of the song — deserves commendation. He treads the line between sonic experimentation and closely held emotional music in such a way as to craft something strikingly and refreshingly new.
Listen below via Bandcamp.