Chords hover, downcast and remote, the space between them of equal weight with the notes, a creaky silence, a silence that bears the slightest fading whiff of a previous key, one that lingers in the air, a waveform protesting its own mortality. They have the clustering hunched introspection of a Morton Feldman piece, and the spectral aura of, more recently, a Kenneth Kirschner. They are the nearly three dozen miniatures that comprise Erich Steiger‘s Avant Forte, recently released for free download by the pandafuzz.com netlabel. They are improvised, but, as with many a great recorded improvisation, they bear the hallmarks of composition, of a considered structure, when listened to a second and third time. Take, for example, number 9 (they are named simply by number), one of the least percussive in the batch. It’s chaotic at times, but it’s a chaos as seen from a distance, not close up, all form, the turmoil below the surface.