Downcast Chords (MP3)

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 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.

[audio:|titles=”Avant Forte (9)”|artists=Erich Steiger]

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