Pierre Henry

Studio zéro

april 1958 - january 1959

The sudden withdrawal to a makeshift studio, Studio zéro, at his parents house in his former bedroom (rue de Léningrad) in the Spring of 1958, with Isabelle Chandon did not prevent him from composing with his own equipment: 2 Tolana tape recorders, 2 Cabasse diphonic loudspeakers and 1 Melodium microphone acquired for the occasion. It was in this twenty square metre room, that he composed Coexistence, inspired by a sculpture by Giò and Arnaldo Pomodoro, and above all Orphée, a ballet for Maurice Béjart. A year later, the RTF authorised him to return to the GRM (Groupe de Recherches Musicales, music research group) sound library in order to file nearly 1300 spools of his sounds... ‘I would go there to do the theoretical and practical filing of everything I had done, and God knows there was a lot! I put the originals in my pocket, went home, copied the originals which I kept and returned the copy! But it was in a considerably worse quality... Then, when François Bayle was put in charge of the GRM, he gave me back all my sounds, and I even got my copies back! I didn't know what to do with them.’ (*).

(*) À voix nue avec Pierre Henry, interviews with David Jisse, Paris, France Culture, 3 décembre 2007.
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Pierre Henry composing Coexistence, Paris, avril 1958 © Créminon/Private collection Pierre Henry
Studio zéro, 1958 - Luc Verrier © Son/Ré

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