Pierre Henry

Studio Apsome 1

february 1959 - september 1964

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Presentation brochure of the Apsome 1 studio - 1960 © Private collection Pierre Henry


In february 1959, in association with the producer Jean Baronnet, he created his own recording studio on rue Cardinet, in the 17th arrondissement of Paris, still assisted by Isabelle Chandon. He was able to continue composing while carrying out commissions and writing various lucrative works. In December 1960 the company Apsome - Applications de procédés sonores en musique électroacoustique (Applications of sound processes in electroacoustic music) - was inaugurated.

At record labels Barclay and Decca, realising that private studio equipment was much superior to that of the radio, Pierre Henry switched from Kodak to Agfa tape and acquired the latest Telefunken models brought back from Germany. Thus completing his collection of Tolana and Philips tape recorders - and ‘new, perfected microphones, in particular the famous Neumann U 47, excellent for vocals’ (*), filters, generators, a corrector, an echo chamber, a mixer, not to mention a sound recording and mixing console.

Balancing commissions and applied music, the first private electroacoustic music studio in Europe enabled him to refine his sound quality, which can be found in some of his major works: La Noire à soixante (1961), Le Voyage (1962), Variations pour une porte et un soupir (1963), La Reine verte (1963)...

(*) Le Son, la nuit, interviews with Franck Mallet, Paris, Éditions de la Philharmonie, 2017, p. 34-35.
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Pierre Henry sitting by the devices of studio Apsome 1, Paris, 1958 ©Private collection Pierre Henry
Studio Apsome 1, 1960 - Luc Verrier © Son/Ré
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Pierre Henry at studio Apsome 1, 1964 © Jean-Régis Roustan / Roger Viollet
Pierre Henry at studio Apsome 1, 1964 © Jean-Régis Roustan / Roger Viollet

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