Bernard always enjoyed an organic relationship with “his studio”, or rather the place which first and foremost he would use as a studio.
When I first met him at the GRM in May 1964, when Pierre Schaeffer came to listen to the newly-completed Violostries, he already owned an enormous tape-player which took up a large amount of space in his tiny home on the Rue de Savoie. And later when Bernard would cross the two arms of the Seine to move into my little Parisian apartment, finding space for this cumbersome companion posed a problem. It was part of his tireless daily writing process, and hearing “his sounds” couldn't be done without it. What I didn't realize at the time was how much this machine was, over the years, going find itself many more companions of its own...
Of course, things couldn't remain that way forever – the children were growing up, and the machines too! We were in need of an apartment suitable for our new situation, that is, something with an extra bedroom and a separate studio. In 1969, we indeed found somewhere spacious but still insufficient given Bernard's ever-growing arsenal. Soon enough, what was supposed to be the “parents' bedroom” was converted into “the music room”, with the marriage bed slotted behind a sliding partition in the living room!
Because being a composer doesn't mean not being able to work out how best to use one's working space and family space. On the Rue Ballu, my desk was up against the studio wall, so during several long months I heard tirelessly repeated sounds which were to become the elements of De Natura Sonorum. I was getting worried – would he finish in time? Gradually, these sounds – cut up, transformed, remixed, and reorganized – became music. I understood how an electroacoustic composer worked, tearing the material out of its banality at the root, assembling it sound by sound until it's given a form and is composed into a musical work.
Even when the time came for holidays, this studio wasn't forgotten. We usually left for Italy, towards Amalfi (1,700km away!) with the children and tape-player in the car. As soon as we arrived, a ritual was begun:- in the morning, Bernard worked. He listened, catalogued and sometimes edited his sounds before the bay's sublime landscape while we went down to the beach. Then he joined us for lunch, teaching his son how to swim, shaking himself off in the sea because he was an excellent swimmer. For him to accept cutting the umbilical cord connecting him to his studio, there had to be at least a trip to some far-off land, somewhere which piqued his curiosity. And even then... most of the time, they ended up becoming business trips which meant hours of rehearsal.