While in their theoretical essays the spectral composers Grisey, Murail and Dufourt defined their music in antithesis to serialism, closer scrutiny shows that spectralism emerged in some ways through close engagement with – rather than outright rejection of – serialism. This chapter traces the beginnings of Grisey’s spectral style in his student works Vagues, Chemins, le Souffle and D’eau et de pierre. It shows how key elements of Grisey’s style have their roots in the post-serial environment of 1960s French new music and, in doing so, traces a subterranean continuity between serialism and spectralism as organizational systems of musical écriture. By showing how spectral music arose from a critique and reformulation of the serial legacy, this chapter affords us a fuller picture of the legacy of post-war modernism and its continuity down to the present day.