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Edgar Hemery, student entrepreneur, inventor of new musical interfaces, on the border between art and science

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Every month, MINES ParisTech offers you the opportunity to discover a PhD student and his/her career path in connection with the School or its research centres. Today, meeting with Edgar Hemery, student entrepreneur at the MINES ParisTech robotics centre.
 
Musician and researcher, Edgar Hemery is currently setting up his company to develop an atypical and innovative musical instrument, which he invented during his thesis. A new instrument, capable of creating electronic sounds from gestures in space.
 
 

A journey between music and science, creativity and technique

 
From the age of 7 to 19, Edgar Hemery combined his studies with an apprenticeship at the conservatory, up to the music school leaving certificate, which he obtained one year after obtaining his Baccalauréat. In the meantime, this multi-instrumentalist (double bass, piano, saxophone) completes his academic training by getting involved in different alternative rock bands, sources of personal fulfilment and musical creativity.
 
With his baccalaureate in hand, Edgar joined the prestigious University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He studied Physics and Music (acoustics, signal processing, ...) and spent four years in a cosmopolitan and creative environment. At the same time, he formed a rock band, Screen Kid, with whom he is experimenting with the pattern recognitionwhich allows him to modify the sound of his guitar in real time using a webcam and flash code.
 
After graduation, Edgar flies to Berlin with Screen Kidin contact with the European electronic scene. Then the band split up, but Edgar remains convinced that technology will have an increasing influence on contemporary music thanks to a new generation of interfaces.
 

From invention to entrepreneurship

 
Back in Paris, Edgar Hemery enrolled for a master's degree at the IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et de Coordination Acoustique / Musique) and developed an artistic performance in parallel: the freak space (video), in which he uses the "Kinect" for "Xbox" console as a 3D vision sensor, to link dance movements and musical creation.
 
After the master's degree, an offer for a thesis published by the robotics centre of MINES ParisTech and entitled "Modelling and recognition of gestures and finger touch of objects in artistic interaction" attracted his attention. In this context, Edgar imagined an interface using the "Kinect" and "Leap motion" sensors, allowing him to play music by moving his fingers in space.
 
His defense will be held in October 2016 but, already, his invention is about to give birth to a company: Embodme. It has just been officially created at the beginning of summer 2017, with Clément Chamboulive, associate and former classmate at the University of Edinburgh.
 
Having joined in parallel the incubator PSL Nugget in January 2016, Edgar Hemery is currently applying for a post-doctoral contract with PSL Innovation, which would allow him to join the Agoranov incubator to continue the development of his project and commercialize his invention.
 
 
 

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