If movies are to be believed, it probably feels like the lush fur of a mink coat. It might smell like a musky cologne and taste like that first sip of expensive champagne. It almost certainly looks like a center hall of a mansion — glossy, gilded, a little garish.
But what does it sound like? Martin Scorsese contemplated the question in thinking about the musical accompaniment to his historical drama “Killers of the Flower Moon” and came up with an answer that might surprise you: a harmonica.
The stop-at-nothing desire for more, more, more sounds like air moving in and out of an old-timey, rectangular, fit-in-your-pocket instrument.
Specifically, it sounds like D.C. harmonica master Frédéric Yonnet playing that little music box.
“Every time greed pokes his nose on the screen, you hear the upright bass plucking and my harmonica starting to play in front of it,” Yonnet said in a phone interview.
Yonnet, who was born in France and moved to D.C. in 2001, didn’t intentionally navigate his career in the direction of a deadly sin. Mostly, he’s been bouncing from limelight to limelight. Yonnet’s harmonica wizardry caught the attention of Stevie Wonder, with whom he’s repeatedly shared a stage — most famously when the two whipped a crowd into a frenzy with a 2007 harmonica duel at Madison Square Garden. Yonnet has since gone on to perform with Prince, John Legend, Erykah Badu and Ed Sheeran.