Filed Under:

Stephane Wrembel: Music As 'A Question Of Life And Death'

Play associated audio

If you're a moviegoer, there's a good chance you'll recognize Stephane Wrembel's sound, if not his name.

The oh-so-French guitar heard throughout Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris is the work of the Parisian-born musician. Wrembel says he gleaned his style of playing from the musicians at a Gypsy camp in the French countryside, which he would visit several times a week growing up.

"Music, for the Gypsies, is a question of life and death," he tells NPR's David Greene. "It's a way to communicate with the world. It's a way to be one with the universe. It's not like I sit and I have fun or I have no fun; there's no concept like that. Music is vital. It's like eating."

One can't listen to Wrembel's music without thinking of the most famous Gypsy musician of them all, the Belgian jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt.

"I listened to my first Django record, as a musician, when I was 19 or 20 — and I thought it was completely magic," Wrembel says. "I heard notes that I never heard before. There was a complete, different, hidden language. And this is their way of communicating; it's a very subtle way, and a very poetic way, and a very spiritual way to communicate with each other with music."

In the full audio version of this interview aired on Weekend Edition Sunday, Stephane Wrembel discusses his new album, Origins, and demonstrates some of the music that has inspired his guitar playing.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit


Not My Job: Comedian Carol Burnett Gets Quizzed On Cougars (The Cats, Of Course)

In the 1970s, families would sit down together every Saturday to watch The Carol Burnett Show. The first five seasons of the legendary variety show are now out on DVD.

Time To Pursue The Pawpaw, America's Fleeting Fall Fruit

Ever seen a pawpaw in the supermarket? Didn't think so. Ohioan Chris Chmiel wants to change that by growing and promoting this seasonal, mango-like fruit that's native to the U.S.

An Evangelical Leader's Changing Views On Gun Ownership

As legislators fail to find solutions to mass shootings, Evangelical Minister Rob Schenck thinks religious groups have a part to play in educating people about guns and their relationships with them.

This Week In Data Collection News, And The Privacy Paradox

As California tightened its digital privacy protections, news involving Google, Pandora and other firms highlighted the way companies increasingly rely on data about their users. How much do we care?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.