Peter Walker — Second Poem to Karmela or Gypsies Are Important (Light in the Attic/Vanguard Vault)
It makes sense that Peter Walker named this album Second Poem to Karmela after a character in the Herman Hesse novel Siddhartha, a novel that tracks one man’s progress to enlightenment through a mastery of skills. It is, after all, the last album that Walker recorded for 40 years, and when he’d finished it, he, too, obliterated his career in a quest for obscure excellence. Walker wandered the world after Second Poem, learning sitar from Ali Akbar Khan, studying flamenco with the gypsies of Granada. When I caught up with him for Dusted about five years ago, he was still strenuously dedicated to the guitar playing art; even now, in his 70s, he makes a point of playing a piece in every key, every day of his life.
Second Poem to Karmela is, in a way, the bridge that Walker jumped off of, the point where he stopped admiring and imitating classical Indian and flamenco music (which he believes are closely linked i.e. that the Spanish gypsies came from India and brought raga with them when they arrived in Andalusia) and began to train to embody it.