Father and son form ecclectic world fusion band, Indalo Wind

by: PHOTO BY JONATHAN HOUSE. - Jacob Walter and his father Eric, left, perform a song in their living room. As the two-man band Indalo Wind the pair have played at several private and local venues and will play at the Tigard Area Farmers Market, Sept. 16.There aren’t many eighth-graders at Fowler Middle School who can claim to have been on a “world tour” with their band.

But Jacob Walter can.

The 13-year-old Metzger student makes up half of the band “Indalo Wind,” which he performs in with his father which he performs in with his father, Eric.

The Walters have played together since Jacob first picked up the guitar at age 8.

It was informal at first, Jacob said. He would play with his father — an on-again, off-again musician — on camping trips or in the living room.

It wasn’t until the family was on vacation in Greece two years ago that the duo became serious, Eric said. After performing together in the village square of the town they were staying in, the father and son were hooked.

“That was when we thought we might get serious about it,” Eric said. “We thought, ‘Let’s go for it.’”

Jacob strummed a small ukulele, while his father played a Native American flute.

“We always try to perform whenever we go somewhere,” Eric said. “I have always loved the idea of music as ambassadorship — using music as an instrument of good will.”

Since then, the two have performed at events across the Pacific Northwest, including frequent appearances at the Tigard Area Farmers Market and return to the market on Sept. 16.

Jacob, an accomplished Flamenco guitar player in his own right, plays mostly ukulele in Indalo Wind.

“That was the first instrument I ever learned,” he said.

by: PHOTO BY JONATHAN HOUSE. - Eric Walter and his son Jacob don't confine themselves to one particular instrument. They have a wide variety that they choose from, including a Native American flute. Jacob, a teenager of few words, has set his sights on a career in music.

“It is what I like to do,” he said. “That and science.”

He often brings a ukulele to school to play during lunch, he said.

“I’ll take it into the courtyard and play,” he said.

A prolific composer, Jacob also writes music for flamenco guitar and ukulele.

“Jacob just slipped right into it,” his father said. “He really has a feel for it. Music is in him.”

With several gigs under their belts, Eric and Jacob said their collaboration has made each of them better musicians.

“He really pushes me,” Eric said of his son. “He learns so fast. I can’t get it the way he does.”

Describing their music to people has been difficult, Eric said. They try to infuse their music with inspiration from every country they visit.

“Our music is drawn from where we go — Italy, Austria, Slovenia.” Eric said. “Our songs reflect all of those places. We like to keep ourselves open to whatever comes out of us.”

Closer to home, Eric and Jacob’s musical inspirations are no less ecclectic.

“I love coming from all over the place,” Eric said. “If you look through our CD collections, you’ll see everything from Pearl Jam to Mozart to Led Zeppelin to classical flamanco music from the 1940s, to jazz, bluegrass and Grateful Dead.”

Like much of the band’s influences, Indalo Wind’s name comes from a prehistoric magical symbol from Spain, which is said to protect homes from evil.

It was on a stormy day in the mountains that Eric first saw the symbol in a cave.

“I was very taken with it,” he said.

The symbol, a man holding a rainbow across his outstretched hands, now sits outside the Walters’ Metzger home and has become the symbol for their band.

The duo mostly performs on ukulele, but guitar, Native American flute, banjo and an instrument known as “the box” also make appearances in Indalo Wind shows, Jacob said.

Eric and Jacob say they have no problem fusing musical styles and instruments from across the planet together.

“People talk about the purity of music, but to me that’s abusrd. It all comes from somewhere else,” Eric said. “I love how music is always growing, and so are we. Music is like a plant. You have an idea and it grows with more leaves and flowers. That’s what music is to us.”