As a tabla composer, Pandit Divyang Vakil has given shape to a contemporary form of classical tabla playing though his body of work that numbers in the tens of thousands of compositions. His work flows with the sound of modern music, while retaining the classical essence and richness of the tabla tradition. One of his composing specialties is his contemporary tabla ensembles. Showcasing the power of pure tabla, these 2 to 5 member ensembles perform highly intricate compositions in perfect synchronization and harmony. Each ensemble’s music is customized to the artists performing it. The mood and impact of these works strikes a chord with audiences, including those who don’t traditionally listen to pure classical tabla.

Below are details on his group tabla compositions.

Talavya by Pandit Divyang Vakil

Talavya

Global ambassadors for Indian percussion, contemporary classical tabla ensemble Talavya is a leading example of tradition and modernity coming together seamlessly.

Created by Indian rhythm maestro Pandit Divyang Vakil, the Indian hand-drums tabla comes to the center stage in the hands of the young, highly trained players of Talavya – a tabla ensemble that revels in the tablas’ hidden potency as a rhythmic and melodic instrument capable of expressing just about anything.  This high-energy and dynamic percussion ensemble making the centuries-old art form of tabla accessible to all.

The intensity and generosity of Talavya keeps to the spirit of Indian classical art, while expanding its palette and its audience. Each performance moves between rousing peaks and slower, smooth meditative passages not usually associated with percussion. It engages the pure sonic energy of Indian traditions, the narrative possibilities of the drum, and the wide-open spaces for improvisation, creativity, and personal expression Indian arts offer.

Ambassadors for Indian percussion, Talavya has collaborated with artists such as Mickey Hart (of Grateful Dead), Shakura S’Aida, Sidi Toure and Cuban Fire.  As educators, the ensemble has led workshops and residencies across the world.

Taalika Female Tabla Ensemble by Pandit Divyang Vakil

Taalika

Taalika is the world’s only female tabla ensemble. Blazing new trails for female percussionists in a field dominated by male artists, Taalika sets a new precedent for female drummers. Taalika currently consists of Jin Won of South Korea, Sejal Kukadia of NY, and Heena Patel of Toronto. All of Taalika’s music has been composed by the artists’ guru Pandit Divyang Vakil. His first work for Taalika was in India in 2011, after which re-composed the entire work in 2012, and added to it again 2013. Taalika has performed numerous shows in the United States and all of its artists are affiliated with the Taalim School of Indian Music.

Ardha Taal Chakravyuha by Pandit Divyang Vakil

Ardha Taal Chakravyuha

Chakravyuha (noun):

    • an ancient army formation, circular in nature, that could only be created and exited by a select few;
    • a symbol of technical and artistic mastery

True to its name, Ardha Taal Chakravyuha is a technically rich and immensely difficult tabla composition created by Pandit Divyang Vakil. Wrapped in mathematical intricacies, it is a classical tabla ensemble that highlights the depth of Indian classical tabla. Based on the concept of his previous work – Ardha Taal Chakra, Ardha Taal Chakravyuha is a re-invention of a unique concept with new taals and compositions, in a more challenging form. Starting with the smallest rhythm cycle of 2.5 beats, the circle grows, one beat at a time, making its way to 15.5 and ultimately landing on 16. Performed by five talented artists of Pandit Divyang Vakil, the complexity of the work is cloaked by perfect harmony and synchronization.

Power of Tabla by Pandit Divyang Vakil

Power of Tabla

The Power of Tabla draws its strength not from mere volume, but from the ebbs and flow of the composition – a dynamic combination of tradition and modernity – a presentation of contemporary tabla. Composed by Pandit Divyang Vakil, the Power of Tabla is a duet composition shows that tabla, traditionally an Indian classical percussion instrument, has the power to the appeal to the masses and maestros.

Tabla Triveni Tabla Ensemble by Pandit Divyang Vakil

Tabla Triveni

Tabla Triveni is a trio tabla ensemble composed by Pandit Divyang Vakil especially for the faculty of Taalim School of Indian Music.  It is a diverse percussion group that demonstrates the universal appeal of Indian drumming.  This high-energy performance is set to the rhythmic cycles of 16 beats, known as Teentaal.  Tabla Triveni showcases the range of tabla compositions, including peshkar, kayda, relas and gats.  Each of these compositions has unique and distinctive musical properties which set them apart from the others, and so Tabla Triveni is filled with a broad range of energetic and exciting elements.

Members of Tabla Triveni have included Loren Oppenheimer, Michael Lukshis, female tabla player Sejal Kukadia and Prasad Joshi with accompaniment on harmonium or guitar.

Tabla Taandav by Pandit Divyang Vakil

Tabla Taandav

Full of thunder and energy, Tabla Taandav is true to its name and is a youthful composition for all to enjoy. Tabla Taandav was performed by artists young in age, but contrastingly very serious, mature and authoritative about their art.

Casting a melodious spell over their audiences, Tabla Taandav was comprised of five tabla artists of Pandit Divyang Vakil – Om Panchal, Kaumil Shah, Rahul Shrimali, Jainam Shah and Sahil Patel, who presented a very contemporary shade of classical music, supported on the keyboard by Rushi Vakil. Invigorating the complicated composition with their own energy, the musicians create a harmonious flow of rhythm.

Ardha Taal Chakra by Pandit Divyang Vakil

Ardha Taal Chakra

It is harmony… created by five tabla players.
It is melody…encircled by the most difficult calculations of rhythm.
When it comes to technical genius and involvedness, its almost impossible to reach the height of Pandit Divyang Vakil’s composing brilliance. Ardha Taal Chakra is one of the rarest kinds of compositions to be performed by a group of tabla players (Tabla Anekbandhi).

Starting with the smallest rhythm cycle of 2.5 beats, the circle grows, one beat at a time, making its way to 15.5 and ultimately landing on 16. Ardha Taal Chakra is technically very complex and includes many brand new taals.

Ardha Taal Chakra is performed by five talented artists of Pandit Divyang Vakil – Om Panchal, Kaumil Shah, Rahul Shrimali, Jainam Shah and Sahil Patel , supported with the dynamic melodies (lehra) by Rushi Vakil on the keyboard.  At the time of the debut performance of Ardha Taal Chakra, all artists were under the age of 20.

Tabla Upaj

A duet tabla composition created by Pandit Divyang Vakil for two of the first Taalim School of Indian Music faculty members – Sejal Kukadia and Loren Oppenheimer. Tabla Upaj is a stylish presentation of a range of tabla compositions, including peshkar, kayda, relas and gats.

Tabla Tarkhat by Pandit Divyang Vakil

Tabla Tarkhat

The first professionally performing tabla ensemble by Pandit Divyang Vakil, Tabla Tarkhat forged the way for a new style of presentation of a classical art.