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.
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.
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.
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
- 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
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.
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.
"I" is te Obstacle
What is the obstacle to discovering Ultimate Truth?
There is a beautiful Sufi poem in Hindi:
Ek Bastu, Ek Bimb Hai
Main Dono Ke Beech
Jab Main, Main Se Choot Gaya
Sahib Rahyo Samij
Because I am here surrounded by all of the matter, when “I” look at it, every thing looks different.
But when I can come out from the grip of the “I” (ego)
Only God, pure existence, remains there in front of me.
What exactly is this poet talking about?
We can’t see the forest for the trees!
There is only one truth. Everything else in the world is just “matter”. Matter that quite frankly, doesn’t matter. Essentially, all matter is the same. Things may look, smell, taste, sound, or feel different, but that is just because our senses are limited. You see, when everything is distilled down to its pure essence, it’s exactly the same. Everything is energy to put it simply.
Because we are surrounded by matter and depend on our senses and our mind to experience our surroundings, everything we see around us seems to be unique. Even when we try to look more closely, dissect what we see, examine all of the components, everything looks different. Through our senses we cannot identify the Oneness that surrounds us. It is only when we can allow ourselves to separate from our mind and our senses, and experience the world through our TRUE self, the Atman self, that can we see that all is the same. And it is at that time that we can see and understand that this Oneness, this same existence, is God; Anand; Bliss; Truth.
The mind doesn’t even have the ability to register Oneness, because the mind can only see things in parts. The mind is just like a computer screen. It actually creates thoughts and images by putting together millions of pixels. So because of this, the mind is always dissecting everything that it gets from the senses into pieces, labeling those pieces, and filing them in our database for future reference. This is the job of the mind, and it serves a very useful purpose in our day-to-day existence!
What we all need to be constantly reminded of is that fact that “You are NOT your mind”. Every person is a unique soul; a pure soul that is temporarily occupying a particular body and mind. When you can learn to separate your true Atman self from your body and mind, you can begin to experience this Oneness.
This is what is meant by removing the “I”. This is referencing the “I” that we imagine ourselves to be; our ego. When we remove the ego, remove the mind, remove the body, then all that remains is the observer, the experiencer, the pure soul, the Atman self.
Essentially everything that you can say is yours is hence not you. So if you are holding “your pen” then you are not a pen, you are yourself and you possess a pen which is a separate entity. The same is true when you talk about your mind and body! So when you remove everything that can be declared as yours, and hence is not you, then you are left with the Atman self. This is your true I. It’s simple deductive reasoning!
So what the author is saying in his poem is that everything is one, but being entrenched in the worldly matter that surrounds him, he interprets everything as being different. But when he removes the ego and mind from his true existence, all that remains is the Oneness that is God or Ultimate Truth.