A prolific rhythm expert, Pandit Divyang Vakil’s work as a composer extends well beyond tabla. As a tabla composer, he 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. As a rhythm composer, he has created works for a variety of instruments including African djembe, Korean janggu, drumkit, zen tambour, dholak, and more.
He has worked on several music and dance projects as a composer, including a collaboration with Kerala martial art form of Kalaripayattu. His latest work for dance is for Pradhanica – a kathak dance and world drums ensemble, where he composed music for Indian rhythms for the djembe, cajon, and tabla.
As a rhythm innovator, Vakil’s work not only includes composition, but revitalization and invention. Seeing how he was responsible for modernizing classical tabla playing, at the request of Korean percussionists, he has done similar work for the janggu – creating new rhythm structures to expand the repertoire for the instrument, all while respecting the traditional modes of playing. Experiments have included modifying the actual drum to create new sounds, increasing its’ vocabulary.