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 includes pure dance compositions for the Indian classical dance form of Kathak. One of his tabla 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. Its mood and impact strikes a chord with audiences, including those who don’t traditionally listen to pure classical tabla. Its music is often called "tabla fusion" as the presentation style does not fit the traditional classical mold.
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 composed multi-percussion pieces for dance and music performances, including a collaboration for Kerala martial art form of Kalaripayattu. He is currently composing for a multi-percussion production featuring a multi-Grammy winning musician in the United States, while another one of his projects as a composer is at the intersection of rhythm, medicine, and Indian philosophy.
As a rhythm innovator, Vakil's work not only includes composition, but revitalization and invention. Seeing how he was responsible for moderning classical tabla playing, at the request of Korean percussionists, he has be collaborating with Korean artists to do similar work for the janggu. He has created new rhythm structures to expand the repertoire for the instrument, all while respecting the traditional modes of playing and is modifying the actual drum to create new sounds, increasing its' vocabulary. He is also applying Indian rhythm techniques to djembe playing and fusing Indian melody and rhythm together for the zen tambour, in an effort to make it an instrument for Indian classical music.
Click on images below to get more information on his tabla compositions or hear them here.