Composed in the fall of 2011 for my culminating master’s recital, Milana is a result of the desire to create a fresh, unique, and meaningful contribution to the small list of pieces that bring world drumming traditions to the concert stage or recital hall. The compositional process centered on my collaboration and interaction with Vinay Shroff. Written in the general form of a short tabla solo, it starts with a slow 10-beat cycle called japtaal. After this introductory section, both players improvise over two different Indian folk rhythms set in 16-beat teentaal. A transitory section features a popular practice in Indian drumming: Both players vocalize, in bols or syllables, and then play complex rhythms, which eventually lead back into the teentaal in double time. The piece ends with a grand tihai, a cadential form that features three cycles of a rhythmic pattern and then three cycles of those three cycles equaling a total of nine times through the pattern. This polyrhythmic technique builds tension and pulls the listener away from the aural recognition of the pulse. Though inspired by the North Indian tradition, the piece brings multiple drumming traditions together. A fusion between the tabla and pakhavaj (North Indian) and the bodhrán (Celtic), cajón (Afro-Cuban), doumbek (Egyptian), and djembe (West African) allows the performers and audience to experience the possibilities of combining drums from around the world. This idea is also the driving principal behind the title, Milana, which is a Hindi word meaning “to mix, combine, or fuse.”