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With his new solo album Djourou, Malian composer Ballaké Sissoko connects with artists from distant horizons. “Djourou is the cord that connects me to other people,” says Ballake 769; Sissoko with characteristic simplicity. It is a magnificent distillation of that same art: the art of being yourself and being with others. It combines pieces in which Ballake 769; converses, all alone, with his kora, and others in which he takes palpable pleasure in dialoguing with musicians whose contributions come across like declarations of love. Ballaké links with the singer Camille, the band Feu!Chatterton, famous French MC Oxmo Puccino, the clarinetist Patrick Messina, the singer Piers Faccini, Salif Keïta’s sacred voice, the gifted kora-player Sona Jobarteh, alongside cellist and longtime musical partner, Vincent Segal. Ballaké is an improviser and prodigy who is still reinventing himself and who takes his art to explore other worlds. Djourou presents the Malian kora player’s music in all its multi-faceted forms: intimate and universal, singular and plural, solo or in conversation.