Echo Collective will be performing 12 Conversations With Thilo Heinzmann, a tribute to Jóhann Jóhannsson, at the Yellow Lounge, at Hamburg’s Reeperbahn Festival, on Wednesday, 18 September. The concert will be streamed live on Yellow Lounge’s YouTube and Facebook channels at 9pm CEST.
Jóhann Jóhannsson (1969-2018), the award-winning composer, musician and producer, would have celebrated his fiftieth birthday on 19 September 2019. His work established connections not only between music and other art forms but also between different musical genres and eras. He was obsessed with the texture of sound, regularly bending the barriers between classical and electronic music.
British philanthropist and art collector Richard Thomas was fascinated by this process of breaking down artistic boundaries and wanted to commission a work that was the result of a genuine collaboration between a composer and a painter. He had collected the work of the German painter Thilo Heinzmann and asked the artist if there was a composer he’d be interested in working with. Heinzmann immediately named Jóhann Jóhannsson. The artist had been introduced to Jóhannsson’s music by Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, the musicians better known as Pet Shop Boys, who were also collectors of Heinzmann’s work. Jóhannsson had seen and admired an exhibition of Heinzmann’s painting and readily accepted this unusual commission. Over a four year dialogue Jóhannsson and Heinzmann discussed art, politics and their own lives and the musical result was 12 Conversations With Thilo Heinzmann, a twelve-movement string quartet that considerably stands out among Jóhannsson’s multiple award-winning works.
12 Conversations With Thilo Heinzmann premiered in London on 16 April 2016. After that initial performance Jóhannsson decided he wanted to revise the piece and invited Echo Collective to help produce a final, performance edition of the work shortly before his sudden death in February 2018. Tragically Echo Collective were deprived of the opportunity to discuss the finer points of the score with him but brought the score to life through their previous experience of performing his earlier work, Orphée, as well as through their conversations with the composer about this extraordinary set of pieces. “The first time I heard them play it,” Thomas recalls, “it was like Jóhann was sitting next to me.”
Echo Collective’s performance of 12 Conversations With Thilo Heinzmann, at the Yellow Lounge, will be streamed live on Yellow Lounge’s YouTube and Facebook channels on Wednesday, 18 September 2019 at 9pm CEST.
Echo Collective’s new studio album featuring the world premiere recording of 12 Conversations With Thilo Heinzmann will be released on Friday, 20 September 2019 and can be pre-ordered here.