The Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson was known for his inventiveness in allowing music and other art forms to communicate with one another in his works. British philanthropist and art collector Richard Thomas was fascinated by this process of breaking down artistic boundaries. Therefore he came up with the idea of commissioning a work that would establish a dialogue between music and the visual arts, and he instantly thought of Jóhann Jóhannsson and Berlin-based painter Thilo Heinzmann. Over a period of four years, the two artists met up from time to time and engaged in a series of in-depth conversations about art, politics and their own lives. Working to, or rather with, a painting by Heinzmann, Jóhannsson composed a new work for string quartet, 12 Conversations with Thilo Heinzmann, recorded by Echo Collective, which has been released on September 20, 2019, the day after what would have been his 50th birthday.