John Derek Bishop

musician and producer

John Derek Bishop (alias Tortusa) is a Norwegian-American electronic musician and producer from Stavanger, Norway. He has released seven albums on Jazzland Recordings and was nominated for the Spellemann Prize (Norwegian Grammy) for his solo album «I Know This Place». The albums har received good critics in the magazines Mojo, Prog Magazine, og Future Music. Bishop has collaborated with artist Arve Henriksen, Eivind Aarset, Jan Bang, Erland Dahlen, and more.

A cornerstone in Bishop´s production is the texture and timbre of sound. He searches for sounds that are out of the ordinary and places the listener in different emotional states. For compositional processes, he utilises both hardware and software equipment including retro tape recorders, modular synthesizers, samplers and a diverse array of other tools. His music is influenced by ambient, electronica and experimental jazz. 

a seductive ambient heat haze of rarefied beauty” - PROG MAGAZINE

— review of solo album "Bre"

sonic tapestries blending field recordings with acoustic and electric instruments, often warped into strange new shapes” - ★★★★ MOJO MAGAZINE

— review of solo album "Bre"

a beautifully and slowly evolving album that takes us on a transcendental journey that feels simultaneously unfamiliar, benign and inviting…. Tortusa’s finest and most distinctive work to date” - 8/10 - FUTURE MUSIC MAGAZINE

— review of solo album "Bre"


On stage Bishop live-samples the musicians he plays with and uses this as his sound pallet to improvise with. Theses recordings are used to create chords, textures, melodies and rhythm. This way of improvising has been pioneered by Jan Bang. Bishop utilises modern sampling equipment to push the boundaries of this new instrument in improvised music. 

Below is a live-sampling studio performance with saxophonist Inge Weatherhead Breistein, all recorded live with no overdubs.

music releases