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.

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. 


For several years, Bishop has been composing and performing for modern dance and performance art shows in Norway, England and France. He has made music for several short films including «Limerence», «Hyperspace» and «Across the dreams». Aside from making music he works with photography and has made the cover art for his albums.

Press quotes

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"

One of the deeper, darker sets we’ve heard from the Jazzland label in recent years – a set that blends the saxophone of Inge Weatherhead Breistein with lots of layered electronics – at a level that takes us back to our favorite records from the early days of the label! Things here are relatively abstract, with the core elements moved into darkly melodic territory that almost feels like a later more mature answer to sonic territory explored by ECM and 4AD in decades past – delivered here also as a statement to the studio talents of Tortusa, who produced the whole record” -

— review of "Mind Vessel"

Når de to avrunder med «Lucent Leaves Grow», skjenker jeg dem samtidig medlemskap i den eksklusive nasjonalklubben for skarpe utøvere av elektronisk fundert musikk” - Arild R. Andersen

— review of "Calm Brutalism"

A wonderful album to relax and discover. Mastery!” - 10/10 FAZE MAGAZINE

— review of "Mind Vessel"

Det er en veldig spennende dynamikk som oppstår ved en-mot-en live sampling. Breistein spiller på samme tid med seg selv og med en helt annen musiker, og at Breisteins lyder utgjør det andre instrumentet, gjør at lydbildet er utrolig intrikat og enkelt på en gang. Lydene er saksofonens, men manipulasjonen og improvisasjonen gjør at de kan gjenoppdages som noe helt nytt i samme øyeblikk som de produseres. Og det Bishop driver med er ekstremt imponerende. Han mestrer det kompliserte instrumentet utrolig godt, og evner å fange opp både melodiøse lyder helt i ytterkanten av Breisteins register og lydene som er fraværet av toner, enten det er de mekaniske sax-lydene av klaffene eller luft- og tungelyden før og etter tonen. Herfra lager han både abstrakte cinematiske landskap og house- og hip hop-aktige beats, melodifragmenter blir til nye låtgrunnlag som Breistein igjen improviserer over.” - ​Susanne Lohne Iversen

— review of Bishop & Breistein 2021 concert