TJ Porter is a 56 year-old Canadian who has lived in Istanbul since 1996. He works as an English teacher at Yeditepe University, but has been creating music for almost 40 years. In Istanbul, he has played guitar and bass in several punk/alternative bands: #13, Karatahta, and The Blairs. In 2010, he turned his attention to electronic music, and has been regularly releasing albums on Bandcamp (tjporter/bandcamp.com). He primary influence is 1970s Krautrock bands such as Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk, Klaus Schulze, and Cluster.
His new album, Odyssey was released by Shalgam Records on November 2018.
This album is not simply about Space; it is also a celebration of the men and women who have shown us the Universe as it truly is.
Space is a theme I have explored a number of times throughout my electronic music career. The more electronic side of Krautrock is often described as Kosmische Musik ("cosmic music"), and I have taken that idea to heart. My visit to Efes (Ephesus) gave the album direction. Sitting beside the Celsus Library and seeing the moon in the clear blue sky was sharp reminder of humanity's age-old quest to touch the stars. Odyssey of course refers back to Homer one of whom may have sitting in exactly the same place two thousand years ago and seeing exactly the same sky that I witnessed. Odyssey also refers to Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, a film I first saw on release in 1968 as a six year-old, and have been fascinated with ever since.
The album is in three parts, each roughly the same length. Part One, with the songs Cosmonaut and Apollo (the space mission named for a Greek god) is a celebration of Earth's early space pioneers. Part Two, with the songs Solar Wind, Hubble (The Universe is Expanding), and Red Shift deals with the discoveries we have made about the Universe. Finally, Part Three is the title song, Odyssey, a thirteen minute epic that explores the deep darkness of the Universe and our desire to reach the stars. Inspired by 70s Tangerine Dream, this song takes listeners on a journey through time and space.
"It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."
- Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994