There are too many ensembles and other individuals to list all of them here, but you will find names as familiar as those of cellist Daniel Yeadon, clarinettist Paul Dean, Cantillation and Gondwana Voices. Confidence is high, then, in the quality and integrity of these performances.
The words they have to present are drawn from a number of writers, and in musical terms they sound fine. What the words actually are, though, is entirely lost en route from printed page to eardrum. Stanhope is mindful enough to give his music the structural cohesion to carry us across the waves of his sea, but whatever message he hopes to bring takes a dive. He refers to a variety of rather mystical sounding sources for his compositions, without being too literal about
what he does with them.
For instance, Aboriginal references in the title track do not mean we hear Aboriginal music. Rather, what we hear is a rhapsodic composition inspired by Stanhope thinking his Aboriginal thoughts. The result is a mix of classically-minded vocal ambience with hints of world music and a dollop of easy listening, which in themselves all work fine. However, if a shadowland is where he is headed, then cutesy items like Little Duck seem rather out of place. Be a shame to get rid of them, though. Perhaps
Stanhope might just bring them out of the shadows.