Wish You Were Here, written for the Boston Pops, pays homage to Colin McPhee, one of the first western musicologists to study Balinese gamelan, as well as to the great illustrators Carl Barks and Herge´ (responsible for Donald Duck & Tintin, respectively). Muhly has written a completely romantic and fanciful gamelan-influenced piece. On top of this twittery and excited music, a long, lonesome melody unfolds. After a desolate interlude with severe, ship’s-horn brass, the energetic patterns start again, and the long line returns, this time with a triumphant, revelatory ending.
Arranged for orchestra, this piece has a duration of approximately 8 minutes.