Nico Muhly's Old Bones is a setting of four texts, three of which are the media's reaction to the discovery of the bones of Richard III in a Leicester car park, the fourth is a poem in praise of the man who supposedly killed the king. Arranged for Countertenor Voice and Lute, it was composed in 2013.
According to Muhly, Old Bones begins with a news report that is delivered as a recitative while the Lute parts go through a number of interesting patterns. The work sets two texts by Philippa Langley of the Richard III Society who, in a series of interviews, brought an emotion and passion to the rediscovery of the bones that humanised the remains and brought the life and death of the king to the public's attention. It is therefore fitting that Old Bones ends with her words: "Everyone else was looking at the old bones, and I was seeing the man."