Hiatus Week 3: Poor Hidalgo

At week three of my hiatus in the sun I have come up with a short guitar piece that I think is quite nice.

The working title is “Poor Hidalgo.”

I have been thinking about the Don Quixote character a lot and it led to this tune which utilizes as a unifying them the Spanish dance pattern called “Quajira” which alternates 6/8 and 3/4 meters.
According to wiki the definition of “hidalgo” is:

“In literature the hidalgo is usually portrayed as a noble who has lost nearly all of his family’s wealth but still held on to the privileges and honours of the nobility. The prototypical fictional hidalgo is Don Quixote, who was given the sobriquet ‘the Ingenious Hidalgo’ by his creator, Miguel de Cervantes. In the novel Cervantes has Don Quixote satirically present himself as an hidalgo de sangre and aspire to live the life of a knight-errant despite the fact that his economic position does not allow him to truly do so.[15] Don Quixote’s possessions allowed to him a meager life devoted to his reading obsession, yet his concept of honour led him to emulate the knights-errant. The picaresque novel Lazarillo features an hidalgo so poor that he spreads on his clothes breadcrumbs from a box to simulate that he has had a meal. His hidalgo honour forbids him from manual work but does not provide him with subsistence.”


Sisyphus Smiles

I have always that thought that the legend of Sisyphus was an apt metaphor for all human endeavors especially creative ones.

For those unfamiliar, Sisyphus is a character from Greek mythology who was doomed to push a boulder up a steep hill for eternity only to see it roll back down and therefore begin the frustratingly futile and laborious process all over again.
One week ago I came up with this rough draft of a poem while on my daily jog. Though I have primarily written only instrumental music the past few years I fully intend to find a proper musical setting for this idea.
To my way of thinking it presents a nice twist to the tale if Sisyphus accepts his predicament with a sort of Zen-like calm and embraces his fate. This twist is what the title derives from.
After all, this is what we all must inevitably do or at least should do.

“Sisyphus Smiles”

Push, push, push…
Seems you are just pushing all of your days,

Head down, shoulders squared
through every chapter, stage, and phase.

“Some day soon,” you tell yourself
You’ll stand atop high ground
and survey the scene with proud content and
as you look around.

You’ll cast your gaze on everything that stretches out for miles
and while the sun breaks through the clouds the weary…
Sisyphus Smiles.

reynold d. philipsek