Music News Monday: Honens competition, ECHO songwriting prize, and the world’s coolest vinyl record

The Honens International Piano Competition is in full swing, with the five finalists chosen last weekend after grueling deliberations. Now the remaining pianists must pull out all the stops to take home the $100,000 final prize, along with $500,000 in career assistance, making Honens the most lucrative piano competiton in the world. If you're in Calgary, you can check out the noon-hour Encore Concerts this week, with free performances featuring the five finalists, or you can stream the final competition performances later this week as well.

Speaking of prizes, Kathleen Edwards' song “A Soft Place To Land” won this year's ECHO Songwriting Prize, recognizing the best new independent Canadian music in an online voting system open to the public. She'll split the $5,000 with co-writer John Roderick, while the French-language prize went to Koriass for “St-Eustache”. Check out a live video performance of Edwards' winning song below.

In touring news, fans of Grimes were disappointed last weekend with the cancellation of her shows in Calgary, Saskatoon and Winnipeg, as she tweeted that tinnitus was to blame. Can't hold it against her though, no one likes a ringing eardrum. Alexisonfire also announced additional Canadian dates for their farewell tour, with Fucked Up and Monster Truck joining on as openers for the Toronto shows. Fucked Up also revealed the details for their “Long Winter” series of concerts, that will be a “monthly night of immersive and interaactive music, installations, visual art, readings, food and dance to help get Toronto through our long and cold winter. Cool.

Elsewhere, Flavor Flav is facing six years in jail after being arrested for assault, Drake might finally get his high school diploma, and Adele has apparently given birth to a baby boy.

Last, but not least, Japanese sound artist/designer Yuri Suzuki has developed a spherical vinyl record called “The Sound of the Earth”. Field recordings collected by Suzuki play as the stylus passes over different geographical sections of the globe in this 30-minute long “album”. Read more about it at the Guardian and watch the video below to see the work in action.

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