Smith and the Kronos Quartet have both received the coveted Polar Music Award
in a ceremony in Stockholm yesterday. The prizes were bestowed by Sweden’s King
Carl XVI in a glamorous procession, fit for royalty, according to Associated Press. In addition to the
prestigious honor, the musicians were also awarded 1 million
kroner - approximately $159,000. Smith was visibly moved, according to
eyewitnesses, thanking her family and band members an adding that she was
“humbled and inspired to receive the prize. In her acceptance speech she also
implored the audience to “turn their hearts and minds and resources toward the
famine in Africa.” And no, we don’t know if she donated her prize to that cause.
For the uninitiated, the Polar Music Prize was founded by Stig Anderson, the manager of Swedish pop group ABBA, back in 1989, and is usually shared by a pop artist and a classical musician. Last year’s prize was shared by Ennio Morricone and Icelandic singer Bjork. Other winners include Sir Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell, and Pink Floyd.
Speaking of Pink
Floyd, Uncut magazine revealed that
the band is getting ready to release several never-before-heard
songs by the late great, eccentric genius Syd Barrett as part of a look back
through the band's back catalog. The august rockers have been combing through
their own vaults and will release the rare material on September 13 including
live recordings, demos, half-finished songs and a “work-in-progress” mix of
their classic album The Dark Side of the Moon.
Nick Mason told Uncut that the band is planning similar treatments to their first to albums, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and A Saucerful of Secrets, which will feature never-released tracks by reclusive founder member Barrett
“I would love that. If we did a (re-released) version of the early stuff, we could have all those (Barrett songs), and then we've got some demos that were made really early on, which I think are just charming." That should be available by early next summer, according to Mason.