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Veteran masman Peter Minshall, designer of Mas Pieta, says he cannot sort his feelings out about the band’s win as yet.

Mas Pieta, presented by Kinetic Mas, emerged the winner of the Large Band and Overall Band of the Year categories. It was also Downtown Carnival Large Band of the Year winner.

Minshall said if he felt anything, it was that the entire band was a "serious work."

He spoke to Newsday by phone on Friday.

On its theme, he explained, “Not to say it was dread, but it dealt with where we are now. The underlying story of the band is held in the titles of the king and the queen: the power of love versus the love of power.”

He said the planet and humanity currently hang in the balance and addressing those issues was not beyond the public popular art form of a “small Caribbean island” – TT was made to deal with that.

Minshall said people think he is being modest when he says his work only happens by the permission of the people, but the masquerders came out and played the mas and each person was like a member of a symphony orchestra.

“All dressed the same. Like a symphony orchestra in evening black. All! And each one carried an instrument and...each person in the band, if they put their two wings together, completes a circle.

“And each person has these lines radiating. It is a symphony band, not for the ear but the eye,” he said.

Minshall said in all other expressions of theatre that he knows of, what one wears is secondary, but in mas what you wear is the work of art and you play it.

“Check Minshall out. What people who are adorning their naked body are playing is their naked body.

"So that does not really quite fit into the notion of 'what you wear is a work of art.'”

He said that is why the North Stand was broken down, because no one was playing mas any more.

“In fact, that whole group – and I am not blaming anybody, that whole group, capitalism, globalisation – the little island loses its own self in the force of these big international powerful trends".

He said people had to find ways to protect the bele queen from the influence of Beyonce. Even though he loved Beyonce he loved the bele queen even more.

Minshall said one had to have a little dirt under their nails to hold on to the mas.

Asked if he felt optimistic about the future of mas, in hte light of emerging bandssuch as K2K and Moko Somokow, he said the best thing that happens in Carnival has nothing to do with fine design.

“It is when we put mud on our bodies and all become one with each other and the earth in the J’Ouvert.”

Asked if he had started working on next year’s design as yet, Minshall said, “Girl, behave yourself.”

 The original article can be found here

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