Celebrated masman Peter Minshall has applauded the selection of Neal & Massy Trinidad All Stars as the 2014 Band of the Year (Large) winner. The Duke Street, Port-of-Spain, band portrayed Sailors Ashore at a Tropical Fiesta, a traditional sailor mas with approximately 2,000 masqueraders. Speaking on Monday, Minshall, who said he was not feeling well, said of the All Stars victory:
“It feels like if every river, even Maracas, was polluted, and have been cleansed. I felt refreshed and clean. It has reached the point where all the other s--t has now balanced itself.” Asked about his input into the production of the Miss Miles band, presented by theatre director and playwright Tony Hall, Minshall said: “I cannot appraise my own work. I was not on the road and only saw pictures of the band in the papers. I never saw it in performance. It was a very elemental design but the challenge was exciting.
“Tony’s inspiration was based on three characters dressed in black some time last year in Woodford Square. I think that Tony needed to have about 100 people to be effective. “I thought that if you are going to put Miss Miles on the road she needed to look young and sexy. She also had to look like an avenging angel.” About the influx of small creative bands in the mas, like K2K, Cat in Bag and Vulgar Fraction, Minshall said: “A band doesn’t have to be big to win Band of the Year.
“One little costume had the power and integrity to upstage an entire Carnival. That’s what art does.” He was referring to his design of the Humming Bird for Sherry Ann Guy in 1974. “There ought to be a competition in which bands need to be no less than 30 and no more than 300 masqueraders. Breaking with all the old rules, one criteria would be the band with the most creative mas will win the prize of $3 million. All young people who would want to do something creative will be inspired by this.”
Refusing to comment further on the Band of the Year competition or the proliferation of bikinis, feathers and beads costuming and mega-sized bands, Minshall added: “The rules for creating art in Africa and in India have always been community-oriented. That is what Carnival has always been and we have that in our memory. ‘Good art’ no longer just happens in a gallery.”
Source: Trinidad Guardian