This should have been easy. How many times have we heard the story before? All you would have needed to do was create a template, and switch out the names and details of the characters. “After years of (insert reason for disaffection with previous band), we at (insert band name here) have decided to branch out on our own.  We hope to bring a sense of (insert monikers for familiarity and camaraderie) to the road, so that everyone can enjoy themselves, affordably, for Carnival.” Cue to models wearing that band’s interpretation of the tried-and-true bikini, beads and feathers. The narrative has played itself so many times before in exactly the same manner. Trust Kathy and Karen Norman to take that narrative, and rewrite it completely in a manner of their own fashioning. If you find the words “story”, “narrative”, “tale” and their synonyms to be repetitively present in this piece, it is because “The Waters: Seas of Consciousness” is meant to be just that: a tale. The girls have stressed this point repeatedly. More importantly, it can also be seen as their tale. “The Waters” is meant to chronicle the rise, fall and; eventually, the phoenix-like, rebirth of each of us. It also eerily mirrors the path that Kathy and Karen have followed. After displaying signs of being prodigiously talented in Fine Arts all the way through secondary school (Karen even placed first in Art in CXC, and both gained distinctions in Art in Cambridge exams); the twins switched to International Business in college, due to circumstances beyond their control. They are now duly employed as investment bankers on Wall Street. It is a career choice which they both have admitted has not always sat completely well with them. And it was out of one of those moments of frustration and the need for catharsis, that K2K Alliance and The Waters was born. As with all good stories though, this one is not without a sense of irony. The Norman twins are intensely private women. While they have always been involved in fine arts, and even performance art, they have also always been able to hide effectively. Whether it would be in the numbers of a choir, or a dance troupe, or behind the anonymity of a signature on a canvas, the twins always found a way to avoid the limelight. This stems partially from a belief that the quality of a body of work, should not be intrinsically linked to a name. In short, branding should not dictate the perception of the design. And therein lies the rub. It would have been easier for the twins to hide in the shadow of their work, if their designs had not shone such a blinding light on their existence. Mas Man has hailed the presentation as the natural progression towards the future of Trinidad Carnival, a blend of mas and high fashion; in the search for new ideas and fresh perspectives (sic). It’s kind of difficult to stay anonymous, when those are the compliments being thrown your way. The other compliment that keeps getting tossed their way, and the one that they both admit to being most confusing, is At Workthe high title of “Marse”. Strangely enough, both twins admit to having more of a proclivity for the artistic influences of Wayne Berkley, even though their work seems to share more in common on a basic level with Peter Minshall. This is once again no more apparent than in their choice of Monday wear for The Waters. Veteran mas players are familiar with the trend of receiving swathes of cloth for Monday wear, and being told to “do as you wish”. Peter Minshall pioneered it, and Brian McFarlane and Island People have notably borrowed the concept. The Waters has now taken the idea, and (what else) put their own spin on it. Instead of receiving a simple swath of cloth, ladies shall be receiving a silk blend wrap dress, which can be used after Carnival Monday. The twins also proudly boast that while they have included instructions to style the dress in 8 different ways, there are actually numerous other permutations for creative minds. This is not the kind of thinking that offers the safety of anonymity behind your designs. This is the kind of thinking that turns you into rock stars in an industry that has been crying out for new heroes. Ultimately, it was not the goal of the Norman twins to “save” Carnival. That was never their intention. In their humble opinion, Trinidad Carnival does not need “saving”. The plan in itself was inherently simple. "The Waters: Seas of Conciousness" was a concept of what the creation of a story in mas making should be like, infused with their own sensibilities, and born of the need to satisfy their growing creative urges. The girls simply wanted to bring the art of storytelling back to mas design in their own unique way. In their minds, the initial task was easy. And in bringing this plan to fruition, they did the one thing that they did not expect. They made it a little bit harder to move about inconspicuously. Then again, when you listen to their tale, that development simply seems to fit seamlessly into the larger narrative. Triniyute is not an actual writer, though his love for life, liquor and liming is genuine. He sometimes maintains the blog Soul Reasoning, you know, when he’s not liming by the bar.    For more information: K2K Alliance and Partners facebook fanpage