You may or may not know that I’m not necessarily a fan of the “Think Piece” however for the purposes of this post, these times I will venture into that territory for peacesake. Music as Stevie showed us many moons ago, is of, in, for and by the mind. While Paul McCartney pondered what’s wrong with the silly love song and Tina implored that love really doesn’t have anything to do with it, Marvin stepped to the fore and placed these dichotomies into their proper context by simply asking “What’s Going On?” a, no the starting point.

You see we often equate love with the heart and while the heart does have its sway over love, love cannot manifest without the right mind. No love, no peace. A mind that is not right has no housing for love in it and so it follows that what we are looking at today is the product of many mislead minds. This is nothing new, we just have the technology in place to shine a light on many ills that were previously in darkness. I just want to interject real quick here that perhaps it’s time to realize that you should try to live your life in such a way that if a camera was to record you, you could watch it back and feel positive(not perfect) about your actions. That’s a challenge of the life we lead.

So back to this peace… clearly it’s sorely needed. But how do we arrive at peace when so much of what we are presented with daily is the furthest thing from that state of being? Perhaps, the veritable wake-up call is needed to change the narrative because all of these problems can be traced to what we’ve been told and sold and ultimately embedded in the mind. This is the point where I posit some lyrics for thought from none other than Prince from his Lotusflower project “Colonized Mind”. Dig if you will…

If you look, you’re sure gonna find
Throughout mankind’s history
A Colonized Mind

The one in power makes law
Under which the colonized fall
Without God, it’s just the blind leading the blind

Minds do matter. So many are unaware of the pathos that is so deeply ingrained in their minds when it comes to others unlike themselves that the other doesn’t matter and we all know, see and can hear what happens when that type of mentality is embraced. What does all of this have to do with music? Everything. Music can and has gone where physical and psychological borders prevent the exchange of ideas and understanding which are at the bedrock of love which leads to peace. It’s not that there aren’t writers out there putting pen to paper and embracing the love movement but they are often unheard and unseen because of the profitability of the divisive and hate-filled political news cycle, the salaciousness of faux – reality television and the high trans fat, sugar laden corporate commodities otherwise known as popular music.

So maybe it’s time en masse to unplug and refocus so that we can move together in love to ultimately reach a place of peace. In many ways it could be as simple as considering these three questions in all situations: Ask yourself first “What’s Going On?” then within the situation ask yourself “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” if you can see the love in your actions or the actions of others involved proceed. If not, flee. When it is apparent that the love is there step back and ponder “What’s Wrong With That?” your answer should always be absolutely nothing and you should say it again to remind yourself of where you are. You have arrived @peace.

Ivan Orr is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and writer. A native of Charlottesville, Virginia Ivan was involved with the forming and nascent days of The Music Resource Center as its first Program Director. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music, Ivan currently resides in Richmond, VA where he maintains an active performance and production schedule while serving as the Music Editor for Grown Folks Music, a position he has held since 2010.