Övgön buurain süyeger

Övgön buurain süyeger
(The wise words of a white haired forefather)

Music, Art and Story by Steve E. Morel. ©2024.

“Övgön buurain süyeger” (The wise words of a white haired forefather) is the first album of Steve E. Morel. It includes 15 tracks for a duration of 70mn. It is deeply inspired by his experience in Mongolia since 2014. All melody were composed on and for the traditional Mongol instrument “Ikel”. The intention behind this album is to give to the listener a feeling of proximity, as if the music was played just beside, maybe around a fire, without any artifice, simply the instrument, by itself. This album also wishes to create a space in which one may meditate, or even dance in the rhythm inspired by the bii.
Each of the melodies expresses a chapter of a story that begins at the end of autumn until the arrival of spring. By going through this story you will be able to relive one’s memory of a journey in Mongolia.



  1. Тамлага /Tamlaga/ – Invocation
  2. Сохор элээний ширтэлт /Sokhor eleenii shirtelt/The gaze of the sightless black kite
  3. Эрчимт голын харгиа /Erchimt goliin khargia/The flow of the lively river
  4. Гуринх эх чоно /Gurinkh ekh chono/The ravenous mother wolf
  5. Хиа дөнөн буга /Khia dönön buga/The four-year-old red deer scout
  6. Модноо дүүлэх хэрэм /Modnoo düülekh kherem/The hopping squirrel in the wood
  7. Үүлэн чөлөөний наран /Üülen chölöönii naran/The gleaming sun within the interstice of clouds
  8. Цөхөрсөн онгодын аяглал /Tsökhörsön ongodiin ayaglal/The tantrum of the dejected spirit
  9. Хөх хомоолын май /Khökh khomooliin mai/The whirlwind of the khomool’s smoke
  10. Уулын савдгийг аргадахуй /Uuliin savdgiig argadakhui/The soothing of the mountain’s guardian spirit
  11. Гэнэн майга бор /Genen maiga bor/The ingenuous bow legged bear
  12. Бэлгэт зарааны мөрөөр /Belget zaraanii möröör/The path of the hedgehog of good omen
  13. Хайрханы сүлд ирвэс /Khairkhanii süld irves/The majestic snow leopard of the Khairkhan
  14. Урин ханш нээхүй /Urin khansh neekhüi/The rejuvenation of the spring
  15. Мордох /Mordokh/Departure

Also available on Spotify, iTunes, Tidal, Pandora, Deezer…


Chapter 1
Tamlaga – Invocation

This tale takes place in the late of autumn, when the first snowflakes gently fall on the land. We gather around a freshly prepared bonfire lit from branches of birch and pine to invoke and honour our forefather. It is with undeniable joy and excitement that we gather for his arrival. His wise words and counsel always lift our spirits and guide us to a better place… One could say toward our soul purpose.

The ceremony starts with a melody inspired by ancestral times, whispered by the wind passing through the trees and swaying grass, travelling above high mountains and through vast valleys. As the rhythm intensifies we feel our forefather getting closer, grasping his echoing voice from afar in indistinguishable words, and sometimes even laughter. The melody imbued by the surrounding nature continues its journey, as if ridden by our coming guest…

Eyes closed, we all wait, our body swaying furtively. Our hands laying on our laps, with palms facing the sky. A sign of respect as well as a gesture of welcoming. The melody continues to grow, building the space to receive our forefather. Following a breathtaking rise in intensity, like the hoof falls of a horse, heavy on the ground before the final surge to push toward the finish line of an intense race, our beloved sits among us. Slowly, he becomes familiar with his physical form. He stows his instrument behind him, on his left side. He sets his right elbow on his lap, and prepares his right hand, ready to receive his silver bowl of fresh milk. After a few sips, we know that we can approach him with reverence and respect. One after another we greet him and let him smell our scent from our forehead, a way for him to get familiar with each of us present. With his cheerful character, he entertains us with a joke or two while we ask him, as is custom, if he travelled well. We all smile and jubilate for the moments to come. After this affable and tender introduction, he takes his pipe to smoke his favourite tobacco, peacefully, quietly… A moment to collect himself… while patiently, we wait for him to begin telling his stories…

Chapter 2
Sokhor eleenii shirtelt – The gaze of the sightless black kite

Enveloped by the sweet scent of his pipe, we listen attentively to the slow, gravelly and elderly voice of our grandpa. We feel above us the observant gaze of a black kite, bird of prey with light brown feathers, a sharp beak, angled wings and a distinctive forked tail, which is often considered as the ride of our ancestors’ spirits. It peacefully soars and glides in circles, calling… and scrutinises each of our movements, as if verifying that our grandpa landed safely and that everything is going well. Its curiosity leads it to observe our reunion. 

Now immersed in the conversation, we all start to feel more comfortable. A simple yet intimate atmosphere sets in as we share the still steaming bun cookies draped with fresh clotted cream. Salted milk tea in which we can see a bit of butter melting warms our bodies and our hearts. One by one, we sit beside our grandpa to ask for his wise words and guidance. 

In the vast clear sky resonates the shrill screeching voice of the kite. It can be heard in the distance and gives us the pleasant feeling that Tengri is close and is looking upon us. The bird takes great care to sense our intentions and to confirm that the meeting with our grandpa is unfolding well. After a while, its curiosity is satisfied. It then takes off with a beat of its wings, and disappears on the horizon. There, it will wait for the sign from our grandpa to join him during his departure.

Chapter 3
Erchimt goliin khargia – The flow of the lively river

Not too far lies a wide and powerful river. Its banks are whitened by the ice which gradually builds as the snow slowly accumulates. The sonorous surge of its intense flow, splashing between the rocks and colliding with the ice, resonates in a low and captivating rumble. Through this monotonous melody, we can almost perceive the life of this river since its birth, gushing from its source, flowing down the slope of a mountain, gradually joined by other streams, growing until it becomes a torrent, crossing underground and woods, quickly overtaking us to finally break free in a final frenzy, in a surrounding lake.

We become accustomed to this dull and permanent tone. Its constancy soothes our souls and relaxes our beings, investing the space and shaping the decor of a story that our grandpa is about to tell.

To read the next chapters