Dechen is a Swiss/Tibetan artist who has lived most of her life in Switzerland. Although Switzerland was to become her new home, she never forgot her roots. She is the eldest daughter of Dagsay Rinpoche, a Tibetan Lama who gave her the transmission of the precious Mantras that she is singing all over the world. Dechen is married to Dr. Kalsang Shak, a Tibetan doctor and is a mother of two daughters. Before her musical path started to grow, she has been working for almost 20 years in the Marketing Department of an international company and also teaching Tai Chi Chuan for many years. She lives in a small village overlooking the lake of Zurich.
THE BEGINNING OF HER MUSICAL CAREER
1989 she released her first single CD called ‘Bodhichitta’ and caught the attention of several music producers.
In 1994 Ryuichi Sakamoto asked Dechen to sing for the soundtrack of Bernardo Bertolucci’s famous movie Little Buddha.
It was soon after her first Debut Album Dewa Che came out, that she decided to quit her job and fully dedicate her time for her music. Produced by Polyglobe Music in Austria, the album Dewa Che with the soothing tranquil Tibetan Mantras that she sang was a great success. It has spread around the globe and was subsequently honored with Switzerland’s Gold Record and the ‘Best Spiritual Album’ in the U.S.
MILESTONES / HIGHLIGHTS
Nine more albums were to follow as well as many international concert activities in Europe, U.S.A., and Asia. Performing for His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama in the Olympic Stadium in Munich in 2003 as well as for His Holiness the 17th Karmapa in Berlin in June 2014 on the occasion of his first historic visit to Europe are surely among the highlights of her career.
The documentary ‘Daheim in zwei Welten’ (At home in two worlds), produced in 2006 by Swiss National Television SF, made her known to a broad public in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
A very special musical cooperation started in 2009 with the project BEYOND, with Tina Turner and Regula Curti on which Dechen represents the Buddhist voice on a spiritual album promoting peace and understanding between the various religious faiths. The BEYOND records went gold and platinum. In October 2014 Dechen, Regula Curti and Helge van Dyk have received the ‘International TARA AWARD’ by Ven. Mae Chee Sansanee from the Sathira Dhammasathan Center in Bangkok in Thailand. This award was given to them for their album JEWEL and BEYOND in recognition for creating peace through music in this world.
COLLABORATION WITH HELGE VAN DYK – PRODUCER AND COMPOSER
In 2010 she started to collaborate with Swiss producer Helge van Dyk and brought out her album JEWEL, Joyful Heart through Precious Tibetan Mantras. 2012 JEWEL brought Dechen and her ensemble to Hong Kong, South Korea, India and as a special highlight she was invited by Philip Glass to perform at New York’s Carnegie Hall.
MUSIC FOR THE CHINESE FRIENDS
In 2014 ASIAN JEWEL was released featuring two great Chinese musicians, Master TAM PO SHEK from Hong Kong and Mrs. Shao Lin from Shanghai. In addition to the CD, this album includes a DVD with interviews, Chinese subtitles and a live-concert. Whilst in the West Dechen’s music has already become a part of modern lifestyle used for Yoga, Tai Chi, Wellness and Therapeutic Healing Centers, she wishes to bring her music to Asia, especially to China.
THE FIRST BOOK
The German publishing house Ullstein/Allegria brought out Dechen`s first book Mantras in August 2014. This book describes her experiences during the last 25 years since she started to sing the Tibetan Mantras and the positive effects they have had on the audiences where ever she went.
THE LATEST ALBUM ‘DAY TOMORROW’
The album is called ‘DAY TOMORROW’ and stands for the sustainability of our planet. The title contains the message that with our mindful actions TODAY we are creating the base for a good TOMORROW. This is the first time that Dechen is singing not only in Tibetan but also beautiful passages in French in order to become more accessible for many listeners. The live concerts are showing a very diverse Dechen with not only soft meditative mantras but also very groovy dynamic songs that make you want to dance.
On the CD production of ‘DAY TOMORROW’ you will find great names like Leland Sklar on the bass guitar, Martin Tillman on the E-Cello, Rani Kriya on the Guembri, Satnam Ramgotra on the percussion and Mark Wilkinson as drummer. When performing live Dechen is accompanied by six great Swiss musicians such as her producer Helge van Dyk at the piano and sounds, Hank Shizzoe at the guitar, Tosho Yakkatokuo at drums and percussion, Daniel Pezzotti at the Cello, Thommy Jordi at the bass guitar and Thomas Niggli at the sitar.
TAI CHI CHUAN
Dechen has been teaching Tai Chi Chuan for many years. She discovered the ancient art of balancing mind and body through Tai Chi more than twenty years ago. She has great respect for the Chinese culture that has a great history. She is very happy to see that the modern Chinese are more and more developing a great admiration and respect for the beautiful Tibetan culture.
Her classes are in Richterswil every Monday evening where she teaches the shortform of Yang Style, Chen Style, Sword and Fan.
Dechen also gives workshops with MANTRA CHANTING where she explains the mantras like the Om Mani Peme Hum or the TARA mantra before singing them together with the group. People love to hear all the valuable explanation for each mantra as it helps them to open their hearts and to practice the mantra with a lot of devotion and faith.
TIBETAN JEWEL DANCE
She also teaches the ‘TIBETAN JEWEL DANCE’ which she developed especially for her music with the Dancing steps that are commonly danced in the Tibetan Circle Dance. In all cultures, singing and dancing are the best way to express Joy and Happiness. The TIBETAN JEWEL DANCE is a way to express the joy of overcoming the inner obstacles and to attain inner peace and happiness.
Following the footsteps of her late mother Yischi Tsdedön la, Dechen and her two sisters Dolkar Dagsay and Dega Faoro have been active in engaging in social projects in Tibet. Together they have been looking after the Tsedön medical clinic that their parents initiated in 1999 and helped the clinic to become self sustainable. Thanks to the success of her musical career and the BEYOND Project, Dechen has been able to found the DEWA CHE Foundation that is focusing on preserving and promoting the Tibetan culture inside and outside of Tibet. www.dewache-foundation.com.
‘I sincerely hope that I will be able to continue to touch people’s hearts with my voice and to take them to their inner source of happiness and peace,’