Henry 'Medea' Meeuws
‘Medea’ is a solo project and brainchild of composer and multi-musician Henry Meeuws.
Musically, the Medea albums of Henry tend to be characterized by melodic, epic and symphonic compositions with a progressive touch and from time to time a balanced doses of metal. It’s no secret that Henry likes to be inspired by bands as for instance Pain of Salvation, Dream theater, Savatage, Avantasia and Ayreon. All the characteristic rock opera’s of Medea tell an intense story, performed by great national and international guest vocalists and musicians.
Henry’s musical roots go all the way back to 1989, when he was the lead guitarist of the melodic metal band ‘Yarreth’, with which he released three demos; ‘The Outcast’ (1989), ‘Two Sides’ (1992) and ‘Out Of The Daydream’ (1997).
In 1998 the foundation for Medea was laid down when Henry had a strong impulse to create a sort of rock opera. He just started to write some music for it and he experimented with some harddisk recorders and keyboards. Meanwhile he also recorded a solo album with classical pieces on the acoustic guitar (1999). But after a while he felt the drive to stand on stage again and play for a live audience. In September 2000 he found his musical challenge as a keyboard player by joining the Dutch progressive symphonic rock band ‘Casual Silence’. He quickly had an important part in writing and composing their music. In the 11 years he was a member, he released four full length albums with this band: ‘Once In A Blue Moon’ (2003), ‘Lost In Life’ (2007), 'Acoustic Fields' (2009) and ‘Vertical Horizon’ (2011).
At the end of 2002 his first full length solo album under the name Medea, was released by ‘Red Sea Records’. This album named ‘Individual Unique’ was a rock opera about the life and works of Michelangelo. Henry played all the instruments himself and he made use of nine guest vocalists, among which were three of his fellow members of Casual Silence. The album got praiseworthy reviews (‘vette krent’ in the IOpages). Inspired by the success of ‘Individual Unique’ and the satisfaction of composing and creating a rock opera, a second one was about to come within a few years.
After that, at the end of 2014, Henry started, together with Elevens Eve’s backing vocalist Josien Obers, an acoustic duo named ‘October Moon’. To the present day, Henry and Josien play classic rock songs in a small, self made acoustic arrangement for vocals and guitar.
In the meantime Henry had finally found the time and space to finish writing and record the material for his third rock opera of Medea, named ‘Northern Light’. And after contacting the great producer and vocalist Joss Mennen (Rock Inc.) in 2016, a new record deal with Snakebite Records was signed. From then the musical process really got in an inspiring flow. And now, besides the well known vocalists Joss Mennen, Ernst le Cocq d’armandville, Rob Laarhoven and Sandra Peeters he introduces some new guests on ‘Northern Light’ like Frank de Groot (Arabesque) on bass, Igor Koopmans (Casual Silence) on drums, John Jaycee Cuijpers (Praying Mantis) on vocals, Josien Obers (October Moon) on vocals and a real children’s choir (Quintessens). So now, with these great musical ingredients, as we all have come to expect from Henry, ‘Northern Light’ has become a great, varied and very unique rock opera, with which Henry has succeeded to surpass his previous albums in all of its aspects!
During 2018-2019, Henry was strongly inspired by not only the result and the recording process of ‘Northern Light’, but also by his new job at the EMU (Epilepsy Monitoring Unit). It led to his fourth rock opera. This album released in 2020, has the title ‘A Fate Symphony’. It contains an intensive story about the theme ‘Epilepsy’ combined on a highly special way with a walk down through the memory lane of the Dutch history. Again Henry has raised the bar pretty high, and besides the well-known names such as John Jaycee Cuijpers, Joss Mennen, Ernst Le Cocq ‘d Armandville and Sandra Peeters, there will appear some new surprising names on this album! That’s how we hear Bart Schwertmann (Kayak), Bas Dolmans (Equilibrio, Xystus), Noor van de Voort (In-Tension, Idris), Robbie van Stiphout (Day Six, Rattlesnake Shake), Jo de Boeck (Beyond The Labyrinth) and the quartet named ‘The Vocalettes’. A very special guest on this album is Iris Gilsing on clarinet. In short, once more Henry steps up to meet the musical challenge!
Oh yeah, by the way… Besides the music and his regular job, Henry tries to pay some attention to his lovely family, to be a good husband and father for his three children.