Earth: Final Conflict
by Micky Erbe and Maribeth Solomon (Soundtrack)

Sonic Images Records presents this first collection of music from the Emmy-nominated sci-fi series, "Gene Roddenberry's Earth: Final Conflict." The album includes nearly sixty minutes of original symphonic and electronic music, including the Gemini Award-winning main theme and episodic suites from all three seasons of the program.

# Title Time Listen
1 Main Title 0:53
2 The Secret Of Strandhill/Redemption 5:50 mp3
3 Old Flame 1:27
4 Defector 3:59
5 Decision 1:27
6 Float Like A Butterfly 0:55 mp3
7 Sandoval's Run 2:02
8 Bliss 2:224
9 If You Could Read My Mind 1:42 mp3
10 Lilli 1:53
11 Law And Order 2:11
12 Atavus 2:00 mp3
13 Between Heaven And Hell 0:57
14 Sleepers 2:57
15 Dimensions 2:23
16 Moonscape 4:34
17 Isabel 0:55
18 The Gauntlet 1:24
19 Second Chances 4:45
20 One Man's Castle 1:22
21 Payback 1:35
22 Truth 4:16 mp3
23 Deja Vu 0:54 mp3
24 Crossfire 3:08
25 Volunteers/End Credits 1:54

Album Cover

Sonic Images Records
Feb 29, 2000

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About the Album

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Music Composed, Arranged and Produced by Micky Erbe and Maribeth Solomon
Album Produced by  Micky Erbe and Maribeth Solomon and Ford A. Thaxton

Engineered and Mixed by Michael Banton-Jones at McClear Digital and DAVE Audio (Toronto, Ontario)
Assistant: Sheila Walker
Additional Mixing by  Scott Boyling
Fairlight Editing by  Vic Pyle
Administration:  Camille Anderson

Additional Editing and Album Mastering by  James Nelson at Digital Outland (Tacoma, Washington)
Digital Transfers by John Beal

Featured Musicians
Keyboards: Ray Parker, Donald Quan, Tom Szczesniak, Lou Pomanti
Programming: Micky Erbe, Ray Parker, Donald Quan
Solo Vocalist:  Leah Erbe
Erhu: George Gao
Violin:  Lenny Solomon
Flutes: Ron Korb, Ernie Tollar
EWI, Saxophone: John Johnson
Oboe:  Cynthia Staljes
Trumpet:  Robert Venables

Album Design by Wolfgang Fenchel
Project Coordinator: Christopher Landry

Music Published by Propinquity I Publishing (SOCAN) and Mickymar Music (SOCAN)



After three successful years on television, the music for this cult sci-fi show finally receives album treatment.  
The team of Micky Erbe and Maribeth Solomon have lended their talents to the show from the start, and continue 
to compose diverse sounds for current episodes.  The album from Sonic Images is a compilation of pieces from 
numerous episodes as well as the opening and closing titles.  At almost an hour long, the album provides a 
relaxing, uninterrupted feel for the show and its plethora of styles.

While the compilation effect works for the album, it is also detrimental in occasional choppiness.  Because of the 
MIDI style of composition that Erbe and Solomon use while writing for the show, several bits and pieces of music 
(some very short) needed to be edited together to provide a good flow for the album.  In some cases, the edits 
are barely noticable, while at other moments, a very good sequence of music can come to an abrupt ending and 
suddenly take a completely different course.  The very best track on the album is the second.  It features the 
sum of the soloists who perform regularly for the show, with a distinctly Irish style for that particular episode. 
Unfortunately, the edits can sometimes leave the hauntingly ethnic cues shorter than desired.

Aside from its construction, the album remains an impressive piece of work considering the budgetary restrictions 
of such a show.  The longer suites on the album, including the fourth and nineteenth tracks, contain the most 
melodic and enjoyable music.  Unlike the scores for many other sci-fi shows, EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT features 
less of the militaristic percussion and banging.  In these regards, it's easier to enjoy than, for instance, "Seven 
Days" and "Babylon 5."  In its favor, the EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT scores include unique solo performances both
in female vocals and the Chinese string instrument erhu.  Along with the occasional woodwinds, the orchestral 
elements (though few) add great depth to the music.  In particular, I would have loved to hear more of the two 
soloist performances mentioned above.

On the side, with a slightly different mixing sound than the rest of the album, are the opening and closing titles. 
The erhu and vocals mix with a hip beat, at a pace that the rest of the score lacks.  A longer rendition of this 
theme (perhaps even just for the album's sake) would have been greatly welcomed.  Although the main theme is 
quoted a few times in the episodic scores, it never is allowed to fully develop, and this is a shame.  In the end, 
however, the music for EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT is still more enjoyable than many others in its genre, and this 
CD will be a delight to its fans.  Only available through the label and specialty outlets in its first three months of 
release, the regular stores will begin offering it by June, 2000.

Rating: ***

          Christian Clemmensen
          Filmtracks Publishing
          February 21, 2000


I was extremely excited when I saw this in my mailbox.  Almost since I began this site, my "Destiny In Space" 
album (a compilation of three space-related IMAX films) has been a favorite when I was in the mood for relaxing, 
synthy space music.  I'd always wondered what else the two composers who worked on it had done, and I didn't 
know until this showed up.  This is one of those CDs that's extremely' difficult to describe, but I really like it. 

The best description I can come up with is spaced-out new age\world music.  According to the liner notes, the 
show hops all around the planet, so that one episode might be in a rural villiage in Europe while the next goes to 
Tokyo.  The music, therefore, is extremely ecclectic.  It has a truly unique basic "sound" which, features (among 
other things) airy, spacey synths, pan flutes, a cool 2-stringed Chinese instrument, and some absolutely haunting 
wordless female vocals, along with more standard orchestral instruments as needed.  Then, on top of that, they 
add more ethno-specific sounds depending on the location (track 2, for example, sounds very Celtic).

This is definately not an exciting album.  It's funny, really, this being a score for a sci-fi show and coming from 
Sonic Images, but it sounds almost nothing like "Babylon 5."  This just strikes me due to the similarities between 
them (besides the subject matter, the odd mix of synths, orchestra, and ethnic instruments) but the end result is 
so different. 

Almost all the pieces are very smooth and New Age-y, but never fall into the ambient trap that ensnares so much 
New Age music.  The truly unique and mostly beautiful instrumentation keeps it interesting throughout its hour-
long running length. 

Another highlight of the album are the frequent solos.  I mentioned the vocals, by Leah Erbe, and they are 
absolutely wonderful.  Not only is her voice beautiful and striking, but most of them sound as though they have no 
ground in any one musical style.  They flow between sounding Native American, Celtic, Asian and other lndian, 
and switching so seemlessly that it really sounds like TRUE world music.  Other tracks feature solo wind pieces, 
the Chinese string instrument, piano, and other instruments. 

The only drawback to the CD is that it's a bit choppy at times.  You can tell the music was written for MIDI, and 
sometimes the pieces just stop abruptly due to some transition in the show.  There are a couple tracks where 
some beautiful melodies are cut short because of this.  However, most of the transitions are quite smooth, so I 
can't complain too much.  I'm not sure what else to say about this one.  It's absolutely unique, and I'm glad I got 
it.  It's worth mentioning that, until June of 2000, the CD will only be available through Sonic Image's website. 
Only after about three months will it be released to stores.  If you've never gotten anything from Sonic Images 
before, this would be a great place to start. 

          Jason Blalock
          Scoreland Soundtrack Reviews
          February 25, 2000


A pleasant surprise, the music for the sci-fi series EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT includes some really good musical 
highlights.  Despite the small budget, composers Micky Erbe and Maribeth Solomon have written music that 
manages to impress and stand on its own, without relying on the stereotypical science fiction music. 

The music can be described as rather New Age inspired. It is very atmospheric - something achieved with the 
generous use of synths - and often very relaxing, with its soft electronical samples, and sometimes with a distinct 
Irish flavor, especially in the excellent "The Secret of Strandhill/Redemption", which uses typical Celtic 
instruments, such as the tin whistle, fiddle and pipes, as well as solo voice.  As a big fan of Irish music, this six 
minute cue is, in my opinion, the highlight of the entire soundtrack. 

The sound of the female voice, belonging to Leah Erbe, is used rather frequently and it lends the music a 
sometimes eerie and mystical sound.  Other solo performances include the violin, flute, oboe, trumpet and 
something called Erhu, which apperantly is a string instrument from China.  There's also something called EWI, 
which is the abbreviation for Electronic Wind Instrument.  It is always interesting when composers try new ideas 
in their music, even when the means have limits.  The music for EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT is certainly an excellent 
example of good, inventive, music made with a small budget. 

The release, by Sonic Images is currently only available for purchase through the record label and will not be sold 
in regular record stores until June.

          Andreas Lindahl
          Score! Soundtrack Reviews
          February 28, 2000


If you enjoy New Age spaciness, then this soundtrack should really appeal to you.  I don't mean that to be 
derogatory because this is a very good example of television scoring. 

The idea for EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT originated from the fertile mind of the late Gene Roddenberry, founding 
guru of the granddaddy of television sci-fi epics, "Star Trek."  According to his widow, Majel Barrett Roddenberry,
EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT was not an easy series to score.  In the CD foldout, she explains that "the scope of the 
series is such that one episode might take place in an industialized American city, while the following week's 
adventure concentrates on a rural European village."  She then compliments Mickey Erbe and Maribeth Solomon, 
saying they "have captured the essence of this global drama, and have created a sound that is as alternatively 
exciting and intriguing as the concept itself."  The key work is "sound."  That's what comes through strongest on 
this soundtrack.  A very moody and spacious "sound."  This is created quite effectively by the fine group of 
musicians, beginning the lovely humming vocals of  Leah Erbe (wife of the composer?).  Other outstanding 
musicians are: George Gao, who is a master on the erhu - a two-stringed Chinese instrument; John Johnson, who 
plays an "EWI" (electonic wind instrument); violinist Lenny Solomon; and synthesists Donald Quan, Ray Parker, 
Tom Szczesniak, and Lou Pomanti.  The music is a combination of orchestral and electronic instruments. And 
these instruments are very well mixed on the soundtrack, providing an almost seemless journey into different 
realms as in the television series. 

Just to mention a few tracks I thought were standouts.  The short "Main Title" is a good one, with all forces being 
introduced.  The second track ("The Secret of Standhill") uses Irish pipes, tin whistle, and fiddle in a sort of 
homage to Celtic music (shades of Enya perhaps).  Following that is "Old Flame," where the alien Taelon music is 
heard for an episode where a Earthling learns to play an alien instrument known as the "tubes."  A particularly 
pleasing theme is heard on "Float Like a Butterfly" (track 6) which unfortunately is all too short at less than a 
minute. But there are also longer tracks to sustain the mood.  One I especially enjoyed is "Moonscape" - the best 
track of all, I believe.  It begins with a slow, moving organ and choral sync theme and then expands into a more 
rapid combination with repeated strings and the solo voice of Leah Erbe as well.  Quite an impressive "sound" - 
yeah, there's that word again! 

Both Erbe and Solomon have worked in television for almost twenty years, including such made-for-TV scores as
"To Save the Children," "Peacekeepers," and "The New Twilight Zone."  They have also scored several IMAX 
movies, including "Blue Planet" and "The Dream is Alive."   With so little television music being used these days, 
it's a real pleasure to hear such a full soundtrack, like the one for EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT. 

This a very good soundtrack for fans of the series or for those who enjoy diverse soundscapes.  Recommended 
especially for the adventurous sci-fi fan.          

          Roger Hall
          Film Music Review
          March 2, 2000


What do you expect from a score with the title EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT?  Come on, admit it: booming brass, 
space chords à la Holst's "The Planets," thundering percussion, Wagner-isms all the way.  Now, Micky Erbe's and 
Maribeth Solomon's score for the Gene Roddenberry TV series is surely the most surprising science fiction score 
to come across my ears in a very long time: what we get here is a beautiful score for electronics and solo 
instruments, only occasionally with a larger orchestral ensemble.

Parts of this score are Paddy Moloney in space: several of the cues features prominent tin whistle performances 
which, from a cultural perspective, seems to fall a little out of place in a sci-fi TV series.  But it works from a purely 
musical standpoint (that's all I can comment on since I haven't had the chance to watch the series). And the rest 
of the orchestrations, featuring the Chinese string instrument erhu and a lot of solo voice (Leah Erbe's beautiful 
voice), creates a unique musical universe.

What I miss in this score is a more thematic approach.  I feel that, although there are several themes included, 
Erbe and Solomon could have utilised them more for the regular underscore.  Or perhaps they do, but if that is the 
case the themes aren't strong and unique enough.  In my opinion, several of the 25 pieces on the album fail to 
stand alone as interesting musical compositions.  It's beautiful music, but more ambient and atmospheric than 
emotionally strong. There is also very little up-beat music, very little action.  It's a matter of taste, and I'm sure 
his score will be loved by many, but not but me as much as I appreciate the original approach.

          Mikael Carlsson 
          Music from the Movies/MovieScore On-Line
          March 6, 2000


The trouble with television music is that there is so little time to write it, the composers have little or no chance of 
being particularly creative.  Usually with just one week, often shorter, to write and record the entire score, how 
can they possibly have the opportunity of pushing any boundaries?  Back in the 60s, composers like John 
Williams and especially Jerry Goldsmith did exactly this, and used television as a stepping stone into film music. 
These days, that will simply never happen: they're different art forms.  The greatest TV music composer these 
days is undoubtedly Mike Post, but his music is designed specifically with episodic television in mind, and one 
doubts how good he would be with full-length motion pictures. 

Very occasionally, there is a show like the modern incarnations of "Star Trek" where the composers are given the 
budgets to use reasonably-sized orchestras, but frustratingly the producers of the shows don't allow the talented 
musical forces any freedom to actually write anything interesting.  More usually, the music budget is tiny, and 
synthesisers are the driving force behind everything.  This is the case with EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT, whose 
music is composed by Micky Erbe and Maribeth Solomon. 

Curiously, a lot of the music sounds vaguely Irish in construction (yes, there are Uillean pipes, or at least 
synthesised equivalents) which seems odd given the nature of the programme; I've never seen it, so perhaps I'm
wrong, but I wouldn't have thought the emerald isle would have figured heavily.  Mind you, it didn't figure heavily in 
"Titanic" either, but that didn't stop James Horner...  Easily the best cue is "The Secret of Strandhill", which is also 
the longest (this is no coincidence). 

Again, by the very nature of the beast, a lot of the cues are very short, and therefore leave no time for any real 
musical development or even proper melodies; the synthesised whitewash that plagues many of the cues is 
enough to send a shiver down my spine, at least.  Fortunately, though, the composers never resort to the 
banalities of synthesised percussion that seems to dog so many scores of this type.  Undoubtedly, this music is 
of a much higher quality than most of the equivalents, but nevertheless it is still a very long way behind most 
music from full-length motion pictures.  Fans of the show, and this sort of TV music in general, will find much to 
enjoy here, but it might be stretching it a bit for everyone else.  Rating ** 

          James Southall
          March 13, 2000


I have received one of the most astounding and fascinating releases of Sonic Images Records.  The music from 
EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT  is so nice that I can say this is one of the most beautiful soundtracks that no other 
label released until today.  I encourage you , if possible, to continue keep releasing additonal music from the 
series, as I believe this project is fantastic.  A future Volume 2, just like "Babylon 5."   I listened to EARTH: FINAL
CONFLICT four times one after another.  This is really amazing! 

          Cristian Muresanu
          New Age Voices (Syndicated Radio)
          March 13, 2000


Unlike most sci-fi television shows nowadays, the music for EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT is not done completely in 
synth.  While there are electronic elements present, there is usage of standard orchestral arrangements.  Since 
the show deals with different cultures, several different styles permeate the music.  While it basically serves as 
glorified atmospheric stuff, the interesting use of soloists and choirs (along with the ever changing styles) 
actually make for an interesting listen. 

I haven't seen any episodes of this show due to the fact that I've basically sworn off all modern sci-fi shows (with 
the exception of The X-Files).  That being the case I don't really know how the format works in this show, other 
than the fact that it jumps around between different locales.  Generally, the style of the music is Asian, and it 
contains some similarities with George Fenton's Anna and the King, particularly in the use of some ethnic 
instrumentation.  The main theme is interesting, especially due to the use of the female soloist, but it is really 
short and, surprisingly, there is no "expanded" playing of the theme that has become a staple of most 
television soundtrack CDs.  The theme is referenced here and there throughout the run of the disc, but it's never 
developed any more fully than it already is, which is a real shame.  

This is a better-than average soundtrack for a sci-fi television show, but it still doesn't top the music that came 
out of the Star Trek franchise.  If you're a big fan of this show, then there are much worse ways to spend your 
cash.  For the interested consumer, I would recommend checking out some sound clips of different tracks first. 
Overall, if you like music that flows between different cultural styles while retaining a sci-fi flavor, then this is one 
you should definitely check out. ***

          Gary Huff
          Soundtrack Review Central
          March 20, 2000


Synthesized television scores are often a necessary evil.  Most of the time they serve their purpose in the 
context of the program they're produced for and aside from that they don't do much else.  It's difficult to compile 
an entire album with interesting television music - let alone performed on synths, but EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT 
comes close to it's target.  It's never entirely successful in sustaining an entertaining mood, but it definitely has 
it's moments.

The real highlight of the album is the first two cues and the last.  Two of which are performances of the main 
theme - synth beats and samples with a triumphant brass fanfare.  The album is mostly a relaxing compilation of 
cues from various episodes.  After the fine main titles, "The Secret of Strandhill / Redemption" combines the flavor 
of Eastern/Oriental erhu (used to great effect in George Fenton's "Anna And The King") with pennywhistle and 
female voices similiar to Horner's "Titanic" (leave it alone already!)  "Old Flame", and "Defector" carry on the
synthy carpet feel.  I personally think that synth music works best when it doesn't attempt to sound like real 
acoustic instrumentation - instead it admits it's limitations and instead works as effective sound design.  While 
EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT contains a great deal of musicality, it is in essence just that: effective sound design.

The album lags a bit when it hits half way - tracks like "Sandoval's Run" with synth key plodding and acoustic 
guitars is really mild, new age music.  Track 8, "Bliss" is a bit more interesting with the addition of solo violin and 
synth woodwinds, but as listening material wears a bit thin.  The erhu returns in "Atavus" (more "Titanic" 
references here too), and "Moonscape" manages to muster some mood despite it's synth compromise.

Sonic Images usually has above average art design and EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT is no different.  The insert 
artwork shows an effort on SI's part, while sound quality is excellent.  Compared to other sci-fi efforts, Erbe and 
Solomon's music offers more theatrics than say Mark Snow's monotonous "X-Files" episodic scores and more 
variation than Scott Gilman's "7 Days" piledriving synths.  This album really is for fans of the show and for those 
who haven't seen any episodes (like myself), unfortunately it won't completely hold their interest.  Put this CD 
in your player when you need music without distractions and EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT will perform at it's best.  
Rating:   ***

          Ryan Keaveney
          Cinemusic Online
          March 17, 2000


Two more recent TV series have spawned new discs from Sonic Images, which are available from specialist 
retailers and the company's website.  The first is from the short-lived "Babylon 5" spin-off "Crusade," which 
features Evan Chen's controversial electronic music.  Not for the fainthearted, Chen's music is a peculiar blend of 
the oriental and occidental: J. Michael Straczynski wanted a "different sound for the new series," and Chen
certainly delivers! 

Sonic Images has also released a bountiful disc of Micky Erbe and Maribeth Solomon's music from EARTH: FINAL 
CONFLICT, which contains a number of appealing, mainly ambient tracks created to enhance the series' wide-
reaching storylines.  The disc contains a heady blend of electronic scoring and orchestral passages, frequently 
enhanced by contributions from angelic solo vocalist Leah Erbe.

          Julian Knott
          Shivers Magazine
          March 2000


Unlike many science fiction TV series, Gene Roddenberry's EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT doesn't focus solely on 
dramatic journeys through time or space.  Instead, much of the action takes place here on Earth, with the show
centering upon the Taelons--an advanced alien race with dubious intentions--and their impact on human society. 
The program's emotional soundtrack reflects that largely terrestrial perspective, injecting electronic and
orchestral arrangements into works that intermingle various musical styles and techniques.

Composed, arranged and produced by Micky Erbe and Maribeth Solomon, the 25 cuts on this CD offer a union of
classic and contemporary themes.  The brief "Main Title" launches the disc with a lovely yet slightly foreboding 
melody that combines a soft chant, hushed synthesizers and a Chinese stringed instrument called an erhu. That 
same wordless voice also appears in other tunes, including the ethereal "Defector," which showcases a sequence 
of shimmering artificial tones, and the mysterious "Atavus."  "Moonscape" incorporates deep percussive sounds
to emphasize an immense but desolate vista, with "The Gauntlet" utilizing similar  though somewhat more somber 
beats to convey a rather mournful air.

Quiet keyboards generate an enchanting atmosphere on "Lilli," while plucked notes and a sorrowful violin give 
"Payback" a flustered, melancholy feel.  The  album concludes with "Volunteers/End Credits," an angelic 
composition which integrates many of the motifs and instrumental elements heard earlier on the collection. A 
foldout booklet supplements the disc and contains a brief introduction from EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT executive 
producer and star Majel Barrett Roddenberry, along with a succinct but informative overview of the music.

Although EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT has a regular cast of characters, Roddenberry notes in her commentary that 
"the scope of the series is such that one episode might take place in an industrialized American city, while the 
following week's adventure concentrates on a rural European village."  The show's scale is therefore global, 
requiring the accompanying melodies to reflect various foreign cultures.  It's a colossal challenge, but one which, 
for the most part, Erbe and Solomon successfully meet.

 "The Secret of Strandhill/Redemption" is a exquisite example of that world music fusion.  Celtic sounds permeate
the work--taken from a story line that unfolds in Ireland--with pipes, a whistle and a country fiddle complementing 
strange, synthesized intonations and ghostly vocals similar to those first heard on the "Main Title."  An equally 
enchanting effect is achieved on "Float Like a Butterfly," a concise cue that echoes the rural simplicity of an 
Amish community.  However, not every number is steeped in ethnic orchestration.  "Sleepers" is a mellow, almost 
new-age track that incorporates soft waves of synthesized sound, and  "Truth" presents rich electronic keyboard 
components that, through their leisurely presentation, are quite soothing.

A number of notable motifs are introduced on the album, but, possibly due to the musical demands necessitated 
by the constant changes in the episodes' locations, in most cases these themes aren't significantly developed 
beyond their initial incarnations.  Additionally, a few selections, such as the rambling "Second Chances," seem 
rather slipshod.  Nevertheless, on the whole, the soundtrack to EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT is pleasing and 

Erbe and Solomon's most notable work has been for IMAX productions that chronicle the exploration of space. 
Perhaps their experience scoring scenes concerning humanity's trips to the heavens provided insight for their 
accompaniment of the Taelon's adventures on our planet.  Our Rating: B+.

          Jeff Berkwits
          Sound Spaces/Sci-Fi Monthly
          March 2000


GENE RODDENBERRY'S EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT (to give the show its full title) is an American TV series 
apparently based on an idea left behind by the titular producer (and Mr. "Star Trek" himself) after his demise. 
Though given that the idea 'enigmatic aliens come to earth' is one of the stock premises of the science fiction, 
quite how much credit the demised Mr. R. deserves for the posthumous show is debatable.  Certainly the reviews 
I have read - the show has yet to debut on national television, as yet only being available on Channel 5 - suggest 
that the show owns rather more to the complexity and sophistication of "Babylon 5" than the 'planet-of-the-week' 
adventures of "Star Trek." 

This of course suggests an on-going thematic unity.  This is certainly evident from the CD, for although the notes 
make much of the diverse global locations (and appropriate ethnic instrumentation) of different episodes - 
suggesting a rather fragmented soundtrack album might result - the disc actually flows with considerable 
coherence.  This is true even though there is music from 24 different episodes, plus the main and end title music, 
included on the album.  The titles given are the titles of the episodes themselves, with no notes or indication as to 
which scenes in those episodes might be being depicted. 

The music is largely electronic, with real brass and strings being utilised in the title themes.  There is assorted 
ethnic instrumentation for various episodes: Irish pipes, whistle and fiddle are specifically noted, as is the EWI 
(Electronic Wind Instrument - not to be confused with the Electronic Valve Instrument featured in Maurice Jarre's 
EVI Concerto).  Other solo instruments are: flutes, trumpet, oboe, violin, erhu, in addition to which is the solo 
voice of Leah Erbe. 

This is not what one might expect given the "Star Trek" associations.  There is very little action music.  Rather, 
this is more akin to a new-age/world music soundscape album, with a fashionably Celtic feel and some most 
attractive 'haunting' solo female vocals - indeed, parts are akin to the glittering, atmospheric elements of James 
Horner's "Titanic."  It works here, but this is the second album this month that I have had for review with a score 
using this device - the first was Mark Thomas' stunning "Aristocrats" - and it is rapidly in danger of becoming a 
cliché.  Even so, the score is works as an album partly because it allows its electronic sounds to sound other
worldly, rather than act, and fail, as a cheap alternative to a symphony orchestra, but mainly because Micky Erbe 
and Maribeth Solomon have clear melodic and compositional gifts.  They work well together, as they should given 
that they have written over 30 scores in partnership over the last 20 years, including several for IMAX films such 
as "Blue Planet" (1990). 

What action cues they are tend towards the repeated percussion, tension-building of "Babylon 5," as indeed does 
the mystical shimmering of the score, than the combative explosiveness of orchestral SF action.  The coherence 
happily comes from the modern trend to have a single composer, or team, to score an entire series, again like 
"Babylon 5" or "The X Files," a trend which can only be applauded.  The ancestor of this sort of scoring is the 
German synth-progressive rock group Tangerine Dream - B5 composer Christopher Franke was once a member - 
and anyone who grew-up with their music in the 70's, and with Jean Michel Jarre and Mike Oldfield, will feel quite 
at home with the music on this disc.  It's not essential, it's not even particularly memorable - though the theme is 
dramatic enough - but it is thoroughly enjoyable in an undemanding way. 

As a curious aside - by strange coincidence this album connects with Silva Screen's "The Essential Maurice 
Jarre Film Music Collection" (which I also review this month) by virtue of both releases featuring electronic music 
for dramas involving the Amish.  As astute cultural commentator Harry Hill might say, what's the chances of that 

          Gary S. Dalkin
          Film Music On The Web
          March 30, 2000


GENE RODDENBERRY'S EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT chronicles a future where our home planet (Earth) has been 
visited and culturally assimilated by an alien race known as the Taelons.  Why?  Probably because TV was in dire 
need of a retelling of the age-old classic series "Alien Nation." 

Composers Mickey Erbe and Maribeth Solomon have worked in film and television for many years, notably on 
IMAX projects and TV series including "The New Twilight Zone."  Their EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT album contains 
the main and end title theme and a load of episodic suites picked out from all three seasons of the show's run.
The main theme is an Enya-meets-Dennis McCarthy foray into the world of folk sci-fi music.  Erbe and Solomon 
fully exploit exotic instrumental combinations like erhu, trumpet and female vocals.  While the theme is heavy on 
the folk side and a little light on the sci-fi side, it's an above-average main title on all accounts.

The formula for most of the episodic work is to add a few live solo instruments over synth beds.  The acoustics 
make all the difference, allowing Erbe and Solomon to emphasize melody over mere ambient swells or pads (which 
are often used to hide the faults of completely synthesized music).

Unfortunately, Erbe's and Solomon's is the path less traveled in syndicated television these days.  The sound 
they create for EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT is infinitely superior to the torturous recurring patches (and bad writing) 
in the likes of "Babylon 5," Showtime's "The Outer Limits" and FOX's deadly "X-Files."  After a while, the pads and 
the laid back nature of most of the tracks on this album do start to take their toll.  There isn't much in the way of 
action or suspense here, and you're unlikely to find yourself listening straight through the disc.

But melody-driven cues like "Atavus" and "Crossfire" still stand out for their use of solo instruments--and almost 
cease to sound like television music.  There's nothing musically outstanding here, but the soundscapes are 
intoxicating, the orchestrations keep the music alive and the main theme is worth hearing a few times (especially 
if you haven't seen the show).  Grade: B.

          Jesus Weinstein
          Eon Magazine
          April 5, 2000


The underlying feeling throughout the music for this syndicated TV series is one of gentle emotion and heartfelt 
grace.  Erbe and Solomon, who have worked together in features since the ‘80s (including the notable IMAX films, 
"Blue Planet" and "The Dream Is Alive") and, mostly, on television since the ‘90s, have reached the emotional core 
of the series by scoring the locale and the characters rather than the futuristic nature of the series.

Unlike "Star Trek," this Gene Roddenberry series takes place on Earth, exploring events in the future when an
advanced alien culture makes contact with humankind.  Erbe and Solomon draw extensively from world music
styles through a variety of compelling modern instrumentation (orchestra and electronics), with vocal elements
frequently used to address the aliens and their culture.

"The scope of the series is such the one episode might take place in an industrialized American city, while the
following week's adventure concentrates on a rural European village," writes Mejal Barrett Roddenberry in the CD
notes.  "Maribeth, Micky and their assembly of talented musicians have captures the essence of this global
drama, and have created a sound that it alternatively as exciting and intriguing as the concept itself."

The CD contains music from Years I and II of the series, through 25 short-to-moderate length cues, totalling 58
minutes in length.  There are no "television themes," as such, buth rather a series of atmospheres and 
ambiences, splendidly orchestrated with a variety of instruments from traditional orchestra, electric guitars and
voices, to unusual instrumentation such as erhu, Irish pipes, and some inventively created "alien music."  The
main repeated title music features strings and brass, embellished by an electronic wind instrument that gives the
music a neat harmonic quality.  The varied nature of the episodes - which may range from an Amish community
one week to an alien homeworld the next - gives the composers ample opportunity for musical creativity and a 
unique sound for each episode.  There's nothing overtly science fiction about the music, and that's fine.

          Randall Larson
          Soundtrack Magazine
          Spring 2000


It is only recently that I have come to appreciate the beautiful stylings of EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT - it always
seemed so much more elegant than other shows.  And until now, I had only noticed the impossible-to-hum theme
tune when it came to the show's music.  I am delighted to say that the score for the show, now available from 
Sonic Images, is as dazzling as one may hope for.

For purists, the tracks are presented "as used" in TV show, forgoing the suite recipe of other Sonic Images 
releases, although minute-long tracks can often lead to noticeable breaks.  Yet still, all the pieces do work to form
a collection.  The sublime synthesizers are colored by inspired use of the human vocal cords, lending oneself to 
recall Graeme Revell's more restful pieces, while insistent sampled guitars speed on any track of dramatic 
impact.  Picking highlights is difficult: the piano-led "Lilli" is mournful and emotive, while the majestic "Moonscape"
suggests a restrained Philip Glass in it's synthesized orchestral charm.  On the whole, the score is quietly 
inspired; never brash, and all the better for it as a result.

If you are a fan of the theme, and haven't taken time to listen to the incidental music, you are in for a treat.  This
music collection is wonderfully relaxing, sensuous and enlightening.  Soundtracks are very infrequently this
good, so beg, steal or borrow a copy.  Rating: 10/10.

          Dan Ranger
          TV Zone Magazine (UK)
          May 2000


EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT is the legacy of "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry, who sadly died before the last 
series he conceived ever made it on to the air.  Set in the not too distant future, EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT poses 
a similar question to that posed by the sadly short-lived TV series "Alien Nation:" what would happen if aliens 
visited our planet, and stayed?  An enigmatic race from the planet Taelon have arrived on Earth, with seemingly 
peaceful intentions, and are welcomed by the enlightened world leaders as honoured guests.  However, as the
Taelon begin to integrate into Earth's society, it becomes apparent that their presence may not be as benign as  
was first thought...  The series, which premiered in 1996, stars Robert Leeshook and Jayne Heitmeyer, and 
features Roddenberry's widow Majel Barrett in a supporting role. 

The music for EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT is by Canadian husband-and-wife scoring duo Micky Erbe and Maribeth 
Solomon who, from their base in Toronto, have spent the last ten years or so writing for innumerable IMAX movies, 
made-for-TV dramas and straight-to-video fodder such as "Dancing In The Dark," "Friends At Last," "John Woo's 
Blackjack."  I am quite proud to say that I HAD heard of Erbe and Solomon before this CD dropped through my
letterbox, although they were pretty low down on the list of composers I thought I'd ever own a CD by.  EARTH: 
FINAL CONFLICT is by far the most high profile assignment of their career to date, and they have responded to 
the thought-provoking stimulus with one of the best synth scores I have ever had the pleasure of hearing. 

Intriguingly, much of Erbe and Solomon's work features a variety of instrumental soloists, all of whom lend their 
considerable talents to a series of wonderfully atmospheric synthesised textures and melodies. The main title is 
a decent sounding affair, mixing synth grooves with the beautiful, ethereal voice of Leah Erbe, Ernie Tollar's flute 
and George Gao's erhu, cleverly capturing the show's central message of alien societies being thrown together, 
past and present and future colliding.  The various soloists feature in many subsequent cues, with sublime piano
and trumpet tones of "Decision" and the erhu of "Law and Order," "Atavus" and "Payback" sounding especially 
effective.  In addition to these, Erbe's haunting vocal performances lend a much-needed human touch to several 
tracks, especially the soothing "Defector," while "Sleepers" contains just a hint of Tubular Bells in its counter-
melody, and the amazing "Moonscape" is almost like Wendy Carlos classical adaptation, with a distinctly baroque 

However, by far the best cue on the entire album is the second one, "The Secret of Strandhill/Redemption," which 
somehow manages to conjure up the evocative sound of Ireland with some goregous pipe solos, traditional fiddles 
and pennywhistles, heavenly vocal performances, and a core of delicately beguiling themes.  Quite how this 
lovely music fits into a science fiction series I have no idea - it sounds like it would be more at home 
accompanying a rural romantic drama - but as a standalone listening experience it is undeniably superb.  Some of 
this thematic material is also recapitulated in "Float Like a Butterfly" and the delightful "Bliss." 

Quite frankly, this is the most un-science fiction like science fiction music I have ever heard - but this is in no way 
a criticism.  Instead, it is just a word of warning to those who might approach EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT expecting 
to be bombarded with patriotic fanfares and rousing action in the style of "Stargate SG-1" and "Star Trek."  In fact, 
the closest EFC ever comes to raising its voice is during the exciting "Second Chances" and the heroic "Déjà Vu."
Instead, the music for EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT is much more akin to the meditative, ethereal music one might 
expect to hear on a relaxation album, but with much more interesting themes and an increased sense of musical 
originality.  As my introduction to the music of Micky Erbe and Maribeth Solomon, I admit to being highly 
impressed with their efforts, and look forward to hearing more.  Evan H. Chen please take note.

Rating: ****

          Jonathan Broxton
          Movie Music UK
          April 26, 2000


The composing team of Micky Erbe and Maribeth Solomon receive their first ever soundtrack album release, to my
knowledge, featuring selections from all three seasons of the Gene Roddenberry creation.  For EARTH: FINAL
CONFLICT they have combined traditional instruments with an EWI (electronic wind instrument), banks of synths,
sampled choirs, and solo work from violinist Lenny Solomon, George Gao on the Chinese erhu, with the haunting
vocals of Leah Erbe topping things off.  As a result, the music, for the most part, is suitably otherworldly and 
exotic.  There are however some nice, more earthbound moments, often provided by piano, as in "Decision" and
"Lilli;" and "The Secret of Strandhill" is a standout, starting off with the voice/erhu/synths/choir combination, then 
turning folksy with traditional Irish instruments, before coming to its lovely conclusion.  There are a few rhythmic
moments of action in the score, but it's largely the said otherworldly atmosphere that dominates.  The colorful 6-
page booklet includes brief notes on the composers and their approach, plus an introduction by series executive
producer and star Majel Barrett Roddenberry.

          Jeff Hall
          Film Music Bulletin
          May 2000


Fans of SF are in for a treat (a delicacy, no less!) that comes across the Atlantic and released by Sonic 
Images Records, a tribute to the one that was Gene Roddenberry, the celebrated creator of the TV series "Star
Trek."  The title of the album is EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT, as is the title fo the new series created by Gene; it
presents the Earth in a not-too-distant future, and a place where people are visited by an enigmatic extra-
terrestrial race.  The composers of the soundtrack are Canadians Micky Erbe and Maribeth Solomon (www.  You can find more details at the official website at

          Marian Minculescu
          Magazin - Music Box (Romania)
          April 6, 2000


To many, the career of writer/producer Gene Roddenberry seems to begin and end with the "Star Trek" series and 
movies.  However, the imagination of this former U.S. Air Force pilot continues to fan the flames of audiences'
imagination through an ambitious series with strong sociological intentions (just as "Star Trek" was, which tackled 
in its time several difficult subjects).  A true catalyst of a study of human behavior and its multiple role in society, 
science-fiction was one of the main engines in the acceptance of more terrestrial yet sensible ideas.  Conceived 
by Gene Roddenberry during the 80s et produced after his death by his widow (Majel Barrett Roddenberry) 
EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT goes against the grain of current shows taking place in the near future and featuring a
possible extra-terrestrial invasion. By making the Taelons (the Companions) an extra-terrestrial people with
ambiguous appearance and actions, the series rapidly climbed to the top of the market left vacant by another 
ambitious politico-science-fiction series: "Babylon 5."

With the international succes of the show, a compilation of the best musical moments of the series had to happen.  
They were composed by the duo of Micky Erbe and Maribeth Solomon and is finally available under the Sonic 
Images label.  A fair occurence for a musical production entirely supported by the two unique composers of the 
series working as a team on each of the episodes of the series.  A tour de force if you take into account 
particularly low music budgets for that type of series.  However, the cocktail of influences and genres tackled by 
a composition closer to New Age ambiances than Space Opera evolves with the story told by the show.

Entirely performed by synthetizers and a few acousitc instruments, the music turns out to be of an uncommon 
richness and serenity for this type of show.  A judicious choice, even though it was mainly dictated by economic
constraints, that gives the music an important role as a moderator.  One only has to let himself be absorbed by 
the musical flow that links from beginning to end the 60 minutes of music on the album to be convinced...
Charismatic and consequently charming, the music gives out a strange feeling evolving between serenity, 
wisdom but also in rare moments a certain urgent form.  This savory distillation of the music turns out to be so 
efficient, even compelling, that it is sometimes difficult to turn away from the album as you listen to it.

This musical symbiosis is essentially due to a melodically rich composition, covering many genres in making a 
very strange blend. From Celtic inspirations (pay attention to the very "Enya-esque" "The Secret Of Strandhill") 
to Amish influences ("Float Like A Butterfly") through an instrumental choice that's overtly multi-ethnic (and even 
extra-terrestrial by moment), every cue offers the listener a musical variety that many series are far from offering 
on a strictly musical level.  This strange bland, this alchemy of sounds from elsewhere although always fashioned 
very melodically, the "Main Title" gives on purpose a forebear with the surprising use of a fanfare that soon 
metamorphosizes into a sort of universal hymn played by a group of ethnic instruments, acoustic et electronic 
(EWI, duduk, erhu, trumpet...) together with a solo voice (Leah Erbe) sounding quite mesmerizing.  A solo voice 
that is very often accompanied by the ehru (a Chinese string instrument related to the violin) whose appearances 
can sometimes leave the listener a little unsatisfied.

If the series fully palys the ambiguity card, the same can of course be said about the music...  It takes a sort of 
musical neutrality that offers through a masterful play of balances the various points of view defended
throughout the series.  An equilibrium the recipee of which seems to work as well on the show as when listening 
to the music by itself.  It's incidentally what makes the strength of this unique album, making it continually 
interesting throughout, even if the best cues are grouped at the beginning of the album.  It's interesting to notice 
that the music always seems to have the same regular rythm, almost without any change.

Long awaited, this album featuring some of the best compositions heard on EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT turns out 
to be a good surprise made of captivating melodies and multi-ethnic sounds giving the listener a richess of tone 
never before reached in the music of a TV series.  The selection and sequencing of the cues help this musical 
immersion.  In spite of its ambiguous title, EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT will no doubt please the aficionados of the 
show very much and will scare by its apparent nonchalance all others.  Be it what it may, the serenity coming 
from the compositions of Micky Erbe and Maribeth Solomon make this album a perfect companion for velvet 

The sound is clear and deep; nothing really glorious given the mainly synthetic aspect of the score.  Still, there 
remains a subtle balance with the acoustical elements that give this disc a certain richness...  The presentation of
the accompanying booklet is superb.  Notes by Majel Roddenberry as well as a short description of the contents 
of the CD complete an album that is as pleasant to read as it is to hear.  The only missing thing unfortunately are
notes from the two composers as well as their picture.  That would have made it a must-have.  ***

          Arnaud Damian
          TraxZone (France)
          June 2000


Expected for over a year, here comes finally the incredible EARTH FINAL CONFLICT series soundtrack album, 
sheperded by Majel Barrett Roddenberry, the widow of the late "Star Trek" creator.

A true surprise from end to end, this television score is simply enchanting with its lyricism and lightness.  We 
really feel very far from any space battle.  A reduced orchestra, a few synthesizers and the vocals by Leah Erbe 
give us perfectly mastered and tasty Celtic and oriental accents, where the erhu - an instrument of the strings 
family coming from China - is prominently featured.  Even the shorter cues such as "Float Like A Butterfly" or 
"Deja Vu" do not break the ambience, but rather play the part of musical ponctuation marks in introduction to 
coming developments.  The "Main Title" is present throughout the album but its variations never wear out their 
welcome, be it played faster in "Crossfire" or accompanied by a restrained keyboard in "Lilli."  The emotional 
impact of the album is built like a crescendo, the selection of the cues illustrating the strongest moments of the 

EARTH FINAL CONFLICT is a new example - as if one was needed! - of the great qulity of television productions 
in general, that many have a tendency to denigrate compared with theatrical films.  But listening to such a CD 
gives great credibility to the die-hard fans of television shows and makes us wish that, as in "Star Trek," these 
pieces of music live long and proper...

          Vivian Lejeune
          Dreams To Dream Magazine (France)
          June 2000