The idea of writing a large-scale work for brass band emerged gradually in the course of its composition. The first part to be written was Wildfire in 1991 followed four years later by Men of Stone.
Having been appointed Composer-in -Residence to Buy As You View Band, John Pickard was encouraged to complete the large-scale project with the specific qualities of this band in mind.
The 'Gaia' part of the title reflects the symbolic connection of each movement to natural phenomena, Gaia was the Greek goddess of the earth. More recently the Gaia Theory, pioneered by the distinguished British scientist James Lovelock, proposes that the earth itself is a living, self-regulated organism.