Both pieces on the album were inspired by scientific ideas about the world we live in. Title track A Brief History of Creation, commissioned by The Hallé Concerts Society for its Children's Choir, is a romp through 14 billion years of history, from cell division (the choir reduced to one single, tiny voice) to dinosaurs, sharks, monkeys and finally to man. The Guardian said of its premiere in 2016 'Dove has a remarkable aptitude for writing music that is challenging to sing, stimulating to listen to, yet simple to remember. The outstanding Hallé Children’s Choir covered almost 14 billion years entirely from memory'.
Gaia Theory was inspired by a trip that Dove took to the Arctic as part of the Cape Farewell project, organised to allow artists to witness climate change first-hand. Dove says the experience woke him up to the speed and scale of changes taking place. On return, he wondered how it might be possible 'to write about this without finger-wagging'. Dove turned to the work of scientist James Lovelock, who developed the idea that the Earth behaves as a self-regulating organism, which always maintains a balance favourable for life. Lovelock himself describes this relationship as a dance, making it natural for Dove to set to music. The resulting piece is a celebration of the resilience of life.