Matt Davis first played the Ruba Club back in 2002. It was the debut of
his new sprawling instrumental band, Aerial Photograph.
“It wasn’t as cohesive as it should have been. I was just sort of writing tunes and throwing them at the band — seeing what happens,” says Davis from his apartment in the Hudson Heights section of New York City. “Plus, I was just learning how to orchestrate — how to write for more than just my guitar. ”
But Aerial 2.0 returns to the Ruba on Saturday with new material in tow to complement their three full-length albums.
Davis is usually inspired by epic themes, and doesn’t hesitate to ask his audience to do a little research. His last project garnered the band more attention than ever before: “Ways and Means” was a collection of nine compositions inspired by interviews with disparate communities in Philadelphia — from the homeless to teachers to religious groups.
“I like to connect with people beyond just what they’re hearing,” he explains. “I’m trying to provide an idea that has visual appeal to associate with the music. It just seems to work with what I do.”
On the horizon: ‘Sol Soul’
On Saturday, Aerial will debut “Sol Soul,” a composition inspired by both the nonfiction book “Chasing the Sun,” by Richard Cohen and the jazz standard “Solar” by Miles Davis.
“It’s kinda nerdy, but I guess you could say I was inspired by some of the statistics mentioned in Cohen’s book — the sheer size of the sun. I wound up taking the melody of ‘Solar’ apart pretty dramatically — thinking about elongating distance between the notes.”