At The Top Of The Tide was written in response to the Bristol Proms call for entries to a competition to find the official fanfare for the City of Bristol in 2015. The piece won the competition and has now been adopted as the city's official fanfare for the next 100 years. The judging panel was chaired by trumpeter Alison Balsom who gave the first concert performance with Adam Wright and Ross Brown at the Bristol Proms in the Bristol old Vic in July 2015.
In the piece David Mitcham seeks to portray Bristol's maritime, industrial and cultural heritage. You can hear sea shanty-like motifs and the sound of waves rippling over the sea which might suggest the era of the Tall Ships and Bristol's days of sea trade. The central section has a triple echo effect which could represent sound echoing round the docks as but equally might allude to the multicultural nature of Bristol. This central section uses a scale with a Middle Eastern feel and was actually prompted by hearing the Muslim call to prayer echoing around the mountains in Turkey when David was writing the piece. There are also mechanical pulsing rhythms redolent of train travel that hint at Brunel's great railway from London to Bristol. Overarching this is a feeling of celebration of the energy and creative vibe of the City of Bristol.
The players should stand with the first trumpet in the centre flanked by the second and third trumpets who should angle their bells outwards slightly.