Night Sounding
Year of release: 1993
Original format: 16mm
Running time: 1 minute 15 seconds
Screening format: 16mm comopt print; digital screening versions available
Credits: A film by Kayla Parker
Director/producer/animator/editor: Kayla Parker
Cinematography: Stuart Moore
Sound design: Kayla Parker and Stuart Moore
Dubbing mixer: Paul Roberts
A One Minute Television commission for The Arts Council and BBC2’s The Late Show
Distribution and sales: Sundog Media and LUX Distribution; also available via BFI Distribution

An aural and visual sounding from the shoreline of an industrial, fishing and military port. The film describes the experience of living where land, sea and air meet, of being on the edge of the world.

Living close to the harbour, my consciousness has been infiltrated by the to and fro of tides, the movements of trawlers and warships. I am aware of the conflicts which exist between people and the sea itself. The coast around here is treacherous, the sea floor littered with the bones of ships. Night Sounding evokes a sense of place and the resonance of association with the lights and sirens which warn of danger, and the wreckers and sirens who entice ships to their doom.

Production notes
Colour photo of Tudor Rose Tea Rooms, New Street, Barbican, Plymouth; wide viewColour photo of Tudor Rose Tea Rooms, New Street, Barbican, Plymouth; view of window to what was once my studioTudor Rose Tea Rooms on New Street, Barbican, Plymouth. My studio was a wood-panelled room to the right of the entrance and menu board - I was told by the landlord that my studio was a brothel in the sixteenth century. (Photo taken in 2009).

Publication and comments
‘What You See is What You Get’ (1997) “Kayla Parker’s Night Sound, (sic) another animation, built around sounds and partial images of a nocturnal sea struck me as the first film in this program to exhibit a little depth, integrity and vision.” (Martin Rumsby) MIC Toi Rerehiko: the BIG picture feature (Issue 12) (online). Toi Rerehiko, New Zealand: Media and Interdisciplinary Arts Centre. Available:

"Brilliant!" New Art from London: Film/Video, the Third ICA Biennial of Independent Film and Video, What You See is What You Get: Alive and Kicking “The opening program focuses on the body and issues of sexuality, and includes short animation such as Kayla Parker's melancholy Night Sounding” (Karen Gysin) Walker Art Center press release (No 133 22 September 1995) (online) Minneapolis, Min: The Walker Art Center. Available:

What You See is What You Get: The Third Biennial of Independent Film and Video
(1995) John Wyver, selector; Jane Giles, programme notes. Catalogue published for touring programme. Alive and Kicking programme: “Kayla Parker’s Night Sounding is a beautiful, melancholy animation.“ (Programme notes). London: Institute of Contemporary Arts in co-operation with the British Council and the Arts Council of England

“The sounds and half-seen images of the sea at night. Kayla Parker’s animation has a distinctive visual quality which is achieved by scratching and painting directly onto the surface of live action footage. Her work tends to deal with the subjects of nature, mythology and femininity. Looks Familiar tinkers with shots of pussycats romping around under the malign face of a Halloween pumpkin; Unknown Woman dreams about a woman and a crow; Cage of Flame is an earthy celebration of menstruation.
Night Soundings (sic) beautifully evokes the unquantifiable depths of the sea and the sky in the dark; the melancholy sounds of a gull and a ship’s foghorn resonate against images which rise out of the inky blue darkness in vital bolts of fluorescent colour.”
Jane Giles (1995) What You See is What You Get programme notes p. 25

Night Sounding from Sundog Media on Vimeo.

Exhibition selected
One Minute Artists Moving Image Festival North Wales, curated and organised by Kerry Baldry (programme 4, 23 to 25 February 2018)

Benthic Caress electroacoustic performance piece curated and presented by Laura Denning, tidal pool, Firestone Bay, Stonehouse, Plymouth, for Plymouth Art Weekender; Benthic Caress included three sound works by Stuart Moore and Kayla Parker: the Night Sounding film's sound design, and the sound pieces Gyllyngvase, and Rock Pool (23 September 2017)

Edge of Frame programme three DIY Space for London; presented by Edwin Rostron (30 June 2016)

One Minute vol 8 collection of artists’ moving image curated by Kerry Baldry
Codigos del arte, Alicante, Spain (23 September 2016, photo courtesy Daniella Butsch)
Light Night Liverpool 2016 Liverpool Small Cinema; Project, Yessling, Flora, Twenty Foot Square, Verge: Nocturne and White Body also screened (13 May 2016, 5pm to 11pm)
Beecroft Gallery Southend (26 March to 23 April 2016)
Bloc Projects Sheffield (4 February 2016, 6pm to 8pm)

Convergence exhibition, for Plymouth Art Weekender; Mills Bakery Atrium, Royal William Yard, Plymouth; with Maelstrom: The Return and work by Rachael Allain, Laura Hopes, Juliet Middleton-Batts, and Karen Pearson (25 to 27 September 2015, 10am to 5pm)

One Minute vol 8 collection of artists’ moving image curated by Kerry Baldry
One Minute Hull Artists’ Moving Image Festival, Museum of Club Culture, Hull (8 November 2015, 10am to 4pm)
C.A.R. presented by Directors Lounge at Contemporary Art Ruhr, Media Art Fair, Germany. Project also presented as part of One Minute volume 7 (29 to 31 May 2015)
Light Night Liverpool Small Cinema Liverpool (15 May 2015)

One Minute vol 8 collection of artists’ moving image curated by Kerry Baldry
Galeria ArtAffairs-Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland (28 and 29 November 2014)
Night Cinema
Sleepwalkers International Short Film Festival Baltic Film and Media School, Estonia (20 November 2014)
Furtherfield Gallery McKenzie Pavilion, Finsbury Park, London (Saturday 1, 8, 15, 22 and Sunday 2, 9, 16, and 23 November 2014, 11am to 4pm)
Helfa Gelf / Art Trail, Ty Coch Farm Nature Reserve, Nantlle, Caernarfon, Snowdonia National Park, Wales (premiere, Friday 12 September 2014, 7pm to 9pm; then Saturday and Sunday 13, 14, 20, and 21 September 2014, 11am to 5pm)

Plymouth Arts Centre’s Cinema City Mobile Cinema, at various locations around Plymouth; in the Sensing Place programme. Thanks to Anna Navas and Bryony Gillard (4 to 8 July 2011)

Hand Eye Visions: the Films of Kayla Parker and Stuart Moore Cine-City, the Brighton film festival; Lighthouse, Brighton, UK. We presented a programme of 17 direct animation films, made over the last 20 years, for the third and final Hand Eye Visions event, curated by Ian Helliwell (27 November 2010)

Night: A Time Between artists’ film programme for Royal West of England Academy exhibition, curated by Dr Janette Kerr RWA, Visiting Research Fellow, Bristol School of Art and Design, University of the West of England. Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol, UK. The artists’ film programme was introduced by Professor Paul Gough, Faculty of Creative Arts at University of the West of England (UWE). Verge was also shown in a single-screen 2 minute version Verge: Flux; and other artists in the programme included Guy Sherwin (Night Train 1979), Emily Richardson (Red Shift 2001) and Anthony Shapland (The Setting 2007). The artists’ film programme was followed by a screening of Night and the City, the 1950 film noir, shot in London and directed by Jules Dassin, which was introduced by Dr Andrew Spicer, Reader in Cultural History, UWE (7 May 2008)

Oddfellows: Collective Film Night Ker Street Social Club (aka The Egyptian House), Devonport, Plymouth, UK. Plymouth Arts Centre artists’ film event, with Anna Best, Andrea Crociani, Nicholas Grew, Mezarine, Stuart Moore, and Heidi C. Morstang. All artists assisted in the development of Anna Best’s film Buddleia, which evolved from her year-long residency at Plymouth Arts Centre: “Through the process of working with Anna Best and the interaction with each other it emerges, by chance, that these artists are drawn to film structure, aesthetics and narratives in similar ways. What binds their practice is their personal interpretations of of social and political environment and their reflective and analytical use of film and video.” (Programme notes, Paula Orrell, Curator Plymouth Arts Centre) The films Small World and Verge were also screened (29 November 2007)

Stuart Moore & Kayla Parker exhibition at Salt Gallery, Hayle, Kernow. Night Sounding was shown in the gallery, with the films Project and Sunset Strip, and with 35mm artwork from Sunset Strip shown on a lightbox; the principal work exhibited was the 16mm triptych installation Wort/Wall/Water, commissioned by Salt Gallery to follow the gallery’s opening exhibition by Ron Hasledon. Solo exhibition with Stuart Moore (July to August 2004)

Review of Animation Arts from the UK curated by Gary Thomas (Arts Council England) and Urszula Śniegowska (KINO.LAB). “W niektórych znaczenie odkrywane jest wyłącznie poprzez formalną kompozycję tworzywa i struktury, w innych dopuszcza się wykorzystywanie różnych technik, które jednak mają na celu głównie zilustrowanie narracji lub służą rozważaniom nad innym tematem. Berlin Horse [Koń berliński], (Malcolm Le Grice, 9, 1970), Withdrawal [Odwrót], (George Barber, 3 47, 1997), End of Restriction [Koniec zniewolenia], (Robert Bradbrook, 5 20, 1994), Feeling My Way [W drodze do pracy], (Jonathan Hodgson, 5 32, 1997), Night Sounding [Odgłosy nocy], (Kayla Parker, 1, 1993), Heliocentrum (Richard Wright i Jason White, 11 30, 1995), Film (Katy Shepherd, 3 29, 2001), Hypnomart (Joe Magee i Alistair Gentry, 3 47, 2001), Sunset Strip (Zachód słońca), (Kayla Parker, 3 30, 1996), Ferment (Tim Macmillan, 5, 1999), Degrees of Blindeness (Różne stopnie ślepoty), (Cerith Wyn Evans, 19, 1998)”. In collaboration with The British Council; KINO.LAB Centre of Contemporary Art, Warsaw, Poland (25 to 27 October 2002)

Animation: synaesthesia in the experimental animated film exhibition curated by Suzie Hanna to mark the FAN International Animation Festival. Film screened on monitor in gallery, on looped DVD with the films Inner City, Project, and Cage of Flame. The Norwich Gallery, Norwich, UK. Exhibition with Oskar Fischinger, Jeff Keen, Len Lye, Norman McLaren and Clive Walley (17 October to 10 November 2001)

Hiding Behind the Sofa: A Festival of Film and Video Works by Women Artists exhibition, Prema Arts Centre gallery, Uley, Gloucestershire, UK. The exhibition also included work by Rose Garrard, Anna Lucas, and Sarah Pucill (2 March to 13 April 1997)

What You See is What You Get: The Third ICA Biennial of Independent Film and Video at the Walker Auditorium in conjunction with the "Brilliant!" New Art from London exhibition at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA (7 November 1995)
Free Radicals: ICA Film and Video Touring Programme programmed in collaboration with David Curtis. “An international selection of radical animation, ranging from classic examples from the past to some of the most energetic young British films.” (Programme notes) The programme includes Borowczyk’s Jeux Des Anges (1964), Len Lye’s A Colour Box (1936), Robert Breer’s A Man and His Dog Out for Air (1957), and Robert Bradbrook’s The End of Restriction (1994) (Premiere at ICA: 18 June 1995)
What You See is What You Get: The Third ICA Biennial of Independent Film and Video selected by John Wyver; presented in collaboration with the British Council and the Arts Council of England. Night Sounding was included in Programme One: Alive and Kicking that also included Michael Curran’s Amami Se Vuoi, Stuart Hilton’s Save Me, and Isaac Julien’s The Attendant (premiere at ICA, 29 March 1995)

Carrefour Festival, A Tribute to British Animation programme, curated by Pat Raine Webb, Ostend, Belgium (December 1994)
Art into Film event to coincide with the opening of the Tate Gallery’s R.B. Kitaj retrospective: “Highlights of Saturday include an interview with Stan Brakhage the great US experimental film-maker whose hand-painted films have been described as ‘one of the most astounding achievements of any film-maker’, plus world premieres of his new films; Peter Wollen, film-maker, curator and critic on art and film in post-war Britain; animators David Anderson, Kayla Parker and Rothko-inspired Mario Cavalli introduce their films and talk about their art.” Organised by Sarah Stephens, Adam Hodgkins and Maryannick Le Cohu; sponsored by Sight and Sound magazine, The Arts Council of England and the Tate Gallery. National Film Theatre, London, UK. See Art into Film programme with notes compiled by Liese Spencer (17 and 18 June 1994)
Pandemonium: 10th International Animation Festival Best of British: programme B, Cardiff, UK. Other films shown in the Best of British programmes include: Mark Baker’s The Village, Erica Russell’s Triangle and An Vrombaut’s Little Wolf (16 to 22 May 1994)
IMPAKT festival voor experimentele kunst, Super shorts programme; Utrecht, The Netherlands (4 to 8 May 1994)
MEDIAWAVE ’94 Györ, Hungary (26 April to 1 May 1994)

9th Fringe Film and Video Festival State of the ‘Mation programme: “some of the best in contemporary animation with a line up from around the world.” (Programme notes) Filmhouse, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK (1 to 5 December 1993)
37th London Film Festival Animation at the Cutting Edge programme (by invitation), National Film Theatre, London, UK (15 November 1993)
Minutos: Festival do Minuto 1993 Minute World Net Exhibition: Gra Bretanha programme, tour of Brazil (1993)
VIPER ’93 Internationales Film- und Videoprogramm: Innovative Trickfilme (guest film-maker) Cage of Flame also screened, Luzern, Switzerland (October 1993)
European Media Art Festival 1993 Internationale Auswahl: Newmoon Shadows programme Osnabrück, Germany (12 to 26 September 1993)
Ashton Court Festival Creative Video and Electronic Arts Marquee, Bristol Community Festival, Ashton Court, Bristol, UK. The Electronic Arts programme featured six short films by Kayla Parker: Cage of Flame, Fanny and Johnny on Acid, Looks Familiar, Night Sounding, Nuclear Family, and Unknown Woman.“...showcasing the most exciting, creative and innovative new film and video in the South West. Over the weekend the programme will provide wider exposure for a range of rarely-seen experimental works which challenge and shift our perceptions of video art.” (Programme notes) (7 and 8 August 1993)
Forces of Nature exhibition of artists’ film and the figure in landscape, curated by Sarah Glennie, Unknown Woman also shown, Tate St Ives, Kernow, UK (7 July to 29 September 1993)
The Late Show BBC2. Night Sounding introduced by Tracey MacLeod and screened after the programme titles. Television broadcast, UK (premiere, June 1993)