Volume 78 - Number 30 / December 24 - 30, 2008
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Christopher Webb, a composer for theater and film, dies at 35
By Albert Amateau
Christopher Webb, a composer and sound designer for theater, film and television, died at Sloan-Kettering Memorial Hospital on Dec. 15, a month after his 35th birthday.
He was diagnosed in July with ocular cancer, which spread to his liver, said his father, Arthur Webb, president and chief executive officer of Village Care of New York, which serves health needs of seniors and people with AIDS.
Born in Suffern, N.Y., Chris Webb went to high school in the Albany area and studied music at Sonoma State College in Northern California.
He started playing the viola when he was 12 and then went on to the guitar, which was his main instrument, said his father. After Chris graduated from Sonoma he became associated with the Magic Theatre in San Francisco, where he composed the music and designed the sound for Sam Shepard plays. He also wrote the score and did the sound design for plays at the Seattle Repertory Theater. He composed the score for the premiere of “Lydia” by Octavio Solis at the Denver Center Theatre Company.
For the 48 Hour Honolulu Film Festival, he composed the score for the prizewinning short film “A Litter-a-tion.”
The film “Africa@Play,” for which he scored the music, was shown on the National Geographic Channel.
He moved to Brooklyn several years ago. In New York, he designed the sound and wrote the score for performance pieces at the Lincoln Center Directors Lab and for theater works at Bard College. His commercial work included a television ad for DKNY.
Among his interests was Native American music; he designed the sound for performances at Sacred Circle Theater in Seattle. He also spent time in Ecuador in the Upper Amazon capturing the authentic sounds of people native to the region.
“Chris was an avid outdoorsman and spent lot of time in the family’s Adirondack place in Warren County, N.Y., just before he died,” said his father.
In addition to his father, he is survived by his mother, Sally, and a brother, David. There will be a celebration of his life at 2 p.m. Sun., Jan. 11, at the Palm House in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.