Profiling professors: Ken Bronowski
Published: Monday, October 22, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 22, 2012 22:10
Many of Ken Bronowski’s students may know him as a continuing lecturer in the communication department, but they may not realize that he has also been a guitar player for a punk rock band, worked in video production and still plays in local bands.
Bronowski lives with his wife Karen in Crown Point. His main job is teaching several classes, including television production. Before coming to Purdue, Bronowski was in the punk rock band Skafish, touring the U.S. and Europe with such bands as XTC, UB40 and the Police.
Bronowski first started playing guitar while he was in the third grade. He later attended the Chicago Conservatory of Music for a year, beginning in 1976. By 1979, he was attending the American Academy of Art when he received an offer to join Skafish. The band took its name from the last name of its founder, Jim Skafish. Soon, the band had recorded its self-titled debut album for IRS records and began touring.
Skafish was chosen to be one of the bands in the punk rock documentary “Urgh! A Music War.” According to Bronowski, IRS founder Miles Copeland wanted to become involved in filmmaking and creating a punk rock Woodstock. Copeland’s filmmakers shot live footage of such bands as X, the Dead Kennedys, and the Cramps in New York, California and Europe. Skafish was filmed in an old Roman amphitheatre in south France during a show with the Police, Bronowski said, adding that he liked how the band’s scene turned out.
“We had one of the better looking scenes. The sun was going down. The stage lights were just becoming effective. It wasn’t daylight. It was kind of twilight, and the sky was interesting looking,” Bronowski said.
Skafish broke up in 1985. Bronowski explained that the band’s second album, “Conversation,” was not as well-received as its first. The band’s sound had changed from punk to dance music.
“I don’t think it was the band’s forte,” he said.
A few years after the band’s breakup, Bronowski attended Purdue, because he wanted to transition from audio to video production. He later worked at NIPSCO, where he made training and promotional videos, then ran a video company in Florida before deciding to come back to Indiana.
What he likes best about teaching is interacting with students and watching them develop and learn new things.
“It is interesting to talk intellectually with people who are interested in what you are interested in,” Bronowski said.
The classes he teaches include, among others, basic and advanced TV production, and TV editing.
Beth Lashenik, one of Bronowski’s editing students said, “Ken has a lot of experience in the field, and has a lot of advice and guidance to offer if you’re willing to learn and ask.”
She found him to be supportive, as well.
“Ken has always been helpful with my career choices and class activities,” she added.
Bronowski is offering a new music production class. He said it will teach people how to write, produce and record their own music in a recording studio. Each class will be broken up into groups, and each group will write one or two songs. At the end of the semester, there should be about eight original songs that each class has written, produced and recorded.
The result will be that the students will have learned to make a final master of a professional recording. The songs may possibly be made available as a CD or a download.
Bronowski is also interested in photography and oil painting, and has even been working on a crime novel, which he is still editing. He has also produced a 30-minute DVD, “Electric Guitar Setup and Minor Repair,” which he sells on eBay and at guitar collector shows.