Bugged Bagatelle — Pianist Played Beautifully Despite of Insect Bites

For the TV show Singing In The Rainforest, Myleene Klass just recently brought a grand piano to the island of Mogmog. Klass first became popular as a member of Hear’Say, a defunct pop act created by the reality TV show Popstars. She’s also a pianist who went to the Royal Academy of Music and who have had crossover classical albums of her own.

Klass should have brought a bug killer with the grand piano. The pianist found it challenging to keep up with the physical difficulties in the rainforest, including the insects that gnawed at her. She says that she got as much as 73 bites, and that it was hard to write music because of them. But with the help of the natives, she pulled through.

With the inhabitants, Klass was able to write and record a hair raising mixture of piano chords and tribal chants. The natives of Mogmog island are referred to as Ulithians. Mogmog is one of the four inhabited islands on the Ulithi, an atoll in the western Pacific Ocean (east of Yap). Mogmog is about a mile long, with a population of only around 200.

Sharing the island with the natives are mosquitoes, which were the ones responsible for Klass’ misery. Mosquitoes are one of around 262 species of insects living in Mogmog. That might sound like a lot of bugs, but Mogmog actually has the least species among the four islands. This is because most of the island is used as living space.

the Ulithi atoll
The Ulithi atoll.

Nevertheless, Klass was positive about the experience. In a tweet, she even quipped about how the “mozzies” loved her so much that they bite her. But what mattered more was the love she got from the Ulithians. After her performance, everyone clapped their hands and there were even tears of joy. Klass ended up teaching piano to the children on the island (who, by the way, were the ones who helped count the mosquito bites).

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