They’d never met before, but when they rocked out together they made some incredible music.

The shamisen is a Japanese instrument composed of three strings, a small body, and a long neck, that is played with a large pick-like tool called a bachi. Traditionally it’s used to accompany kabuki or puppet plays with traditional Japanese music, but it is actually a very versatile instrument that can play all kinds of music.

So it’s not surprising that the shamisen is a common instrument played by street performers in Japan. Twitter user @ninjaryugo, who is based in Nagoya, happened to come across a shamisen player in front of a shopping center, and was enjoying the classical Japanese sound, when a guitarist and then a violinist suddenly joined in on the tunes.

Apparently none of the musicians knew each other before deciding to play together, which is pretty incredible considering the level of familiarity typically needed to be able to do an improvised collaboration like this one.

With the twang of the shamisen supplemented by the thrum of the guitar, the first two musicians played some pretty cool music and looked like they were having a good jam session when @ninjaryugo decided to start recording. Then, another guy with blonde hair and glasses runs up and starts fiddling with the amp.

At first you’d think he’s just there for technical support, but actually he’s plugging in his violin, preparing to join them in the music. After connecting his violin, trying out a test stroke, and adjusting the settings on the amp, he’s ready to play. The stark tones of the violin add a whole new dimension to the music, with a tune that might even rival famous electric violinist Lindsey Stirling!

While the identity of the guitarist and violinist are unknown, @ninjaryugo says that the shamisen player’s name is Daisuke Sugiyama, and he appears to be a professional player who has also performed in concert. He’s apparently not on social media, so @ninjaryugo was generous enough to give him and his band, Uchide no Kodzuchi, some publicity by posting a recorded performance of their original song, “Kageki”.

Japanese netizens were also impressed:

“Dai-chan’s performances are so cool! I’ve been following his career.”
“Before I knew it this had me smiling. Give my regards to the shamisen player! It’s wonderful to feel such peace in music.”
“The blonde bespectacled violinist getting so into it was cute! It’s amazing they can do a session like this on the first meeting!”
Musicians like this want to translate music into world peace. Please tell them to go on cheerfully playing!”
“I thought the violinist’s melody sounded a bit familiar, and then I realized it’s similar to a melody in tsugaru-jamisen group Fukuda Kyodai’s song! Musicians really do have amazing knowledge and experience. So cool!”

Musicians really are incredible, and street musicians do have to have a certain level of skill and talent, not to mention confidence, to be able to play out where the acoustics are bad and they may not have anyone actively listening to them. But for us listeners, it’s often a pleasure to come upon one!

Japan has a plethora of street performers like the samurai guitarist, or the No-Face shamisen player, especially in large cities like Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka. If you just walk around major stations, you might even run into great performers like these guys. All you have to do is look!

Source, Images: Twitter/@ninjaryugo