by Martin Riches and Masahiro Miwa.
A video documentation by Kenichi Hagihara. (12 minutes)
The "Thinking Machine" is a ternary computer that outputs melodies formed by three sounds as resulting from the calculations. Whether binary or ternary, it is a computer in the terms of a Turing machine. In Thinking Machine the algorithm is fixed as a mechanical mechanism so it is not a versatile Turing machine or von Neumann type computer. However, like all computers Thinking Machine is a logical machine that can process code, and is an actual object that expresses discrete time within real time.
The "Thinking Machine" is Martin Riches' answer to a proposal by the composer Masahiro Miwa:
How about a thinking machine = computer? ... my dream is a very special or unique 'gate' ... a sound generator with a simple and elegant algorithm and a long repetition.
Miwa, whose music uses algorithms to create sequences of sounds, suggested the following algorithmic formula :
newA = (6 - (oldA + B)) mod 3
In the video, the machine is loaded with the sequence aaaaab.
This results in the following 312 notes …
aaaaab cbcbca bbaccb bbccca cababc
cbbcab acabca abcabc bbaacc acbccc
bacccc aababa aacbbc bccacc abaaba
acbcaa abbaaa acaaaa abcbcb cabbac
cbbbcc cacaba bccbbc abacab caabca
bcbbaa ccacba ccbacc ccaaba baaacb
bcbcca ccabaa baacbc aaabba aaacaa
aaabcb cbcabb accbbb cccaca babccb
bcabac abcaab cabcbb aaccac bcccba
ccccaa babaaa cbbcbc caccab aabaac
… after which the machine would repeat from the start.
The machine is loaded by Prof Hermann Gottschewski who initiated both the Thinking Machine project.and the Musica ex Machina exhibition at the University of Tokyo where it first appeared.