January is a program designed to create ambient musical soundscapes. The ability to control the keys, scales and modes make it possible to generate music that can be used for pleasure or practice/study. There is a YouTube companion to this program, entitled “Winter of 1000 Years” which is a series of jam etudes designed to help musicians develop improvisational skills.


January was originally coded by “Disasterpeace” (Rich Vreeland) and modified by Daniel Layne http://layne.bravehost.com/ in collaboration with Jonathan Bojan (whose hopes and ideas made this evolution of the software happen).


Keyboard Key Command


[snow flakes]

A  small flakes 0 / 88.5

S  Octave       0 /  3.5

D  Harmony      0 /  3.5

F  Chord        0 /  2

G  Vamp         0 /  2

Z  Transpose    0 /  1  / 20 / 50

X  Reset


+ more snow

- less snow

K key cycle

, mode cycle {left)

. mode cycle {right}

/ Pentatonic

P pedal toggle

[ playback cycle {left)

] playback cycle {right)

ENTER Polarity

\ Reset Restart

SHIFT Staccato

I Improvise

0 Autopilot




Q Background Cycle 0 – 10

W Trans ON/OFF; when on, transpose cycles PLAYBOOK choices

E Trans Select/Add Current Mode & Key to List

R Cycle thru PLAYBOOK Mode + Key

T Trans Clear PLAYBOOK List


Volume level for white noise or background noise, because the word 'cycle' is a bit ambiguous to a user who doesn't know the code.


MODE.logic. =

The game will start in a certain key and mode. Given a certain parent Major scale, different modes indicate which degree of the major scale is emphasized as the root.


7 Modes = which degree of the major scale is the keynote


Ionian     = first note of the major scale

Dorian     = second note

Phrygian   = third note (in progress)

Lydian     = fourth note

Mixolydian = fifth note

Aeolian    = sixth note

Locrian    = seventh note (in progress)






Snow Flakes





The small ones play a note (sometimes two) in the key.


Small snowflakes only play two notes when the pedal point is turned on.







Plays a note an the note an octave above it.





Changes the set of mode/key

If trans mode =1; cycles through Playbook mode list


Changes the parent scale/set of pitches






It is used to emphasize the mode you are in. To be specific, it plays the notes of the root triad of the mode. The root triad is considered to be the most consonant notes in the mode, so they are very important in emphasizing the mode when you're using ambiguous harmonic gestures.