Although Kurt Swinghammer has contributed songwriting and guitar work to recordings by artists such as Ani DiFranco and Alanis Morissette, it's this rich tapestry of sound that the multimedia composer is likely to be remembered for. Vostok 6 -- which arrives on DiFranco's Righteous Babe label -- is Swinghammer's hauntingly beautiful, sometimes comical, deeply personal celebration of Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, who in 1963 made history as the first woman in space (the album's title comes from the name of her capsule). Within the space of 60 minutes, Swinghammer pieces together an eclectic array of diverse musical elements, including lilting acoustic and wailing electric guitars, space-age rhythms, ambient synthesizers, spoken-word vignettes, and, in Swinghammer's words, "a slice of cheesy listening, prog-rock time signatures, and spy movie chord changes." The Toronto-based Swinghammer plays most of the instruments on the album (which he calls his most challenging work) and also lends soothing vocals to gorgeous, poignant tracks such as "Blue," "Falling Star," "The First," and "Dark." This unusual, richly textured album allows us terrestrials to explore the beauty and desolation of space through a truly unique listening experience.