An array of distinguished international artists have contributed recordings to an environmental benefit project, set to be launched this month with a showcase at the Midem conference in Cannes, Billbo

An array of distinguished international artists have contributed recordings to an environmental benefit project, set to be launched this month with a showcase at the Midem conference in Cannes, Billboard Bulletin reports. The 21-track "Gaia" album features what is understood to be the last official studio recording by Australian rock band Midnight Oil, together with recordings from Zucchero, Anggun, Cesaria Evora, Billy Preston, Manu Dibango, and original members of Fleetwood Mac, Supertramp, and the Moody Blues.

The album, set for international release March 21, is to be signed to label and distribution partners on a region-by-region basis. Proceeds will be used to finance education programs in schools throughout the world in 2004.

Gaia World Event project organizer Alan Simon, an artist, composer, musician, and producer, is also coordinating a series of "echo-events" to take place in such sites as the Himalayas, the Amazon, and the Sahara. Recordings of the sessions will yield a live album. Additionally, a "Concert for the Planet" has been scheduled for Paris in early September.