The one thing that always remains

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Music Remains

A Recorded Music Rube Goldberg Machine

A 90-second race through time filmed at London’s world-famous Abbey Road studios, Music Remains shows music at the heart of the story of one family.

Commissioned by IFPI, representing record labels worldwide, the film was created by music industry creative director Steve Milbourne, working with director Martin Stirling at Unit 9 Films. They built a Rube Goldberg machine showing recorded music technologies changing over the decades. An ingenious chain reaction cascades through the generations, beginning with a gramophone and ending with an iPad.

The film is made in a striking and technically challenging one-shot, ending with a simple message: “You’re the one thing that always remains – music.”

Musician and innovative MC, Pepstar performs lyrics about what recorded music means to him over a soundtrack that moves through iconic music tracks of the last 100 years.

The whole project was filmed in two days in Abbey Road’s Studio No. 2. Behind the scenes, a short “making of” documentary was also made. It shows how the production was put together, the building of the Rube Goldberg Machine and the 48 “takes” that had to be tried before a successful run of the machine was made.

“The idea was to convey the message that, while technology may be continuously changing, recorded music is always at the centre of people’s lives”, says Steve Milbourne. "At the same time, we wanted to it to be a very personal story. Pepstar’s lyrics are about key experiences – from the meeting of our parents to childhood memories, first girlfriends and family tragedy.”

Leading production company Unit9 was employed to produce the piece, with resident Director Martin Stirling and Producer Elliot Tagg helping to bring the idea to life. The Rube Goldberg machine itself was built by London-based art directors Sets Appeal.

The result is a beautiful, technically impressive and compelling one-shot video.

Commenting on the project, IFPI chief executive Frances Moore says: “Music Remains is a celebration of recorded music, but there’s also an educational side to the film as it shows in a world with ever changing technology the constant value of music. We hope people enjoy the film, play it many times and share it with their friends.”

Songs featured in the video

The Oceanna Roll – Arthur Collins

Sing Sing Sing – Benny Goodman

Dream Lover – Bobby Darrin

My Generation – The Who

Dancing Queen - ABBA

Walk This Way - Run D.M.C.

Yellow - Coldplay

Early 2000s
Hey Ya! - OutKast

Late 2000s
Umbrella - Rihanna

Get Lucky - Daft Punk


What's the one thing that never gets old?
Listen how the story unfolds, Yo.

You started way before I was born
They found a way to record, all the times you performed
With a bass and the tom and the kick and a horn
That was right until you went and changed form.

You finally had a voice, and you spoke the universal lingo
Dad loved you, he was involved
It was like you were, in the souls of a generation
With guitars and amps and record players.

Then he met my mum who loved dancing to you
She always told me how she found love through you
I remember hearing you around the house
Then rap came on, I turned you up loud!

With the Adidas shell toes you made us all buy
Mum had a heart attack when she looked at the price
But that didn't matter, you had us inspired
Even made a mix-tape for the girl that I liked.

I remember when my uncle died
You got us through the worse of the times
Stood right by our side in our moment of silence.

Then back in our life you would skip on CDs 'til I
Finally got an mp3
An iPod eight gig,
Every night I would go and update it.
I had a sick playlist.

Let me just say this.

Look at you, you're still beaming
No CDs but you're still streaming
Years have passed, and nothing's the same but
You're the one thing that always remains

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